In gratitude and hope: A message from Omar Barghouti

Activism
on 19 Comments

Dear friends and colleagues,

Finally, I was allowed to access my email account after 12 days of being banned from doing so during the most intense phase of the ongoing interrogation I am subjected to by the Israeli authorities.

The BNC statement on this issue accurately sums up this latest chapter in the Israeli regime’s war on the BDS movement.

Due to a gag order, I am not allowed to delve into any facts about the case. I am thus denied the ability to even refute the vicious lies published by Israel’s regime against me. I am in no hurry to do so, though, as their main objective — attempting to tarnish my reputation and, by extension, hurting the BDS movement — has clearly failed.

Their campaign of repression has, to an extent, backfired. By preventing me from travelling to the US to receive the Gandhi Peace Award, jointly with Ralph Nader, Israel’s regime has inadvertently increased the publicity around this award.

Before anything else, I read the many moving messages of solidarity that many of you have sent, and this gave me even more strength and hope to resist the McCarthyite witch hunt against me. I deeply appreciate your letters and the sincere sentiments of support that they convey. I am so grateful to everyone who wrote an article and every organization that issued a petition in this respect.

Nothing empowers human rights defenders facing political persecution like the warm feeling that there is a whole community of activists and people of conscience standing with them and carrying on the struggle no matter what.

For more than a year now my colleagues in the BDS movement and I have been warning about the “tarnishing unit” established by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs as a key organ in fighting BDS. As I have personally written and argued many times, this devious unit’s key function is summed up in “digging up dirt” against human rights defenders and networks associated with the BDS movement and if no dirt is found in fabricating it.

McCarthy would be proud of his loyal heirs in Israel’s regime of oppression and repression.

Many of you have asked how best you can support me to face this latest persecution. My answer is, without hesitation … more BDS!

We need to expand, mainstream and build on our many inspiring BDS campaigns, academic, cultural and economic, as the most effective way to respond to the new McCarthyism designed by Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid and exported to states where its lobby groups enjoy massive influence.

Further growing our movement for freedom, justice and equality is the answer.

Highlighting and popularizing the recent, unprecedented verdict by a UN body that Israel is guilty of apartheid — the second most serious crime against humanity in international law — is the answer.

Countering their racism, hate, “black lists” and ugly colonial repression with our inclusiveness, categorical rejection of all forms of racism, and our boundless passion for freedom and justice is the answer.

Further strengthening our principled intersectional alliances with movements for indigenous, racial, economic, social, gender, climate and other forms of justice is our loudest response to their xenophobic, far-right, fascist-leaning agenda and their draconian laws.

As they desperately attempt to sow fear and despair, to chill our free speech, to tarnish our records, and to bully us into silence, we nourish our well-founded hope with generous doses of effective, strategic, morally-consistent campaigns for justice and equality and insist on our right to freely express ourselves and to defend our rights.

As humans, we need permission from no one to pursue our inherent rights. As human rights defenders, no degree of intimidation and bullying can deter us in our passionate, nonviolent resistance to injustice, inequality and colonial slavery.

Alone, we fail. Together, we prevail.

The latest savage, even irrational, attacks on our movement indicate, more than anything else, that we are indeed prevailing.

In gratitude and hope,

Omar

About Omar Barghouti

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19 Responses

  1. Tom Suarez
    April 3, 2017, 1:37 pm

    Thank you, Omar — We all stand with you in solidarity.

  2. JLewisDickerson
    April 4, 2017, 1:17 am

    RE: McCarthy would be proud of his loyal heirs in Israel’s regime of oppression and repression.” ~ Barghouti

    MY COMMENT: Not to mention how proud McCarthy’s right-hand man, Roy Cohn would also be of Israel’s McCarthyite tactics. And, since Roy Cohn went on to become Donald Trump’s mentor, he would no doubt also be very proud of his handiwork in fashioning our 45th President!

    ● What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man – https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/us/politics/donald-trump-roy-cohn.html?_r=0

    ● A mentor in shamelessness: the man who taught Trump the power of publicity – https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/20/roy-cohn-donald-trump-joseph-mccarthy-rosenberg-trial

    ● Donald Trump Reads, Once Again, From Roy Cohn’s McCarthyite Playbook – http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/05/donald-trump-reads-once-again-from-roy-cohn-s-mccarthyite-playbook.html
    ■ WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE!

    • JLewisDickerson
      April 4, 2017, 1:39 am

      P.S. ● The devil in Donald: How the ghost of ‘evil’ Roy Cohn lives on inside Trump – http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/arthur-browne-devil-donald-trump-article-1.2813483

    • Keith
      April 4, 2017, 10:41 am

      JLEWISDICKERSON- “Donald Trump Reads, Once Again, From Roy Cohn’s McCarthyite Playbook”

      Indeed, McCarthyism has reared its ugly head, however, the Democrats are the main instigators! Yes, yes, let us have a few Russophobic Congressional investigations of Putin hacking our election! And of anyone within 100 yards of Trump actually meeting with a Russian! Good lord, JL, simple intellectual integrity requires some acknowledgement of actual current reality.

      • Mooser
        April 4, 2017, 1:42 pm

        “And of anyone within 100 yards of Trump actually meeting with a Russian!”

        Like they did anything but eat sturgeon on black bread and caviar, and sing “Samovar Over the Rainbow.”

      • Keith
        April 4, 2017, 7:16 pm

        MOOSER- “Like they did anything but eat sturgeon on black bread and caviar, and sing “Samovar Over the Rainbow.”

        Since you are clearly into the new McCarthyism, you might enjoy a trip down memory lane and Joe McCarthy in Camelot.

        “Joseph Kennedy had befriended McCarthy because he found him to be a likable fellow Irish-Catholic who had all the right ideas on the domestic communist menace. These warm feelings were quickly transferred to the entire Kennedy family. JFK liked the fact that McCarthy went after the “elites” in the State Department whom JFK regarded with contempt. (13) Even before McCarthy made accusations against the State Department of subversion, JFK had already aligned himself with the militant anti-communists who blamed the Truman State Department for the “loss” of China. So JFK declared on the House floor in January 1949.”
        ….
        The ties with Bobby were forged when he gave RFK a job as minority counsel to his Senate committee investigating domestic communism. Though RFK would later have an intense falling out with McCarthy’s other counsel Roy Cohn, the younger Kennedy brother would maintain a deep loyalty to a man he loved enough to make the godfather of his first child.”
        (John McAdams) http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/progjfk2.htm

      • Mooser
        April 5, 2017, 11:30 am

        Keith, do you really want to bring up Roy Cohn when talking about Trump??

      • Mooser
        April 5, 2017, 1:56 pm
      • eljay
        April 5, 2017, 2:09 pm

        || Mooser: Bannon gone. ||

        He’s drifting out to sea
        He always loved to swim away
        Maybe he’ll find an island with a shady tree
        Just like the one in Trump’s back yard

        (with apologies to Henry Gross)

      • Keith
        April 5, 2017, 5:46 pm

        MOOSER- “Keith, do you really want to bring up Roy Cohn when talking about Trump??”

        JLDickerson brought up Roy Cohn, not me. And he did it to infer a new McCarthyism as a consequence of Trump. I merely provided some balance by pointing out the Kennedy’s apparent infatuation with the McCarthy, at least at the beginning. And it all relates back to the same thing. Democratic loyalists failure to hold the Democratic leadership (Kennedys, Clintons, Obama, etc) accountable for their actions. Trump is trodding a well-worn path. Pretending that the Democrats are more-or-less blameless for the current sorry state of affairs suggests an irrational loyalty to those who have made a career out of screwing the Democratic voter base. Of course, they take good care of their real constituency, the fat-cat campaign contributors. And jumping on the new anti-Russian, cold war bandwagon is pure insanity. I lay this squarely at the feet of the Democrats, not Trump. And this is exacerbating a very serious existential threat to human survival, not something to joke about.

      • Mooser
        April 5, 2017, 6:22 pm

        “JLDickerson brought up Roy Cohn, not me.”

        And, no doubt, had a perfectly good reason for doing so.

      • JLewisDickerson
        April 7, 2017, 4:18 pm

        RE: “Indeed, McCarthyism has reared its ugly head, however, the Democrats are the main instigators! Yes, yes, let us have a few Russophobic Congressional investigations of Putin hacking our election! And of anyone within 100 yards of Trump actually meeting with a Russian! Good lord, JL, simple intellectual integrity requires some acknowledgement of actual current reality.” ~ Keith (from above)

        MY REPLY: I pretty much agree. One thing I have not criticised Trump for is The Great Trump-Putin Conspiracy of 2016 or, How “The Donald” Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Big, Bad Russian Bear. The evidence for all of the stuff the (Clinton) Democrats are pushing seems quite dodgy to me.

      • Mooser
        April 7, 2017, 4:55 pm

        Putin can’t get too mad. The 59 Tomahawks proved relatively ineffective, and the airfield is back at work. Russia was warned, too, which was nice.

      • Keith
        April 7, 2017, 6:38 pm

        MOOSER- “Russia was warned, too, which was nice.”

        Don’t the Israelis give the Palestinians in Gaza a few minutes warning before they bomb the you-know-what out of them? Yet another example of our shared values! Must be all of those Kahanists that made aliyah from New York.

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2017, 12:03 pm

        Ah well, Russians out, and Goldman-Sax back in.

        Bye-bye alt-right, and Moscow, hello Wall Street, and “New York Democrats”

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2017, 1:32 pm

        Of course! Trump, you know how he is. But I think he is finally making his ‘pivot’.

      • Keith
        April 8, 2017, 6:54 pm

        MOOSER- “Ah well, Russians out, and Goldman-Sax back in.”

        Goldman-Sax? Can’t keep your mind off a certain saxophone player, can you?

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2017, 8:47 pm

        “Can’t keep your mind off a certain saxophone player, can you?”

        Stan Getz, probably. Yup, I just decided it was Sax instead of Sachs. Knew I was wrong as I typed. Listen, about a week ago I forgot my PIN number. A card I’ve been using for years! I’m going soft, I tell ya’. The old grey matter ain’t what it used to be, ain’t what it used to be, ain’t what it used to be. The old grey matter ain’t what it used to be, many years ago. And I’m starting to repeat myself, too. Here a noble mind is thrown up.

  3. talknic
    April 4, 2017, 3:55 am

    Bravo.

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