Founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Omar Barghouti, was denied entry to the United States.
Barghouti, who holds a valid US visa, was stopped by authorities at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv as he was about to board a flight to Washington, DC to address numerous events organized by the Arab American Institute. According to a report on Israel Radio, immigration officials at the US Consulate in Tel Aviv had demanded that Barghouti be stopped before trying to enter the United States.
The BDS crusader had plans to speak at a number of Arab and Palestinian-affiliated events in Washington, at Harvard and New York Universities, as well as attend meetings with Washington policymakers. He was also scheduled to make an appearance at a Philadelphia bookstore owned by Marc Lamont Hill, a former CNN commentator who was fired for defending Palestinian terrorism and calling for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” which means the destruction of the state of Israel.
“This US entry ban against me, which is ideologically and politically motivated, is part of Israel’s escalating repression against Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders in the BDS movement,” Barghouti said in a statement. He called for an end to what he calls “US complicity in Israel’s crimes against our people.”
The BDS crusade against Israel has been coming under fire recently in the United States. So far, 27 states have passed laws that penalize companies or individuals who support BDS or any boycott against Israel, and more are looking into doing the same.
Israelis are also taking action to limit access to BDS activists by restricting entry to the Jewish state. Israel published a list in January this year of 20 US-based organizations that support BDS, and banned their leaders from entering the country.
BDS is a global campaign promoting an international boycott against Israel until all Jews leave the biblical heartlands of Judea and Samaria and allow so-called Palestinian “refugees” to return to Tel-Aviv, Haifa and other parts of Israel from which they fled when five Arab nations attacked after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Supporters of BDS compare their crusade to the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa and consistently define Israel as an apartheid state.