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Interview: The man behind the BDS movement

As the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement grows, its co-founder, Omar Barghouti, has become a target for Israeli demonization. +972's Rami Younis sits down with Barghouti for a rare discussion about BDS's goals, its recent successes, and increasingly frequent accusations that the boycott movement constitutes anti-Semitism.

Rami Younis

(This article was first published in Arabic on Bokra)

Omar Barghouti is one of the most infamous names in pro-Israel and Israeli government circles at the moment. Officials have portrayed this Palestinian human rights activist and leader of the BDS movement — which he co-founded a decade ago and now leads — as a threat to the State of Israel. How big of a threat? Well, just last week the country’s best-selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, featured a front-page story about him, dubbing him “Explosive Omar.” And if he and his boycott movement are giving both Zionist officials and their media a panic attack, one can only assume he is doing something right.

“Is this the Renaissance era for BDS?” I ask him in a phone call. He laughs and tells me that there is still much to come.

Yet Barghouti, 51, refuses to respond to his accusers — he maintains a boycott of the Israeli media. He was willing to conduct this rare interview due to my Palestinian identity and under the condition that it be published first in Arabic, on Palestinian website “Bokra” – although it is also being published in English here on +972 Magazine and in Hebrew on Local Call, where I am a blogger. Unified trilingual anti-Zionism at its best, I must add.

Barghouti explains his choice to not speak with the Israeli media and the logic behind the more general call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel as a whole: “In every other situation of sustained oppression, human rights groups call for punitive measures against the state and its institutions, not just against a narrow component of the state that is directly connected to the injustice at hand. No one called for banning products of Sudanese companies producing in Darfur in response to the Sudanese regime’s war crimes there. Sudan as a whole was targeted.

“As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, Israel is put on a pedestal in the West, and treated as if it were above international law. BDS seeks to end this Israeli exceptionalism and criminal impunity. Israel must be treated like any other state committing similarly egregious crimes.”

BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti meets with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa in 2013. (Photo by Yazeed Kamaldien)

BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti meets with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa in 2013. (Photo by Yazeed Kamaldien)

The BDS movement was launched on July 9, 2005 when a broad alliance of more than 170 Palestinian political parties, trade unions, refugee networks, NGOs and grassroots associations published an open boycott call to international civil society organizations and people of conscience. It called to “impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era,” Barghouti says. “Today, the global BDS movement is led by the largest coalition in Palestinian society, the BDS National Committee (BNC).”

BDS calls for: an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories since 1967, including dismantling the wall and colonies; an end to Israel’s system of racial discrimination against its Palestinian citizens; and respecting the UN-sanctioned, fundamental right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

“These three basic rights correspond to the three main components of the Palestinian people: those in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; those in the 1948 territory who live under Israeli apartheid, and those in exile”, Barghouti says. He insists that regardless of what shape the political solution to the conflict takes – it must be based on these principles.

The tool that 170 Palestinian civil society organizations chose in their struggle to demand these rights, and to fight the Israeli occupation, is based wholly on a human rights discourse and non-violent action — as opposed to the violence of the occupation itself. For this reason at least, it is important to hear and understand what Barghouti has to say.

You have had a lot of successes in your campaign recently, two examples being Lauryn Hill canceling her show in Israel and Orange threatening to pull its brand from the country. What other success stories can you talk about that did not get as much media attention?

“The huge Dutch pension fund, PGGM, whose international investments are close to $200 billion, decided last year to divest from the top five Israeli banks due to their involvement in financing the occupation.

“This was followed by the U.S. Presbyterian Church’s divestment from Caterpillar, HP and Motorola Solutions for their complicity in the occupation, and by Bill Gates’ divestment from G4S, the largest security company in the world, which is involved in Israelis crimes against the Palestinian people. BDS is succeeding in revealing the toxicity of the ‘brand’ Israel.”

The artificial distinction between Israel and ‘the occupation’ is political and ideological.Omar Barghouti

Some BDS activists choose to boycott all of Israel, not just companies or bodies profiting directly from the occupation. Why is that?

“The artificial and untenable distinction between Israel and ‘the occupation’ is political and ideological; it is not based on practical, legal or moral considerations. It is Israel that international law regards as the occupying power, and therefore, is the party responsible for the construction and maintenance of not just the colonial settlements, but also the whole occupation regime.

“Israel is also responsible for what even the U.S. Department of State has criticized as institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and such a system fits the UN definition of apartheid.”

But Israel’s deepest injustice, Barghouti argues, is the denial of the right of return to Palestinian refugees. Those refugees, uprooted and dispossessed in 1948, comprise 68 percent of the Palestinian people. They, too, deserve equal human rights, he insists.

Illustrative photo of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in Brussels, April 30, 2015. (Photo by / CC 2.0)

Illustrative photo of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in Brussels, April 30, 2015. (Photo by / CC 2.0)

A common accusation against the international BDS campaign is that it feeds on anti-Semitism. What do you say to that?

“BDS is a non-violent human rights movement that seeks freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people, based on international law and universal principles of human rights. As such, BDS has consistently and categorically rejected all forms of discrimination and racism, including anti-Semitism as well as dozens of racist laws in Israel.

“Our non-violent struggle has never been against Jews or Israelis as Jews, but against an unjust regime that enslaves our people with occupation, apartheid and denial of the refugees’ UN-stipulated rights. We are proud of the disproportionately high number of Jewish activists in the BDS movement, especially in the U.S.

“Conflating time-honored, human-rights-based boycotts of Israel’s violations of international law with anti-Jewish racism is not only false, it is a racist attempt to put all Jews into one basket and to implicate them in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

“Israel’s charge of racism against the BDS movement is akin to the Ku Klux Klan accusing Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks of racism! It is so blatantly propagandistic.”

How do you identify an individual, organization or any other entity to target? And once you’ve identified them, how do you proceed from there?

“The three general criteria that the Palestinian BNC recommends in selecting strategic targets are: first, the level of complicity – focusing on companies and products that are most clearly and directly involved in Israel’s human rights violations and easiest to explain to a wide audience.

“Second, cross-movement alliance possibility: prioritizing companies or products that enable the creation of broad, cross-struggle alliances. For example, the campaign to stop contracts with the Israeli water company, Mekorot, engages a wide spectrum of environmental and anti-privatization campaigns.

“And third, the potential for success: a BDS campaign should have a realistic chance of success, beyond simply raising awareness, such as persuading an international company or institution to end support for an Israeli company.”

Members of the Chicago SodaStream Boycott Coalition take part of the Earth Day March in Down Town Chicago, IL on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The rally was part of the international Earth Day held world wide in support for environmental protection. (Tess Scheflan/

Members of the Chicago SodaStream Boycott Coalition take part of the Earth Day March in Down Town Chicago, IL on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The rally was part of the international Earth Day held world wide in support for environmental protection. (Tess Scheflan/

A couple of months back I hosted a public discussion with Barghouti in front of 400 Palestinian citizens of Israel in the city of Ara’ra. Before we began, I asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they had ever heard of the BDS movement. Only 20 people did. I looked at Barghouti; he was smiling. He knew what I was about to ask. I remind him of that moment now. (A note going forward, the terms ’48 region and ’48 Palestinians refer to the area inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders and Palestinian citizens of Israel, respectively.)

“The Oslo accords disenfranchised Palestinians in the 1948 region, causing a serious rift,” he explains. “On the contrary, the BDS movement insists on the right of all Palestinians to exercise self-determination as a unified people and as such, insists on the rights of all Palestinians, including ‘48 Palestinians. Major groups within ‘48 were part of the launch of BDS in 2005, but the movement has not done enough to raise awareness there.

“Also, the struggle to decolonize our minds is an uphill struggle in the ‘48 region, as the process of ‘Israelization,’ or colonization of our minds, has been entrenched over the last seven decades. An essential part of what the BDS movement does on daily basis is shattering despair and nourishing hope and conviction that we, the oppressed, are capable of ending oppression.”

