Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, speaks at Brandeis University

Lisa Hanania

WALTHAM, MOmar Barghouti Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions The Global Struggle for Palestinian RightsA- Today (Wednesday) Omar Barghouti, one of the leading founders of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, presented at Brandeis his new book BDS: Boycott Divestment and Sanction: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. The event was hosted by Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine (BSJP) and Haymarket Books.


Bargouti’s visa to the US was initially denied, but after a timely international public pressure campaign, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem granted Omar Barghouti a visa for his book tour to the United States.
In his talk at Brandeis, Barghouti made the case for a rights-based BDS campaign to stop the occupation, colonization, and apartheid against the Palestinian people. He opened his lecture by saying,

I deeply appreciate the logo of Brandeis [Emet- Truth unto its inner most parts] and its emphasize on truth. A true account of Israel’s occupation and apartheid cannot but convince any conscientious person to support the BDS movement for peace, justice, and equal rights.

Renana Gal, an Israeli citizen and member of BSJP said,

the BDS movement is significant in that it includes the rights of Palestinians in the Occupied territories, in Israel and in the diaspora. Accordingly, the call for BDS constitutes a consensus among Palestinian civil society in all the three communities above. It is especially significant to discuss these issues in a University like Brandeis that is predominantly Zionist and has deep intellectual and financial ties with Israel.

Barghouti and BSJP donated a book to the Brandeis library.

International boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts helped topple South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime. In his book, Omar Barghouti makes the case for a rights-based BDS campaign to stop Israel’s rapacious occupation, colonization, and apartheid against the Palestinian people. This considered, the growing debate on Israel’s violations of international law points the way forward to a united global civil society movement for freedom, justice, self-determination, and equality for all.

OMAR BARGHOUTI is an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Watch Barghouti on last week’s Democracy Now!

2 thoughts on “Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, speaks at Brandeis University”

  1. Until the BNC also takes an unequivocal stance on the treatment of Palestinians by Hamas, Hizbullah and others, they will never be taken seriously.

    The BDS movement only cares about abusing Palestinian rights when Israel is the abuser. According to the Goldstone Report, Hamas kidnaps, tortures and executes Palestinians without trial. The silence of the BNC on these matters is damning.

    Palestinians born in the Lebanon are denied citizenship or work permits. They are forced to remain in situations of unrelieved poverty, yet only Israel is guilty of apartheid.

  2. Had Israel not encouraged Hamas in order to counter the secular, nationalist PLO, and had Israel not publicly accused the PA of corruption, (according to Shir Hever 82% of Palestinians think the PA is corrupt, thereby voting in Hamas as an alternative, although UN research has shown that they are no more corrupt than the average EU country) then Hamas might not have been voted into office. The old adage ‘divide and rule’ is clearly in evidence here. And had Israel not isolated Gaza, then Hamas would have less control over the people there. Regarding Lebanon, Palestinians are indeed not given full rights in Lebanon, the excuse being that they could be denied their right of return if given full rights in Lebanon. But ultimately, the problem is the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinians from their homeland. Who were they dispossessed by? Israel. Since the rich and powerful seem to be beholden to Israel, it is incumbent on ordinary members of civic society to act. BDS is a peaceful, non-violent means of putting pressure on Israel. As far as I can see, the BNC’s call for BDS is indeed being taken seriously as is evidenced by the remarkable successes achieved in a relatively short space in time.

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