[Pnews] Israel’s Ongoing Campaign to Silence Omar Barghouti & Repress the BDS Movement

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 22 12:02:37 EDT 2017


https://bdsmovement.net/news/bnc-statement-israel%E2%80%99s-ongoing-campaign-silence-omar-barghouti-repress-bds-movement 



  BNC Statement on Israel’s Ongoing Campaign to Silence Omar Barghouti &
  Repress the BDS Movement

Palestinian BDS National Committee

/March 22, 2017/ — On the morning of Sunday, March 19, Israeli tax 
authorities barged into the home of Omar Barghouti, the prominent 
Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the Boycott, 
Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for the freedom, justice and 
equality of the Palestinian people. They detained and interrogated Omar 
and his wife Safa for 16 hours that first day. Omar is currently 
enduring a fourth day of interrogation.

*Below is the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National 
Committee’s (BNC) response to these developments and the Israeli 
government’s systematic efforts to criminalize the BDS movement, 
intimidate activists and stop free speech:*

A prominent Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS 
movement, Omar Barghouti, has for years been subjected to intense 
threats, intimidation and repression by various arms of the far-right 
Israeli government, particularly after it considered the movement a 
“strategic threat 
<https://972mag.com/israels-president-says-bds-is-a-strategic-threat/107156/>” 
to its entire system of injustice against Palestinians.

At a March 2016 conference in occupied Jerusalem, several Israeli 
government ministers threatened Omar and key BDS human rights defenders 
with severe measures, including “targeted civil elimination 
<http://amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/israeli-government-must-cease-intimidation-of-human-rights-defenders-protect-them-from-attacks>” 
– a euphemism for civil assassination. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs 
last year established a “tarnishing unit,” as exposed in the Israeli 
daily Haaretz. This unit’s job is to tarnish the reputation of BDS human 
rights defenders and networks.

It is in this context that the Israeli tax department’s investigation of 
Omar and his wife, Safa, must be understood. After failing to intimidate 
them through the threat of revoking Omar’s permanent residence in 
Israel, and after the effective travel ban imposed on him proved futile 
in stopping his human rights work, the Israeli government has resorted 
to fabricating a case related to Omar’s alleged income outside of Israel 
to tarnish his image and intimidate him.

The fact that this investigation includes a travel ban and that it comes 
a few weeks before Omar Barghouti is scheduled to travel to the U.S. to 
receive the Gandhi Peace Award jointly with Ralph Nader in a ceremony at 
Yale University proves its true motive —repression.

The fact that the Israeli government publicized the inflammatory 
fabrications against Omar just 24 hours after he was taken in for 
investigation shows beyond doubt that the investigation’s real goal is 
to tarnish his reputation.

No matter what extreme measures of repression Israel wields against the 
BDS movement or its human rights defenders and vast network of 
supporters, it cannot stop this movement for human rights. Bullying and 
repression can hardly affect a grassroots movement that grows in 
people’s hearts and minds, empowering them to do the right thing — to 
stand on the right side of history, against Israel’s fanatic regime of 
apartheid, occupation and ethnic cleansing, and for freedom, justice and 
equality for the Palestinian people.

This latest desperate chapter of repression and intimidation by the 
Israeli government against Omar Barghouti is the strongest indicator yet 
of the failure of the Israeli regime of occupation, settler-colonialism 
and apartheid to slow down the impressive growth of the BDS movement for 
Palestinian rights.

/The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC 
<https://bdsmovement.net/bnc>) is the largest coalition in Palestinian 
civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and 
Sanctions movement. Visit www.bdsmovement.net 
<http://www.bdsmovement.net/> and follow @BDSmovement/

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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