Well, they are at it again. Yep, it’s Israel, ”the only democracy in the Middle East.” What a joke. The latest embarrassment is the travel banning of Omar Barghouti the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Barghouti like others before him is a particular danger to Israel as he is a fluent English speaking activist who has carried BDS around the world.
In former years Israel simply expelled Palestinian leaders who were gaining nonviolent traction among the masses. The most famous case was that of Mubarak Awad(simply Google him). There are many nonviolent actions even today in Israel but the western press refuses to give them the press they merit.
All the while you have a nonviolent actor like Barghouti who is punished for advocating peaceful stratagems like BDS. Israel will do anything to stop him and BDS.In the USA we see desperate attempts to criminalize such an nonviolent movement
Barghouti, born in Qatar, lived in Egypt but moved to Jaffa and has lived without incident in ACRE for 22 years. He is married to a Palestinian Israeli citizen and has what is called a “visa of permanent residency” but needs official permission to travel outside Israel.
Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch told The Electronic Intifada that “Israel’s refusal to renew Barghouti’s travel document appears to be an effort to punish him for exercising his right to engage in peaceful, political activism, using its arsenal of bureaucratic control over Palestinian lives.” She added: “Israel has used this sort of control to arbitrarily ban many Palestinians from traveling, as well as to ban international human rights monitors, journalists and activists from entering Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”
Silence from the EU and USA.they love the murdered Jesus, Gandhi and King, the nonviolent martyrs, but turn their backs on a living actor, a true champion of nonviolent,civilian led tribune of the people.
Barghouti remains nonplussed.
“By repeating platitudes about Palestinian human rights but then persistently failing to criticize Israel when it denies them, the US administration is protecting Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid from accountability. In effect, this administration is giving Israel a tacit green light to violently repress Palestinian, Israeli, American and other human rights defenders who are struggling nonviolently for the realization of Palestinian rights under international law through the time-honored tactics of boycott and divestment. With the “pernicious rise of the influence of the far-right, settler-dominated Israeli government in the US Congress in recent years, the US administration has surrendered any attempts to hold Israel to account, even when it undermines US policy interests.”
To the consternation of hardline, out of touch Jewish organizations, young millenial Jews are more and more supporting the BDS nonviolent alternative.
Jewish Voice for Peace spokesperson Rebecca Vilkomerson said she hoped activists would “flood Secretary Kerry’s office with tens of thousands of messages” because “this is more than just an attack on one political leader. It’s an attack on the right to nonviolently organize for justice, freedom and equality.”
Mahmoud Nawajaa, the general coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, said:
“Having failed to stop the growth of BDS in the mainstream, Israel is now launching a desperate and dangerous global war of repression on the movement. After losing many battles for the hearts and minds at the grassroots level, Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups are pressuring western states to implement patently anti-democratic measures that threaten civil liberties at large.
By banning our colleague Omar Barghouti from traveling and threatening him with physical violence, Israel is showing the lengths it will go to in order to stop the spread of the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice