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Editorial Article

Tel Aviv University – PhD candidate Omar Barghouti promotes the BDS against his own university in the US

Recently Omar Barghouti, a Columbia graduate in electrical engineering who is now pursuing a PhD at Tel Aviv University in Philosophy spoke at three occasions in northern California to promote boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, even his own university.
...
Barghouti declared Israel an apartheid state throughout the evening during his speech held at the Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. He saw nothing hypocritical about his own status as a subsidized graduate student in Israel, and instead likened himself to Nelson Mandela. The speaking engagements were sponsored by assorted groups affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement in order to raise funds for the Middle East Children's Alliance, an ISM group that launders most of the ISM's "tax deductible" donations on the US West Coast. Other sponsoring groups included the anti-Israel extremist group Jewish Voice for Peace, which is made up for the most part of Marxist Jews and Al Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, which calls for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state and an unconditional right of anyone pretending to be a "Palestinian" to "return" to Israel.
...
Barghouti began the lecture stating, "Israelis have been colonizing our lands since the Nakba in 1948." Throughout the lecture he acknowledged no Jewish history or any right to any part of the land of Israel by Jews.

He continued, making the accusation that Israel had altered history and "destroyed thousands of Palestinian books," and claimed that there are still thousands more such books hidden away in the library at Tel Aviv U. You know, the library where he is supposed to be writing his PhD. So if the books are in that library, we guess they were never destroyed. Hmmm.
...
 He then falsely described conditions in Gaza as the "most subhuman" in the world. He failed to mention the Jacuzzis and designer stores in the malls. He recounted an unverified tale of an elderly Palestinian woman "shot while walking along" there for no reason at all and accused Israel again of "ethnic cleansing."
...
Barghouti tried to lecture as an academic, but the problem was he kept lying through his teeth. Besides false claims about apartheid in Israel (Barghouti himself is proof this is untrue), he then went on to claim falsely that 93% of the land in the West Bank is off limits to non-Jews and said Israel has communities where only Jews can live. Actually Israel is full of communities where Jews cannot live, only Arabs. Meanwhile, Barghouti had no criticism of the law in the Palestinian Authority that metes out a death sentence, even retroactively, if someone sells his land to a Jew. Barghouti also repeated the oft-used canard of "Jewish only roads" in the West Bank.

 

 

Tel Aviv University's Academic Standards on Display: PhD candidate Omar Barghouti Does the Jihad Tour

By Lee Kaplan, www.Isracampus.org.il
24/1/2012

Recently Omar Barghouti, a Columbia graduate in electrical engineering who is now pursuing a PhD at Tel Aviv University in Philosophy spoke at three occasions in northern California to promote boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, even his own university. Few people know that Barghouti, who founded the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which attacks Israel's academics abroad and Israeli universities at home, an extension of the Arab League Boycott, is in fact not a "Palestinian" or Israeli-Arab. He was born in Qatar and grew up in Kuwait. His home countries are technically still at war with Israel. Barghouti's fellow TAU students and other academics organized a petition asking the University to expel him for his anti-Israel political activities, but TAU's administration has refused to do so.

Barghouti declared Israel an apartheid state throughout the evening during his speech held at the Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. He saw nothing hypocritical about his own status as a subsidized graduate student in Israel, and instead likened himself to Nelson Mandela. The speaking engagements were sponsored by assorted groups affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement in order to raise funds for the Middle East Children's Alliance, an ISM group that launders most of the ISM's "tax deductible" donations on the US West Coast. Other sponsoring groups included the anti-Israel extremist group Jewish Voice for Peace, which is made up for the most part of Marxist Jews and Al Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, which calls for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state and an unconditional right of anyone pretending to be a "Palestinian" to "return" to Israel.

There were about 300 people in attendance at the Oakland event, most aging 60s fossils. Flyers and the announcement at the start of the evening, one made by Barghouti himself, said his speech would not be about Israel but about the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland movements in the United States. After making one brief allusion to the OWS movement in the US and claiming economic exploitation and denial of human rights was "worse in the United States even than in Israel," he declared Israel as part of the "one per cent" that is economically exploiting the other "ninety-nine per cent" of humanity. It reminded me of similar claims in Der Sturmer. Barghouti spent the next two hours attacking only Israel and claiming it is an apartheid state like South Africa was in the 1980's. He also criticized America's presence in Afghanistan. The audience ate it up, applauding loudly at several points during his lecture.

