Human Rights NGO calls for Omar Barghouti’s Israeli Residency to be revoked

"Undoubtedly Barghouti’s leadership of the boycott movement against all citizens of the State of Israel severely harms the State of Israel."

April 28, 2019 14:47
2 minute read.
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS Movement for Palestinians

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS Movement for Palestinians. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

Israeli Human Rights NGO, Betzalmo has appealed to Israel’s Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and Interior Minister Arye Deri to cancel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement Omar Barghouti’s residency permit.

The call comes just two weeks after Omar Barghouti was refused entry into the United States because of his role as founder and chairman of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

In a letter dated April 24, 2019, Betzalmo inquired with the Deri about how it was possible that the US prevents a boycott leader from entering its territory, while the Israeli government continues to grant him a residency permit, which allow him to receive benefits from the State of Israel.

"A recent law authorizes the Interior Minister, with the approval of the attorney-general, to revoke residency for anyone who harms state security or violates allegiance to the state, or endangers public peace," the NGO said in a statement. "Undoubtedly Barghouti’s leadership of the boycott movement against all citizens of the State of Israel severely harms the State of Israel and is a blatant breach of allegiance, as well as a threat to Israel’s security and defense by pushing for an arms embargo against Israel."

"In addition, the BDS movement collaborates with terrorist organizations, so there is undoubtedly an indirect link between Mr. Barghouti and terrorist organizations," Betzalmo highlighted.

Betzalmo CEO Shai Glick explained that "the State of Israel is a democratic and liberal state, but it must, in the name of democracy and liberalism, defend itself and its citizens."

"A determined struggle against the boycott constitutes true defense of the citizens of the State of Israel," he continued. "We cannot demand from our allies in the world to prevent the entry of a boycott activist and to prevent conferences of boycott organizations, while allowing those leading BDS activists residency in Israel, giving them State benefits and a platform. We are certain that the Interior Minister and the Attorney General will act with determination and immediately revoke Mr. Barghouti's residency so he will be able to disseminate his toxic teaching only outside Israel.”

On April 11, it was revealed that the vehemently anti-Israel activist was denied entry into America. The Arab American Institute said that Barghouti was barred from boarding a Wednesday flight to New York for a multi-city speaking tour in the United States, despite having a valid travel document and visa.

A week later, he penned an op-ed in the UK newspaper The Guardian, in which he claimed that "Israel appears to have once again enlisted the Trump administration to do its bidding."

He claimed in the piece that with his "denial of entry, Israel appears to have once again enlisted the Trump administration to do its bidding, this time to repress Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders," he wrote. "They wish to deny lawmakers, journalists and ordinary Americans their right to listen first-hand to a Palestinian human rights advocate calling for ending US complicity in Israel’s crimes against our people."

As a co-founder of the BDS movement "for Palestinian rights," Barghouti said he has "been smeared by the Israeli government and banned from travel repeatedly, including in 2018 when I was prevented from going to Jordan to accompany my late mother during cancer surgery."

"Israel’s intelligence minister threatened me with 'targeted civil elimination,' drawing condemnation from Amnesty International," he wrote. "Their de facto and 'arbitrary travel ban' against me was recently lifted for three months after Amnesty International’s pressure."

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