[News] Israeli Ministers Call For "Civil Targeted Killing" of BDS Activists; Barghouti Mentioned by Name
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 4 16:49:22 EDT 2016
*Israeli Ministers Call For "Civil Targeted Killing" of BDS Activists;
Barghouti Mentioned by Name*
omar barghouti - April 4, 2016
RAMALLAH: (Editors Note: Omar Barghouti is the founder/leader of the
Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement that has started hurting the
Israel government following its success in Europe and the United States
in particular. This has led to this current attack and threats,
articulated against BDA leaders and activists by senior Ministers in the
Israeli government.. Barghouti in this first person report for The
Citizen has warned of the dangers imminent in these threats. This needs
to be taken up by the world community at large to ensure that no harm
comes to the Palestinians and others who have been working relentlessly
to bring Israel under some pressure through the completely non-violent
Some on this list, including journalists, have written to me inquiring
about or voicing their concern at the recent Israeli government
minister's threat of "civil targeted killing" against BDS "leaders" and
There is of course a good reason to be seriously alarmed when government
ministers anywhere make such threats against human rights defenders. So
imagine the seriousness of the threats when made by an increasingly
pariah and lawless regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and
apartheid that practices extrajudicial killing against Palestinians with
impunity and that considers even Zionist Israeli dissenters who dare to
reveal -- self-censored and cherry-picked -- Israeli war crimes as
It is worth remembering that in 1995 then hawkish Israeli prime minister
Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a fanatic Jewish-Israeli who was
influenced by a campaign tainting Rabin as "traitor." Current Israeli
leaders were silent about or even involved in that incitement campaign.
Rabin will always be remembered by Palestinians as the Israeli leader
who ordered and orchestrated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian cities
Lydda and Ramleh in 1948. He will also be remembered as the minister of
"defense" who in the first intifada (1987-1992) ordered his soldiers to
"break the bones" of captured Palestinian children and youth to prevent
them from throwing stones at the occupation forces.
Still, the atmosphere then was significantly more "civil" than it is
today! The Israeli "justice" system was still pretending then to be
independent and professional; settlers did not have the effective
control on government that they have today.
The level of criminal impunity that pervades the Israeli establishment
today has triggered US Senator Patrick Leahy to ask Secretary of State
John Kerry to investigate whether US tax money is helping Israel in
committing "extrajudicial killings" of Palestinians.
It is not everyday that such a ranking senator courageously asserts that
he owes it to US taxpayers to have military aid to Israel reviewed in
light of its "gross human rights violations." Loyalty to Israel's
far-right regime of oppression is a considerably higher priority in the
US Senate, after all, than it is to American taxpayers.
Back to the veiled Israeli government threat to harm BDS activists, here
are the facts.
As was reported in the Israeli media, Israeli Intelligence Minister
Yisrael Katz said (Hebrew) at the largest Israeli anti-BDS conference,
held on March 28 in Jerusalem, that Israel should engage in “targeted
civil eliminations” of BDS "leaders" with the help of Israeli
intelligence, intentionally using language that plays on the Hebrew term
for “targeted assassinations.” My name was mentioned in this context.
Here's the link to a youtube for speeches by minister of interior Arieh
Deri and minister of intelligence Yisrael Katz. It is professionally
and accurately translated and subtitled by a Jewish-Israeli human
rights activist (and colleague).Several of my colleagues (
Palestinian, international as well as Jewish-Israeli BDS leading
activists) and I feel alarmed and seriously concerned for our physical
safety after this top-level threat.
We are not panicking, needless to say; neither will this remotely
thwart our human rights work. But we do not take such threats lightly
We are still working on collecting the threats and attacks made by other
Israeli government ministers and political leaders against the BDS
movement (and against me by name), like Ayelet Shaked (minister of
justice), Gilad Erdan (minister of strategic affairs and anti-BDS czar),
Minister Yisrael Katz in his statements plays on the official Israeli
military term for assassination, "targeted thwarting," and adds "civil"
to it. As Israeli colleagues have pointed out, adding "civil" to a term
used for many years by Israeli officials to indicate assassination is
ambiguous at best.BDS is a global nonviolent human rights movement led
by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition
in Palestinian civil society. Established in 2005, on the first
anniversary of the ICJ advisory opinion against Israel's wall, BDS calls
for fundamental Palestinian rights under international law.