Our non-violent struggle has never been against Jews or Israelis as Jews, but against an unjust regime.Omar Barghouti

More and more companies are likely to pull out of Israel in the coming years as a result of BDS efforts, and that would be a success for the movement. However, what do you say to Palestinian citizens in Israel who might face layoffs or other economic consequences as a result of multi-national companies leaving the Israeli market?

“Israel’s regime of oppression, not the resistance to occupation and apartheid, is responsible for this and every other consequence of this resistance to oppression.

“Those who claim that BDS hurts Palestinians are not just making unfounded and unethical claims that fail to understand how resistance is always costly at first. They are also patronizing in telling Palestinians that they understand our interests better than we do. We reject this colonial attitude completely. Nothing hurts the Palestinian people, whether in ‘67′, ‘48 or in exile, as much as Israel’s racist and colonial oppression does.”

As a Palestinian citizen of Israel who can’t support BDS publicly due to restricting laws, I feel I can’t really join your non-violent popular movement. How can local activists still support you?

“This is a misunderstanding of the draconian and anti-democratic Israeli anti-BDS law. As bad as it is, the law does not actually prevent support for BDS. It only makes it illegal to publicly advocate for boycotting Israel or any Israeli institution. Any Jewish or Palestinian citizen of Israel who wishes to support the BDS movement can publicly declare his or her support without violating the law — so long as they do not directly call for any boycott.

(Editor’s note: Israel’s anti-boycott law does not criminalize calling for boycotts of Israel or its institutions, but it does allow private citizens to sue anybody who makes such a public boycott call for monetary damages.)

“There are ways to circumvent this repressive law. For instance, I can present why Company X is complicit in violations of international law and then say, ‘I myself am boycotting this company’s products, but because of the repressive anti-boycott law. I am not allowed to call on you to boycott it too.’ That way I am indirectly calling for the boycott without breaching the law.

“But ultimately, we need wide-spread civil disobedience against this and all other draconian Israeli laws, as was done in the U.S. civil rights movement and the South African anti-apartheid movement. Unethical and unjust laws should never be obeyed. People of conscience should collectively and actively disobey them and eventually repeal them.”

A Palestinian boycott activist canvasses in the Ramallah open market, explaining the boycott of Israeli goods to Palestinian merchants, March 17, 2015. (

A Palestinian boycott activist canvasses in the Ramallah open market, explaining the boycott of Israeli goods to Palestinian merchants, March 17, 2015. (

Another recent success for the BDS campaign, which made headlines in Israel and worldwide, was — surprisingly — not organized by Barghouti and the BNC, but by the Palestinian Authority. As a member of FIFA, the Palestinian Football Association was able to threaten Israel with expulsion from international sporting tournaments, and eventually forced it to alter its policies that effect Palestinian soccer. I want to understand how Barghouti feels about this — and the PA itself.

BDS is a grassroots and civil society human rights movement that is entirely independent of the official Palestinian structures and any government,” he emphasizes. “It played a critical role in the campaign to expel Israel from FIFA, and most observers recognize that role. Palestine solidarity activists, almost all of whom are BDS supporters, have been struggling for months to raise awareness about Israel’s violations of Palestinian athletes’ rights in the context of its overall occupation and oppression.

“The fact that Palestinian officials led the public effort in this regard was our Achilles’ heel because the Palestinian Authority is chained with the humiliating Oslo agreement and is not designed to resist Israel’s regime of oppression in any meaningful and strategic way.”

We are not there yet, but we are reaching our South Africa moment.Omar Barghouti

The BDS movement is getting more and more popular. Where do you see the movement going in both the near and far future?

We are going mainstream. That is our challenge. We are not begging for charity; we are appealing for effective solidarity. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, boycott on a basic level entails ‘withdrawing cooperation from an evil system.’ When we ask institutions and organizations to divest from companies involved in Israel’s crimes we are not asking for anything heroic. We are merely asking those organizations to fulfill a profound moral obligation. This is the compelling, ethical logic of BDS, and this is a main factor behind the movement’s impressive growth over the last decade.

