Omar Barghouti: The non-Israel-boycotting Israel boycotter.

A foul stench of hypocrisy hung in the air last night as Omar Barghouti spoke about his new book BDS: Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights at the London Review Bookshop.

Barghouti unashamedly studies in Tel Aviv. He consumes Israeli goods en masse and says he would take Israeli live-saving medicine should he ever require it.

“I have no choice. I don’t know what you think about Arabs but we are not suicidal,” was his answer to my question on that last point. He was being slightly disingenuous as my question was not about Arabs, but him specifically.

That said, there are more than just a few Arabs who are suicidal and who think nothing of taking the lives of the innocent with them in the act, but when have you heard any condemnation of this from the so-called protectors of human rights within the BDS movement?

I couldn’t understand why, out of choice, Barghouti studies in a country that he so despises. He also studied in America, the one country he blames for its rock solid support of Israel. But he argued that he has the right to be in Israel because he is a refugee and has the right to return there. He was born in Qatar and spent his first eleven years in Egypt.

On the question of consuming Israeli goods, once again, he argued he has no choice as he lives in Israel.

He claimed that he couldn’t find anyone to debate him about the ethics of a boycott “so we are debating with ourselves”. But, he said, he had set out all the questions and answers about boycotting Israel in his book.

But it was only recently that Prof. Daniel Hochhauser destroyed Dr. John Chalcraft’s arguments on this exact same topic at the London (or is that Libyan?) School of Economics.

There are many more people who can also demolish Barghouti’s arguments and show up the BDS movement for the purely anti-Semitic movement that it is.

There I go playing the anti-Semitism card, which is exactly what Barghouti told the audience that Israel’s supporters do, but he implored them to be brave and to continue making the case for boycotts despite such allegations.

But if a movement does not propose a boycott of America, Britain, China, Russia and Turkey etc. for the occupations that they are all embroiled in then I really don’t know how a movement can consider itself to be anything other than anti-Semitic. Perhaps Barghouti addresses this point in his book.

So Barghouti consumes Israeli products but travels the world encouraging audiences to boycott those same products, and more, until the BDS movement achieves its three main objectives:

1. Ending the occupation and dismantling the wall.
2. Giving the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel complete equality.
3. Respecting the rights of the Palestinians to return under UN Res. 194.

Like Chalcraft he claimed that the boycott only targets institutions, not individuals although, as Hochhauser, pointed out individuals belong to institutions and so people are, in effect, being targeted individually.

He described settlement products as “contraband”, which should be seized on entry to the UK, and claimed that the BDS movement had achieved “success beyond our dreams”.

The call, he said, was issued in July 2005 but the movement has so far achieved more than the anti-apartheid movement did in 20 years and now included a boycott by the Trades Union Congress that covers some seven million workers and a cultural boycott by the likes of Meg Ryan, Roger Waters and The Pixies etc.

Even if his claims were true, surely the boycott movement would be even more successful if he was also boycotting Israel.

Barghouti would, no doubt, argue that he is effecting change from within Israel. He is part of “Boycott From Within”, but claimed repression is on the rise against Israeli citizens who support BDS, although, apparently, the Foreign Ministry recognises that Israel “will lose its last veneer of democracy in the West” should this continues.

He cited Ilan Baruch who resigned from foreign service claiming that Israel needs to study “the South African experience”. Baruch had, however, recently been turned down for the post of ambassador to Egypt.

Barghouti claimed that mainstream Israeli officials, and even Mossad, now think Israel is “a pariah”.

The main problem for BDS is that, as Barghouti stated, Israel’s economy is “triple A rated” and so the movement must go for strategic victories like those against Veolia, which is responsible for building transport links in Israel. He claimed Veolia had been trying to sell its share in the Jerusalem light railway project, but that there were no buyers.

But he did reveal doubts over the so-called Palestinian right of return. He questioned “whether it is feasible or not”, despite this being one of the three main objectives of the BDS movement!

In summary, Barghouti is taking the very best that Israel has to offer and is allowed to publicly air his criticisms while, hypocritically, denouncing Israel as being undemocratic and an apartheid state.

Israel feeds him, educates him, houses him, clothes him and looks after him medically, all while he attempts to destroy it from within.

(I wasn’t allowed to take photos, although other audience members were, but here’s the audio: Omar Barghouti talk and Q&A (Chaired by Victoria Brittain).)

For some great “Israel Apartheid Week” posters see elderofziyon

18 responses to “Omar Barghouti: The non-Israel-boycotting Israel boycotter.

  1. Richard
    perfect as always but why that picture taking prohibition

    – were they singling you out expressively or was there a general ban and you, based on previous experience, (wisely) didn’t dare to disobey?