The BDS movement is anchored in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and rejects, accordingly, all forms of racism and discrimination
on the basis of identity, including anti-Semitism.In the last couple
of years, Israel has been desperately waging a legal warfare
(lawfare) against BDS, after failing for 10 years to even slow down the
impressive spread of the movement. Israel is fostering an environment
in France, the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, Australia and elsewhere
akin to McCarthyism, advocating for extreme suppression of civil
liberties and freedom of speech. Butstill, this is the first time
that an Israeli government minister so violently incites against
Palestinian human rights defenders
As Katz has openly alerted us in his statements, Israel's
intelligence services plan to fabricate supposed connections between BDS
"leaders" and "terror organizations." Aside from sullying our names,
this mafia-like campaign of intimidation is implicitly setting the
ground for physically harming us, especially in light of the toxic
atmoshpere in Israel.
Israel's Chief Rabbi for the Sephardic community is calling for the
ethnic cleansing of all "non-Jews" from "the land of Israel."
A Jewish settler leader has called Palestinian and other Christians
"blood sucking vampires" who should be "expelled" from Israel. He called
for torching even more of our churches, after many Palestinian churches
and mosques have indeed been torched by far-right settlers, while
protected, and therefore supported, by the Israeli military, security
forces and judiciary.
Settlers who have torched to death Palestinian toddler Ali Dawabsheh and
his parents last year and later celebrated their gruesome acts of terror
have yet to be sentenced for the murders. This has naturally encouraged
other settlers to torch the house of the remaining eyewitness to the
crime, Ali's uncle.
Summing up a growing sentiment among Israeli dissenters, the prominent
Israeli journalist Gideon Levy called 2015, "the year of blatant and
unapologetic Israeli fascism." I wonder how Levy might describe 2016
when it ends.
It is in this specific environment of rampant racism, criminality and
utter impunity that one needs to read minister Katz's threat of
"targeted civil elimination." In Israeli society today, as Senator
Leahy rightly notes, soldiers, security forces and armed settlers
easily get away with murder of Palestinians, quite literally.
Indeed,"targeted civil assassination" could well be understood by
far-right settlers or other extremist elements in Israel as a license to
kill by a "civilian," rather than by the military/security apparatus.
Although Katz goes around the bushes and avoids defining the term in
any accuracy, his claim that some BDS leaders and activists are
connected to "terrorism" and "terrorist organizations" further
amplifies this between-the-lines license to kill.
The US administration and the EU are also responsible, of course,
for this criminal impunity. Other than providing the life-line for
Israel's regime of apartheid and occupation, arming it to its teeth and
protecting it from any serious international sanctions for decades, the
US and the EU sent their Tel Aviv ambassadors to participate in this
Israeli anti-BDS conference. They have yet to raise a peep in protest
over the implicit threat to neutralize human rights defenders that were
This amounts to a tacit US and EU green light to Israel to go ahead with
its mad and illegal war on the nonviolent BDS movement and its main
activists, in Palestine and around the world.
This is the reason why I am seriously concerned for my physical safety
and that of my Palestinian, Israeli and international BDS colleagues. We
hold the Israeli government responsible for any physical harm that may
be inflicted on any of us as a result of this vile attempt to silence
We also hold the US administration and the EU partially responsible
for any such attacks.Regardless of their position on BDS, human rights
organizations and citizens of the world who care about civil rights and
human rights are called upon to take a clear position defending our
right to advocate for BDS as a matter of conscience and free speech.
They are also called upon to condemn in unambiguous terms this
unprecedented Israeli government incitement to violence against
Palestinian and other human rights defenders.
Moshe Dayan once said that "Israel must be like a mad dog, too
dangerous to bother." The current Israeli regime is scrupulously
heeding Dayan's advice. But "mad dogs" can be stopped. Indeed, mad dogs
must be stopped, as there is no telling whom they may bite next.
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