“The BDS movement is reaching a tipping point mainly because its strategy works — it works well — and because Israel has shifted to the fanatic right with fascist elements in government, dropping the last mask of its deceptive ‘democracy.’ Perhaps our most important achievement is uniting Palestinians from across the political and ideological spectrums on a human rights platform and behind a non-violent form of resistance that is anchored in international law.”

Judging from the victories BDS appears to be racking up recently it seems that finally, this strategy based on a rationale of sustained and escalating pressure on Israel in all fields – academic, cultural, economic and military – is starting to have a real and serious effect. Or as Omar Barghouti puts it, “we are not there yet, but we are reaching our South Africa moment.”

A version of this article was also published in Hebrew on Local Call, where the author is a blogger. Read it here. Read it in Arabic here on (Top photo: Graffitti on the separation wall in Bethlehem, by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/

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    1. Pedro X

      Omar Barghouti,the Hypocrite

      Omar was born in Qatar, grew up in Eygpt, attended Columbia University in the United states and moved to Ramallah as an adult. While telling Palestinians to boycott everything Israeli and Israeli Academia in particular, Omar applied not to a Palestinian University to take graduate studies but to Tel Aviv University where he was accepted as just another student.

      Omar also speaks the language of collective, universal human rights for Palestinians but denies that Israelis have any such rights. According to Omar Jews are not a people and they had and have no right to self determination of a Jewish state, no right to their own culture, customs, laws or government institutions and he demands these rights be taken away from Israeli Jews and that they be forced to live with a people who are highly an-Semitic. (According to the ADL over 90% of the Palestinian Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza is anti-Semitic.)

      Omar is a hypocrite because he talks about BDS being non-violent when he supports Palestinian resistance, all forms of Palestinian resistance. This means he accepts violence as a Palestinian right to achieve his goal of the destruction of a Jewish state and replacement by another Arab dominated state. This means he supports resistance in all forms such as suicide bombings, cutting the throats of Israeli children in their beds or blowing them up on their way to school or home. In reality his position is no different than that of Hamas’ charter except that he seeks a secular state instead of a theocratic state.

      Roberta Seid attended a lecture of Omar’s at UCLA in January 2014. She wrote:

      “[Omar] banged the drum for more bloodshed against Israeli Jews, for a fight to the finish that would undo the results of the 1948 war and be Zionism’s death knell.”

      “[Omar]hurled blood libels. Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian children “for sport.” Indeed, they “provoke” the children, “entice them like mice, and then shoot them” for no reason. Often, it is just because the soldiers are “bored.”

      “He justified terrorism against Israelis, defending the Palestinians’ right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance.”

      “Barghouti repeatedly denied that Jews are one of the indigenous peoples of the region. When an Israeli stood up and said he is a 10th-generation Israeli and indigenous, Barghouti scoffed. “You aren’t indigenous just because you say you are.”

      “He denied that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination. They are not a people, he declaimed, and the United Nations’ principle of the right to self-determination applies only to colonized people who want to acquire their rights. While he insisted that Palestinians must have “the right to have rights,” he denied that the Jewish people had any collective rights.”

      “When asked what he is doing to bring Hamas, the popular Palestinian fundamentalist movement that oppresses women and minorities and wants to establish a theocracy, to share his supposedly progressive vision, he sidestepped the question.”

      Seid wrapped up his article on Omar’s speech

      “I have often wondered what Jews or decent people could have done to push back against the anti-Semitic propaganda of 1930s Germany. I don’t know. But I do know that Omar Barghouti follows in that tradition of the “big lies,” the dehumanization of Israelis and incitement that would lead others to justify or excuse those who murder Israeli Jews. Historically, Jewish blood has been cheap too many times. It is critical that people of good will mobilize to protest and discredit the lies, educate the public, and re-educate the students who have been misled by the heady blend of bigotry, idealism and furious outrage that animates extremists like Barghouti.”

