Omar Barghouti Compares Sanctions on Russia and Israel

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, discusses the aims of the BDS movement and compares its targeted sanctions against Israeli Occupation and apartheid with the indiscriminate U.S. sanctions being used against the Russian people and others around the globe. While the Russian invasion of Ukraine is immoral and illegal and should be sanctioned accordingly, Barghouti notes that U.S. sanctions against Russia apply to individuals who have nothing to do with the invasion, extending even to boycotts of long- dead Russians writers such as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. He contrasts the hatred and xenophobia of these boycotts with the BDS movement, which never targets Israelis for their identity or opinions, only for their complicity in Israeli violations of international law. As a matter of principle, BDS is against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, and stands in solidarity with other movements for justice around the world. Noting that all refugees deserve sympathy and support, Barghouti criticizes the hypocrisy and racism in the Western response to white Ukranian refugees as compared to refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa. He discusses the significance of the growing consensus among human rights groups that Israel is an apartheid country and his hopes that the BDS movement will engender change, especially in the United States, which supports Israel militarily and diplomatically and and shields it from any accountability for its ongoing oppression of Palestinians. Barghouti lives in Israel and is under constant pressure from the Israeli authorities, but says he will not be intimidated by threats to his work and even his life.


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