Ramallah (QNN) – Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement for Palestinian rights, has said a US ban on his entry into the United States was ideologically and politically motivated.
Barghouti was told by Israeli border control at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday that he has been denied exit to the United States despite having valid travel documents. He was getting ready to travel to the US on a speaking tour and to attend his daughter’s wedding.
“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 for freedom, justice and equality,” he said in a statement.
“Israel is not merely continuing its decades-old system of military occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing; it is increasingly outsourcing its outrageous, McCarthyite repression to the US and to xenophobic, far-right cohorts across the world.”
Barghouti accused supporters of what he described as Israeli apartheid in the US of being “desperately trying to deny US lawmakers, media, diverse audiences … of their right to listen, first-hand, to a Palestinian human rights advocate calling for ending US complicity in Israel’s crimes against our people.”
The ban also denied the BDS co-founder the right to attend his daughter’s wedding.
“One thing that this ban deprives me of and that I cannot compensate is the right to be at my US-based daughter’s wedding. I am hurt, but I am not deterred,” he said.
Israeli had previously restricted Barghouti’s travel due to his role in BDS by not renewing his travel document. However, following an Amnesty International intervention and call on Israel to end its travel ban on Barghouti, he was issued an Israeli travel document.
BDS was established “to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.”