      I advise Roberta Seid not to look for decent people blogging at 972mag because they are promoting BDS and harm to Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tony Riley

        All good points and true. He is not a Palestinian, just a fraud.
        Funny how the interviewer did not raie any of these points, even though he must have been aware of them.

        Very poor journalism. Writer as cheerleader.

        Reply to Comment
      • Shahid Razzaq

        interesting reading these comments, surprised to read this as you seem so blinkered to the truth. Time is coming when people will wake up and see the abuses Israel is perpetrating on the Palestinians

        Reply to Comment
        • VAY

          I than people will ask ” why israelis do what they do” ,and then they’ll read and educate themselves, and the conclusion most reasonable people will arrive to is something, you Shahid ,is not going to like, because they’ll see that the other side’s actions and words are really not leaving israelis much of a choice…

          Reply to Comment
      • David

        Prophetic comments by five eminent Jews:

        Then Secretary of State for India and the British cabinet’s only Jewish member, Lord Edwin Montagu’s response to Prime Minister Lloyd George following issuance of the 1917 Balfour Declaration: “All my life I have been trying to get out of the ghetto. You want to force me back there.”

        Senator Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history….The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” .

        Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: “I cannot…I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state….It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land….I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.” (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

        Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

        Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Skeptikc

        @Pedro X

        Sometimes it takes a foreigner to see the exit door of a prison that the prisoners cannot see themselves. Bargouti’s going to an Israeli university gives him the proper insight into Jewish thinking, don’t you think? I am sure among those, he gets to witness also the smaller percentage of Zionist thinking. He knows that he must live among the enemy (Zionists, not Jews) in order to understand them and finally to defeat them!

        Reply to Comment
    2. Peter Niorth

      Softball questions
      Would have loved to hear the reaction to the recent France and Orange experience which showed how minimal BDS is. The reversal in the UK is telling as well. How will BDS expect further victories in light of these instances?
      Moreover, counting GS4 as a victory is fraudulent. But the victories are few.

      I imagine that Barghouti draws a nice salary for his efforts. Is that info. available?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Bruce Gould

      “BDS Could Cost Israel 4.7 Billion A Year”

      “The Financial Times has published a big, and somewhat balanced, article on the rapid rise of BDS that includes two stunning financial numbers showing how powerful the nonviolent movement for justice in Israel/Palestine is becoming…The most important information is deep inside the FT article…:

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        4.5 billion dollars? Is that all? Between 2009 and 2010 the GDP of Israel declined by 8 billion dollars. In the next 4 years the Israeli GDP increased by 85 billion to 291 billion dollars a year.

        Since 2005 when BDS started Israel’s GDP has increased from 133 billion a year to 291 billion dollars a year. BDS has had no effect on the overall health of the Israeli economy. BDS victories are illusory.

        The only thing that BDS succeeds at is demonization of the Israeli people and the incitement of hatred and antisemitism.

        Judea Pearl wrote about the distinct racist character of the BDS ideology, which Bruce supports:

        “Some human beings are endowed with an amazing capacity to filter reality and see only that which fits their agenda. BDS advocates see the checkpoints, the separation wall, the night raids, and the home demolition in the West Bank. They do not see the innocent victims of terror. They do not see the innocent babies who owe their lives to the wall. They certainly do not see the anxiety of 7.9 million human beings living under the shadow of 150,000 deadly rockets, aimed at their civilian populations.

        BDS followers possess infinite capacity to remember every horror of the 1948 war that led to the Palestinian refugee problem but zero capacity to remember another refugee problem. In the 1936-1940, the British Government succumbed to mass Palestinian riots and blockaded Jewish refugees from entering Palestine — thus sealing their fate in Auschwitz. Perhaps it is hard for BDS supporters to acknowledge these refugees because they are not with us to testify. What they should be able to acknowledge though, and rarely do, is the 1948 Arab attack on the newly created nation of Israel, which, by all historical accounts, was genocidal in intent and left deep scars on the Israeli psyche. Scars on both sides beg for healing; seeing some and not others is seeing none.

