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Israel government urged to revoke residency of BDS co-founder

April 29, 2019 at 11:29 am

The Israeli government has been urged by right-wing activists to revoke the residency of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.

The call comes shortly after Barghouti was refused entry into the United States.

According to the Jerusalem Post, right-wing organisation Betzalmo has written to Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and Interior Minister Arye Deri, urging officials to expel Barghouti.

The letter, noting the US’ denial of entry, asked why the Israeli government has not acted to strip Barghouti of his residency rights.

“A recent law authorizes the Interior Minister, with the approval of the attorney-general, to revoke residency for anyone who harms state security or violates allegiance to the state, or endangers public peace,” the group stated.

“Undoubtedly Barghouti’s leadership of the boycott movement against all citizens of the State of Israel severely harms the State of Israel and is a blatant breach of allegiance, as well as a threat to Israel’s security and defense by pushing for an arms embargo against Israel.”

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Shai Glick, the head of Betzalmo, claimed that “the State of Israel is a democratic and liberal state, but it must, in the name of democracy and liberalism, defend itself and its citizens.”

“We are certain that the Interior Minister and the Attorney General will act with determination and immediately revoke Mr. Barghouti’s residency so he will be able to disseminate his toxic teaching only outside Israel,” he added.

Writing in the Guardian earlier this month, Barghouti explained how, “as a co-founder of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights, I have been smeared by the Israeli government and banned from travel repeatedly, including in 2018 when I was prevented from going to Jordan to accompany my late mother during cancer surgery.”

“Israel’s intelligence minister threatened me with “targeted civil elimination”, drawing condemnation from Amnesty International. Their de facto and “arbitrary travel ban” against me was recently lifted for three months after Amnesty International’s pressure”, he added.