Israeli authorities refused to renew the travel documents of the co-founder for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Omar Barghouti, on Tuesday. This is seen as a direct attack on human rights. It also shows the extent to which the Israeli government feels threatened.
Barghouti regularly travels internationally to speak at events aimed at bringing attention to BDS strategies of ending Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territory.
“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,” said Mahmoud Nawajaa, general co-ordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), in a statement following the travel ban.
He added, “By banning our colleague Omar Barghouti from travelling 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 and equality.”
The BDS movement was announced in July 2005 as a movement to restore Palestinian rights in accordance with international law through strategies of boycotting Israeli products and cultural institutions, divesting from companies complicit in violations against Palestinians, and implementing state sanctions against the Israeli government.
Due to the increased BDS activity and its growth and popularity internationally, it has come under severe threat from Israel.
— Mondoweiss (@Mondoweiss) May 10, 2016
Omar Barghouti responding to his travel ban, said: “I am unnerved but certainly undeterred by these threats. Nothing will stop me from struggling for my people’s freedom, justice and peace.”