    • richardmillett

      There was no general announcement but i politely asked Brittain at the beginning if i could and she said i couldn’t, although when others starting taking photos from the audience she didn’t object. She just about took my questions. I had my arm up for the whole Q&A and it was only when i politely objected that i had not been called did she allow me to speak. I had an inkling, although i might be becoming paranoid now, that she had been forewarned.

      • Hardly paranoid.
        You mix with what they regard as undesirable elements (i.e. Jews, excluded even from the census), of course you are singled out.

  2. Since this poster I made yesterday is so appropriate to this topic…

  3. Daniel Marks

    Incredible posters Elder of Zion, more power to you! I hope that you are getting finance to print them.

    You might mention in one that the judge who found former Israeli president guilty, George Kara is an Israeli Arab too.

    • Elder has a full series of these, one better than the other and I think the judge was the first to get honoured thus

      click and enjoy!

      btw the video the IDF has up to celebrate women’s day has such a variety of “ethnicities” in it that that by itself gives a total new meaning to “apartheid” and a blog called Treppenwitz has a wonderful post on the subject, perfect for outsiders like myself at least. The IDF also has a series up of women in the IDF on its flickr page which makes an old gal’s heart jump with delight that all that moaning and complaining has produced positive results at least at one place on earth.

      and if Richard’s blog would allow multiple links I would have inserted them all 😉

  4. there is a fine photograph here concerning barghouti’s hypocrisy

  5. I have to wonder who is more hypocritical Barghouti or the institutions that invite him? Who pays?

  6. The award of a PhD. is not automatic. Many candidates fail. I have to wonder what sort of a student is he? If he doesn’t get it wait for the screams of discrimination and Apartheid

  7. Omar Barghouti is no friend of Israel or Jews. However, the uncomfortable fact is that he (or more likely his mass murderer cousin Marwan, currently and deservedly in prison) is the only person who could lead all the Arabs of the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria to the peace table and ensure that physical attacks against the citizens of Israel end for good. They are the only potential Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness of the Arabs.

    • Don’t think so. The moment either of them even hinted at such a thing, the anti-coexistence crowd would move on to the next terrorist-in-chief.

    • Sharon Klaff

      Gaza will soon be empty anyway as the poor make their way across the now open border into Sinai. Who will be the hamas human shields once they have all left seeking their pots of gold in the emerging democracy of Egypt?

  8. Those Elders of Zion posters remind me of Theresienstadt concentration camp where the Nazis tried to pull the wool over the world’s eyes over their treatment of the Jews.

    No different.

  9. Daniel Marks

    I consider photographs of Jewish and Palestinian shoppers in the Rami Levi supermarket in Gush Etzion being compared to a Nazi concentration camp to be highly offensive.

    There are various forms of Holocaust denial. The “anti-Semites” deny that 6,000,000 Jews were truly killed by Hitler and his henchmen. The “anti-Zionists”, on the other hand, do not negate the historical fact of the Holocaust but seek to equate it to everything under the sun in order to trivialize it and make it appear as just another mundane event – a trip to the supermarket. The words “no different” say it all.

    Before anyone pleads that Wanda is not evil, just unbelievably ignorant, clearly knowing nothing about either the Holocaust or West Bank supermarkets, I’ll concede the point. I would, however, point out that such an obscene comparison has never been used, not by Fatah, not by the Hamas, not by anyone.

    Though I find her statement to be a desecration of the memory of 6,000,000 of my brothers and sister, men women, children and babies, I urge Richard to allow it to remain as a lesson for us all as to the depths of filth that an ignorant mind intoxicated by blind hatred can conceive. If anyone thinks that the last monster departed when Adolf Hitler shot himself or Eichmann was hanged, let him see what apologists they have in their service today, and let us pledge to each other and to ourselves once again, Never Again! .

    • richardmillett

      Thanks, Daniel. I wanted it to stand also to show that these people are still around and are the people you find at the anti-Israel meetings dotted around London.

    • EoZ has a post on Wanda’s brother or cousin in mind

      George Galloway priding himself on his knowledge of history.
      Ctrl-F for Professor Miao and enjoy the video of Galloway the cat he has linked to but keep a bucket within reach while you do.

    • I must admit that I had misread/misunderstood Wanda’s post. I took it to mean that those posters prove to what depths of mendacity and moral depravity Israel’s haters will stoop, claiming that it is an ‘Apartheid’ state when it is its neighbours, Saudia Arabia first and foremost but followed not far behind by several others, that are real racist Apartheid states.
      Clearly, that was not her intention.
      She is an evil creature.