Barghouti began the lecture stating, "Israelis have been colonizing our lands since the Nakba in 1948." Throughout the lecture he acknowledged no Jewish history or any right to any part of the land of Israel by Jews.

He continued, making the accusation that Israel had altered history and "destroyed thousands of Palestinian books," and claimed that there are still thousands more such books hidden away in the library at Tel Aviv U. You know, the library where he is supposed to be writing his PhD. So if the books are in that library, we guess they were never destroyed. Hmmm.

Barghouti then accused Israel of "a worse massacre than anything done by European colonialism." Barghouti claimed Israel purposely suppresses Palestinian education during the Intifadas. "Israel shut down all Palestinian universities in the 1970's, and in 1994 shut down schools in the West Bank." Of course, Barghouti did not mention that those universities were actually built by the Israelis in the first place and were bases and organizing locations for terrorist groups murdering Israeli civilians in terrorist attacks. "In 1989, occupied Palestinians had to organize illegal classes in West Bank schools," he said, proclaiming this an example of human rights violations and racism.

Barghouti then made reference to the T-Shirt controversy when some IDF sniper units had T-shirts made that said "One Shot, Two Kills," that allegedly showed a pregnant Arab woman in a rifle view scope. The soldiers involved in that were disciplined by the IDF, although we think they were simply exercising freedom of speech. Arab media, even children's programs, routinely call for murdering Jews, but this got no mention. Barghouti suggested IDF soldiers in T-shirts promote the idea of raping Palestinian women (which Israeli soldiers never do) and called these examples as "part of the radicalization program the entire country is undergoing" by Israel against the Arab population. He then falsely described conditions in Gaza as the "most subhuman" in the world. He failed to mention the Jacuzzis and designer stores in the malls. He recounted an unverified tale of an elderly Palestinian woman "shot while walking along" there for no reason at all and accused Israel again of "ethnic cleansing."

"In 2005, " he said, "we saw that we must call for boycott and sanctions as part of a popular struggle to help shoulder the enormous responsibility in the oppression of the oppressed." He explained the meaning of BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions), and called for… "an end to the 1967 Occupation, ending Israel's apartheid." He vowed, "Israel must recognize the right of refugees to return." He conveniently left out the creation of the Palestinian Authority, the Oslo "Peace Process" and voiced the goals of Hamas that Israel must be flooded with as many Arabs as possible to overrun the Jewish population.

Barghouti tried to lecture as an academic, but the problem was he kept lying through his teeth. Besides false claims about apartheid in Israel (Barghouti himself is proof this is untrue), he then went on to claim falsely that 93% of the land in the West Bank is off limits to non-Jews and said Israel has communities where only Jews can live. Actually Israel is full of communities where Jews cannot live, only Arabs. Meanwhile, Barghouti had no criticism of the law in the Palestinian Authority that metes out a death sentence, even retroactively, if someone sells his land to a Jew. Barghouti also repeated the oft-used canard of "Jewish only roads" in the West Bank.

Barghouti trotted out every anti-Israel canard he could. He accused Israel of a "massacre" in Jenin in 2002 when even the United Nations said there was no massacre. In that "massacre" 20 Arabs were killed in the crossfire of a battle started by the terrorists. Moving on to the Gaza flotilla boats that he dubbed "The Freedom Flotilla," he claimed Israel had conducted a "massacre" of civilians, those civilians who attempted to murder Israeli soldiers. Barghouti proudly claimed that local Bay Area anti-Israel activists had succeeded in getting dockworkers to refuse to unload an Israeli ship in Oakland last year. The truth was that the day a strike was called was the wrong day for the arrival of the ship involved, and later the ship did land and unload. He gleefully mentioned successes in Sweden, South Africa and even India where dockworkers had refused to unload Israeli goods for 24 hours. This was met with thunderous applause by his audience made up mostly of Jewish-Marxist "anti-Zionists".

