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Israel’s war on BDS faces backlash

Image of a BDS rally [McGill Daily/Flickr]
BDS rally [McGill Daily/Flickr]

Israel allocated three million shekels ($790,000) to setup an international network of lawyers and financial legal groups to combat the Boycott, Divestment of Sanctions movement last week.

Palestinian co-founder of BDS Omar Barghouti said that this proves how afraid Israel is of this peaceful movement.

Speaking to Al-Wattan Voice, Barghouti said that since the rise of the extreme right-wing in Israel in 2015, the Israeli government has considered BDS as a primary threat to its “colonial apartheid enterprise”.

“Israel is currently turning from the stage of self-defence in its battle with BDS to the stage of attack,” Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan has said, according to Al-Wattan Voice.

“The failure of the Israeli occupation government to slowdown the growth of the BDS pushed it to wage a desperate psychological battle in addition to its legal and intelligence one,” Barghouti said.

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“Israel has started to lose the general liberal current in the West because of its violent crackdown on BDS activists and enforcing laws that deter the freedom of speech,” he said.

He highlighted the case of the EU, which defended the right to boycott Israel and recognised that they are guaranteed as part of the right to freedom of expression.

“BDS is to escalate its activities among artists, economists, academics and athletes all over the world in order to increasingly isolate the Israeli colonial apartheid regime and the institutions and companies involved in crimes against the Palestinians,” Barghouti added.

Legal tools are also being used to defend BDS activists who are being spied on by Israel in violation of the laws of the countries in which they live, Barghouti said.

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