        The one-way prism worn by BDS advocates is most glaring when it comes to the issue of “self-determination.” Some of their “intellectuals” preach for hours and hours on the moral right of Palestinians to self-determination. At the same time, they intentionally forget, wish away, or deny the moral right of their neighbors to that same self-determination. In the old days we used to label such intellectuals “racists” and shun them from the company of men of good will. Nowadays, the label “racist” is reserved primarily for Islamophobes and “white settlers” — real and imaginary; the distinct racist character of the BDS ideology is rarely condemned for what it is. It is time to do so. (I am using “racism” in the broad sense of the word to mean: “discrimination on the basis of a distinct and immutable characteristic of a group of people.” Discrimination against women and gays would, accordingly, be classified as “racist,” and so would Islamophobia and Zionophobia.)”

        Reply to Comment
      • Carlo

        If BDS and its potential are so ineffectual, why are you Israel jingoists so upset by it?

        Reply to Comment
    4. BigCat

      QUESTION: What IS BDS?

      “Boycott is act of hate, not peace”

      – Shimon Peres

      “The BDS movement is anti-Semitic terror of a new type.”

      – Yitzhak Herzog.

      “BDS leaders are ‘out and out anti-Semites’”

      – Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid party leader)

      “All who join the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel “are effectively promoting the dissolution of the Jewish state whether or not that is their intention.”

      – Cary Nelson (Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of English at the University of Illinois)

      The BDS-movement against Israel is a “CULT”, a “GHETTO”, “dishonest”, “silly”, “disingenuous” and “a whole lot of leftist posturing”, whose goal is to destroy Israel, says Norman G. Finkelstein.
      “They don’t want Israel. They think they are being very clever. They call their three-tier: we want the end of occupation, we want the right of return; we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever because they know the result of implementing all three is WHAT? What’s the result? YOU KNOW AND I KNOW – WHAT’S THE RESULT?! THERE IS NO ISRAEL. THERE IS NO ISRAEL – FULL STOP!”

      – Norman G. Finkelstein, who is also a virulent anti-Israel critic!

      Reply to Comment
    5. BigCat

      Barghouti is a racist by his own words:

      “Yet Barghouti, 51, refuses to respond to his accusers — he maintains a boycott of the Israeli media. He was willing to conduct this rare interview DUE TO MY PALESTINIAN IDENTITY and under the condition that it be published first in Arabic…”

      That, folks, is yet another evidence that this thing called Omar Barghouti and his BDS movement are racists. Israeli Jews and Jewish businesses are their target and their irrational rage make it impossible for them to hide that fact. Omar Barghouti, you can run, but you can’t hide, you little filthy racist!

      Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      I note that Pedro X quotes somebody brimming with self-righteousness and indignation, saying “BDS advocates see the checkpoints, the separation wall, the night raids, and the home demolition in the West Bank…..”

      Let’s zoom the camera lens out. The interesting omission from this list is the simple fact of the 48-year belligerent occupation with deliberate transfer of civilian population into occupied territory, a transfer that had zilch to do with security and a transfer that Israel’s leaders knowingly and deliberately undertook after receiving their own definitive, expert legal advice from Theodore Meron that this clearly violated explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in war and on the prohibition of the transfer by belligerent occupiers of the occupier’s civilian populations into administered territories.

      There’s lots of reasons for you to scream and rant about how imperfect Omar Barghouti is and how terribly aggrieved you feel that he exists but you had your choice of people on a spectrum of fanaticism to deal with and you absolutely snubbed and disdained the guys on the very low end of that spectrum, the guys you could have made peace with and now you’re stuck with the likes of this guy Barghouti who is neither Cinderella nor Prince Charming but is competent and no scruffy pistol packing jackass and he’s giving you problems. So out of one side of your mouth you belittle how few are the billions this pipsqueak is going to cost you and out of the other side you rant about what a monstrous outrage it all is. Ol’ Uncle Ben’s homespun health advice: Starve a moderate feed a fanatic.