Barghouti discussed the Arab Spring, particularly in Egypt, which he called "BDS multiplied" and which he said should encourage "no normalization with Israel." He then began discussing the 1 per cent vs. the 99 per cent theme of the Occupy Wall Street people (that is, their claim that 1% control all wealth for the other 99% of world population who are "oppressed".) Making the Jews the owners of wealth is a canard right out of the Middle Ages.

He continued, "Suddenly it makes sense to see Israel was fully involved in the 1% agenda that included the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." (Barghouti conveniently ignored the profit mongering by OPEC and the overstuffed Saudis who actually fund his BDS movement even today and that the war in Afghanistan followed as a result of the 9/11 attacks on US soil.)

Barghouti explained, "It's the Israel lobby following American interests that serves the 1%." "The Department of Homeland Security, the Military, banks and US weapons manufacturers make war "on us because it's good business," he declared, "but is it good for the other 99%?" he asked.

"Imagine if the US spent the four billion dollars on the war in Afghanistan, what that would do to improve the roads," he moaned. It made me wonder what US roads would be like if we didn't spend the greater sum than that supporting the Palestinians who only cheer on US enemies to make war on America and Israel. Barghouti declared his boycott movement was primarily concerned with democracy and human justice, goals that would be possible "once our struggles emerge." He declared, "We must unite for freedom, equal rights, social economics and can no longer ignore the obligation to join hands in the struggle!" He then claimed to have researched international law, even though he is not a lawyer or even a law student, and said that the Palestinian people should have the right to vote for national self-determination but that the Jews in Israel have no such voting rights. "I've researched this and international law says occupiers have no right to vote for self-determination." 63% of Israel's Jews were born in Israel. When I asked him why they had no right to vote for self-determination and would have to live under Arab rule, Barghouti merely repeated that he researched international law and occupiers (all the Jews in Israel) have no voting rights at all about how they should live or be governed.

Barghouti also maintained that Christians were being persecuted in the Holy Land by Israel, not by the Muslim Palestinians (who have driven most Christians out of Bethlehem) and that many Christians were on the same side as him. "After all," he told the audience, "Jesus was a Palestinian." Again, the audience of mostly Jewish radicals cheered him on and offered no criticism.

The geriatric Marxist Jews from Jewish Voice for Peace gave him cheers and ovations on his legal claims, too. The hosts continued to repeat the Big Lie that Barghouti was a "human rights activist."

Barghouti claimed his movement was in line with his "heroes" like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi (Martin Luther King stated that anti-Zionism as Barghouti promoted all night was merely disguised anti-Semitism and Gandhi promoted non-violence).

Barghouti concluded his speech calling for "freedom and a dignified life" for people to not live "under savage apartheid" and declared it a "moral obligation" and urged those attending to "rebound from their former savaged society of your colony to find it livable again." Referring to the Occupation Wall Street movement he repeated our "oppression is intertwined" concluding, "After Egypt it is our time to reassert our common humanity. I wish you Egypt!"

The rest of the evening consisted of members of the audience demonstrating what they were doing to promote BDS against Israel. Some sang in front of a large American chain retailer in front of shoppers to "end apartheid" by bankrupting the Soda Stream company and Ahava products. Barghouti took the stand again and boasted how the BDS campaign had managed to cost the Veolia Company over a half billion dollars.

Then Barghouti threw out this whopper: "Israel does not consider itself a nation", he said. He based his statement on the Supreme Court finding that a single Israeli identity card was not required when current cards list religious and ethnic denominations. He declared this racist but had no criticism for calls by the Palestinians to demand a Palestinian state be Jew free or that there is a law on the books there meting out a death sentence for selling land to a Jew. He told the audience that Israel was responsible for the War in Iraq insisting that Israel knew that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction (all Western intelligence services on their own had the same information and not from Israel) and that now Israel is trying to get the US to attack Iran.

The final theme of the evening could be summed up as this by Barghouti: the only way to realize full equality for society is to boycott and financially harm the Jews.

A video recording of the event is available should anyone wish to see it. Anyone who would believe that the goal of the BDS movement is for peace or any kind of settlement needs to see the audience present that night that could only root for the destruction of Israel and its Jewish population, no matter how nonsensical it was.

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Op-Ed articles appearing on IsraCampus.Org.il are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinion of IsraCampus.Org.il