In this interview, Omar Barghouti highlights the principled support from musicians and writers for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel and spells out the reason why BDS will defeat Israeli oppression:
‘When celebrities of this caliber cancel events in Israel over its human rights record they help to reveal Israel’s true face as a state practicing occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid and contribute to challenging Israel’s impunity and infringement of international law.
Besides, I think the foundational principle of international solidarity is to listen to the oppressed themselves, their needs and aspirations, not to think on their behalf, as if we cannot think straight or do not understand what is in our best interest. The latter attitude is colonial and patronizing, par excellence.
Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups in the West have tried every trick in their book of vilification, intimidation, bullying and intellectual terror to deter or smear BDS activists and leaders everywhere. So far, they have miserably failed, however, as they themselves sometimes admit. Given its morally consistent, non-violent, human rights based agenda that upholds the rule of international law, full equality for all humans and a categorical rejection of all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, the global BDS movement has dragged Israel into a “battlefield,” where we maintain decisive ethical superiority and neutralize Israel’s daunting arsenal of weapons, including nuclear weapons.’
Barghouti also outlines the justification for academic and cultural boycott of Israel:
‘The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is a key part of the BDS campaign, due to the entrenched and persistent collusion of Israel’s academic and cultural institutions in maintaining and whitewashing Israel’s occupation and apartheid. It is important to emphasize that our campaign targets Israel’s academic and cultural institutions, not individuals, so the claim that our boycott would prevent Israeli academics or artists from interacting with their counterparts worldwide is simply false and intentionally misleading. Regardless, those who oppose the boycott because they erroneously think it infringes Israelis’ freedom of speech seem to forget that Palestinians, too, deserve that right. The fact that Israel’s decades-long system of colonial oppression denies Palestinians all our fundamental rights, including the right to free speech and often the right to education, appears to be less worthy of those critics’ interest. When Israel criminalized Palestinian education and shut down all Palestinian universities (some for four consecutive years), schools and even kindergartens during the first intifada, which was overwhelmingly peaceful, we did not hear much protest from many of those who are currently attacking the academic boycott because of its alleged impact on Israeli academic freedom. It is this hypocrisy that makes us wonder whether those people truly believe that all humans deserve equal rights, regardless of their identity.’
Palestine / Israel Links
Pro-Palestine Protestors form human wall as CRH involvement with Israel’s illegal wall again a major issue
AFP PRESS RELEASE 28: Palestinian unity, statehood and the importance of BDS
The demolition nation is at it again, destroying the Palestinian village of Amniyr situated on private Palestinian land which Israel has usurped as ‘state land’, for the third time.