In Solidarity with Omar Barghouti
In April of 2016, Israel held its first official conference against the Palestinian- lead, global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. One speaker after another tarnished the movement we proudly take part in. We witnessed our demonisation as “anti-Semites” and “terror enablers” with Israeli officials proposing “targeted civil elimination” against human rights defenders. While the whopping majority of us were lucky enough to remain anonymous, one name, though was repeatedly mentioned: Omar Barghouti.
Threats to Barghouti- a founding member of the BDS movement- were made directly, with the discussion of the withdrawal of his citizenship taking center stage in a speech made by Minister of Internal Affairs, Arie Deri.
A few weeks later, without criminal charges, Israel slapped Barghouti with a travel ban order, which prohibited him from exiting Israel for his important work as a representative of the movement.
Following a global campaign, and awarding him with the Gandhi Peace Award, the ban was lifted, only to be reinstated when the state "tarnishing unit" (specifically created to target participants in the BDS movement) would fabricate a tax evasion case against him. Omar Barghouti and his wife, Safa, have spent the past week in interrogations. It seems Israel does not want the Palestinian Gandhi to collect his award.
As privileged Jewish citizens of Israel, we support Omar Barghouti. We condemn Israel's persecution of the human rights defenders of the BDS movement, especially its indigenous Palestinian leaders.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within