Photo Credit: Gavin Sullivan / Wikipedia
Omar Barghouti

In advance of a pro-BDS conference that was held on Friday in Nazareth, MK Nava Boker (Likud) called on the Interior Minister to revoke the permanent residence of Omar Barghouti, the founding member of the BDS movement who was the keynote speaker at the conference.

According to author and journalist Naomi Ragen, Barghouti is not “Palestinian”, having been born in Qatar and grown up in Egypt. He says he’s “Palestinian” because of his parents who supposedly fled their village in Judea and Samaria and today live in Jordan. He arrived in “Palestine” for the first time in 1993, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and his Israeli-Arab wife. He claims to be a Ph.D candidate in philosophy (ethics, actually) at Tel Aviv University. Yes, the occupation is hell.

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Despite the fact that Israeli academia has accepted him with open arms, Barghouti became a leading proponent of an academic boycott against Israel, as he told a conference at London University entitled Resisting Israeli Apartheid: “The most urgent type of support the international community can provide to the Palestinian academy is to adopt various forms of boycott against Israel’s academic institutions. … Those who imagine they can wish away the conflict by suggesting some forums for rapprochement, détente, or ‘dialogue’ — which they hope can lead to authentic processes of reconciliation and eventually peace — are either clinically delusional or dangerously deceptive.”

After Barghouti published an opinion piece supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in the New York Daily News in 2013, the newspaper responded with an editorial saying that Barghouti is “skilled as a propagandist” and “piles falsehood upon falsehood to present Israel as relentlessly oppressing the Palestinians in violation of human decency, and to hold Israel exclusively responsible for the ills afflicting them.” The Daily News suggested that Barghouti wants a “secular, democratic state built on an influx of Arabs who come to dominate the population and vote an end to Israel as a Jewish nation. That, ultimately, is the nefarious truth behind his libels.”

Barghouti has an Israeli residency, by virtue of being married to an Israeli. MK Boker has urged Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, based on Barghouti’s relentless anti-Israeli activity, to “use your authority according to the Entry into Israel Law to revoke the permanent residence of Mr. Barghouti.”

Alon Schwarzer, CEO of the rightwing Im Tirtzu movement, also joined the demand, saying, “While the planted Israeli organizations are providing him with the raw material, Dr. Barghouti is the conceptual and executive arm of the crusade to destroy the State of Israel and to boycott it. The State of Israel must behave like a sovereign state, as do all the Western democracies, and not allow someone seeking its destruction to enter its territory and preach against it here as well.”

The Interior Minister’s office issued a statement saying the Minister “will consult with his professional staff and Consider the allegations seriously.”

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