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        Yet another incoherent rambling mumbo jumbo from Brian alias “Ben” alias “MuslimJew” alias “David T.” alias “Dekkers” alias etc. Go get a life, moron.

        Reply to Comment
    7. LoL

      I love how does cyber agents are doing their best in the comments section but still they know deep inside this is not a game they are winning.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Bruce Gould

      The South African government also claimed that the anti-apartheid movement would destroy South Africa, but it didn’t work that way – South Africa continued to exist, but as a country in which one ethnic group didn’t have all the power.

      Yes, I want to de-legitimize Israel as a country owned by one tribe, and I want to re-legitimize it as a modern multi-ethnic democracy.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Cina

      Thank you Rami Younis. This is a great interview.

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        Rami Younis got Barghouti Omar to admit that he is a racist who would not even talk to Jewish persons or even have his words printed in Hebrew (first)! That’s good interviewing. So, yeah, great interview.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Arab boycotts of Jewish interests started as early as 1922, 26 years before the establishment of Israel. The original boycott forswore with any Jewish owned business operating in the British Mandate of Palestine. One should alsomnote that that the first formal, nationwide act of the Nazi government against German Jews was a national embargo of Jewish businesses on April 1, 1933. The Arab Executive Committee of the Syrian-Palestinian Congress called for a boycott of Jewish businesses in 1933 and in 1934, the Arab Labor Federation conducted a boycott as well as an organized picketing of Jewish businesses. Aiming to isolate the Jewish community economically, on December 2, 1945, the newly formed Arab League Council declared a formal boycott: “Jewish products and manufactured goods shall be considered undesirable to the Arab countries.” Also an official boycott was adopted by the Arab League almost immediately after the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. So here are the anti-semitism origins of BDS. That’s history. The background of current situation is the attacks made against Israel since its establishment and the fact that Israeläs Arab neighbours have lost all the wars they have started. In this kind situation the losers normally either leave their places of origin – like Germans from Polland, Turks from Balkans etc. – or accept the peace with hard terms. Looking forwards I think this could recommend this solution also to sc refugees or Palestinians so that they could finally start to build their future in their current locations instead of crying outcome of lost wars.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Landis

      Bargouti reeks of inauthenticity.

      How do you call upon the Workd to boycott Israel and then attend tel aviv university?

      How do you champion non violent resistance and then adopt such wholly uncompromising set of demands?

      All this guy is, is a stooge for the same ‘river to the sea’ Israel destruction dreamers that seven seen since 1948.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Michael Nutkiewicz

      Strange that there was not one question or reference about some Palestinian groups total rejection to the very existence of the State of Israel. Do the BDS supporters really think that this is an irrelevant issue, and that there is no link between the armed struggle against Israel with the economic struggle against Israel?

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    13. Susan

      The boycott movement spills over into antisemitiesm. For example when it boycotts kosher foods that are not even Israeli. It ends up being a boycott of Jewish Israelis. I am not convinced that the BDS movement does not want to destroy Israel. Columnists on this web site have said that the BDS movement is not Zionist and doesn’t want a Jewish state. There is a Birtish Mulsim BDS supporter who thinks that Zionists stole his shoe and tweeted about it and went on you-tube.

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    14. Noni Schuemer-Lowrance

      I’m writing for the first time ever. I usually don’t read commentaries on articles. I am simply shocked by the Jewish racism, arrogance and brutality I find here!

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      • Gustav

        Yes you do, Brian, Benny or whatever other alias you choose.

        People like you are always ONLY shocked by what we Jews do in reaction to those who want to see our destruction. On the other hand, nothing that they do or want to do to us, shocks you. Cest lavie. We are used to your hatred of us. You have been at it for at least a couple of thousand millenia.

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    15. Marnie

      Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, clear and precise. However, some claim BDS is antisemitic.

      What was Operation Protective Edge? Some of the same people who claim BDS is antisemitic saw the operation in Gaza in 2014 as nothing more than “mowing the lawn”.

      Let your conscience be your guide, not nationalism.

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