[News] Israeli Ministers Call For "Civil Targeted Killing" of BDS Activists; Barghouti Mentioned by Name

Anti-Imperialist News 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 
BDS movement.) 

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 (H​ebrew) 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​ official​s 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​. But​still, ​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 th​is 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 
made there.

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 
our voices.

​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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