On May 9, 2018, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri issued an order of deportation against Human Rights Watch’s (“HRW”) Israel and Palestine Director and BDS activist Omar Shakir, in accordance with Israel’s anti- boycott law.
Under the law, Israel’s Interior Minister is authorized to prohibit entry into Israel of foreign nationals who espouse the boycott of Israel or any part of Israel. In 2017, when Shakir was hired by HRW, Shurat HaDin petitioned the Interior Minister and Israeli Courts to apply the anti-boycott law to block Shakir from entering Israel. Shakir has a long history as a BDS activist, including his involvement in founding and leading an anti-Israel uni- versity student organization promoting BDS. Although the Interior Minister initially took no action with regard to Shakir, following the recommendation of Israeli’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Shakir was deported. The deportation order is now being challenged by HRW and Shakir in the Israeli courts.