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        dir="ltr"> <font size="-2"><a id="reader-domain" class="domain"
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/under-israeli-gag-order-omar-barghouti-urges-more-bds">https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/under-israeli-gag-order-omar-barghouti-urges-more-bds</a></font>
        <h1 id="reader-title">Under Israeli gag order, Omar Barghouti
          urges more BDS</h1>
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                <span class="field field-author"><a
                    href="https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah"
                    typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label
                    skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Ali Abunimah</a></span> <span
                  class="field field-blog"></span>
                <span class="field field-publication-date"><span
                    class="date-display-single" property="dc:date"
                    datatype="xsd:dateTime"
                    content="2017-04-01T20:54:44+00:00">1 April 2017</span></span><br>
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              <p>Human rights defender Omar Barghouti is urging people
                around the world to increase boycott, divestment and
                sanctions (BDS) campaigns as the best way to show
                support for him – and for the Palestinian people – as he
                faces escalating repression by the Israeli government.</p>
              <p>“Finally, I was allowed to access my email account
                after 12 days of being banned from doing so during the
                most intense phase of the ongoing interrogation I am
                subjected to by the Israeli authorities,” Barghouti
                wrote in an email to supporters on Saturday.</p>
              <p>In what is his first public statement since his
                interrogation began in mid-March, Barghouti condemned
                Israel’s “McCarthyite witch hunt” against him and the
                BDS movement.</p>
              <p>“Due to a gag order, I am not allowed to delve into any
                facts about the case,” Barghouti added. “I am thus
                denied the ability to even refute the vicious lies
                published by Israel’s regime against me. I am in no
                hurry to do so, though, as their main objective –
                attempting to tarnish my reputation and, by extension,
                hurting the BDS movement – has clearly failed.”</p>
              <p>Barghouti says that a <a
href="https://bdsmovement.net/news/bnc-statement-israels-ongoing-campaign-silence-omar-barghouti-repress-bds-movement">statement</a>
                issued last week by the Palestinian BDS National
                Committee (BNC) “accurately sums up this latest chapter
                in the Israeli regime’s war on the BDS movement.”</p>
              <p>Israeli media have reported that Barghouti, who lives
                in the coastal city of Akka in present-day Israel, is
                suspected of tax evasion. The BNC, the civil society
                coalition that guides the BDS movement, has <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israeli-allegations-against-omar-barghouti-fabricated-boycott-movement">accused</a>
                the Israeli government of “fabricating a case” against
                Barghouti.</p>
              <h2>“More BDS”</h2>
              <p>Barghouti was due to travel to the US this month to
                receive the <a href="http://www.gandhipeaceaward.org/">Gandhi
                  Peace Award</a>. But by preventing him from doing so,
                “Israel’s regime has inadvertently increased the
                publicity around this award,” Barghouti asserted.</p>
              <p>Israel’s strategic affairs ministry last year created a
                “<a
                  href="http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.725684">tarnishing
                  unit</a>” to assist its efforts to thwart the growth
                of Palestine solidarity around the world.</p>
              <p>“This devious unit’s key function is summed up in
                ‘digging up dirt’ against human rights defenders and
                networks associated with the BDS movement and, if no
                dirt is found, in fabricating it,” Barghouti said.</p>
              <p>Barghouti thanked well-wishers for messages of
                solidarity. He added: “Many of you have asked how best
                you can support me to face this latest persecution. My
                answer is, without hesitation … more BDS!”</p>
              <p>Barghouti stated: “We need to expand, mainstream and
                build on our many inspiring BDS campaigns, academic,
                cultural and economic, as the most effective way to
                respond to the new McCarthyism designed by Israel’s
                regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid
                and exported to states where its lobby groups enjoy
                massive influence.”</p>
              <h2>Open threats</h2>
              <p>In the past year, Barghouti has been subjected to a <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-temporarily-lifts-travel-ban-bds-co-founder-omar-barghouti">travel
                  ban</a> and open threats by Israel’s top ministers.</p>
              <p>During a “Stop the Boycott” conference held in
                Jerusalem last year, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s public
                security and strategic affairs minister, <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/eu-envoy-refuses-condemn-israeli-threats-against-bds-activists">vowed</a>
                that BDS activists “will know they will pay a price for
                it.”</p>
              <p>Singling out Barghouti, Erdan, who is responsible for
                spearheading Israel’s assault on the global BDS
                movement, added, “We will soon be hearing more of our
                friend Barghouti.”</p>
              <p>During the same conference, which was attended by EU
                and US diplomats, Israel’s intelligence minister Yisrael
                Katz called for the thwarting of the BDS leadership,
                using the same Hebrew term used by the military for
                “targeted killing,” or extrajudicial execution.</p>
              <p>Israel’s interior minister Aryeh Deri told conference
                attendees that he was considering revoking Barghouti’s
                residency permit.</p>
              <p>In response, Amnesty International <a
href="https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/amnesty-condemns-israels-threats-against-bds-activists">expressed
                  its concern</a> for the “safety and liberty of
                Palestinian human rights defender Omar Barghouti, and
                other boycott, divestment and sanctions activists,
                following calls alluding to threats, including of
                physical harm and deprivation of basic rights, made by
                Israeli ministers.”</p>
              <p>Barghouti’s message indicates that the barrage of
                threats and actual repression has done nothing to temper
                his determination.</p>
              <p>“As humans, we need permission from no one to pursue
                our inherent rights,” he said. “As human rights
                defenders, no degree of intimidation and bullying can
                deter us in our passionate, nonviolent resistance to
                injustice, inequality and colonial slavery.”</p>
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