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Anti-Israel BDS Founder Blames Israel for Being Denied Entry into the US

04-17-2019

Omar Barghouti, the founder of the worldwide Boycotts, Sanctions, and Divestments movement against Israel, is outraged that he was barred from entering the United States last Wednesday.

Barghouti wrote in an editorial piece for The Guardian that he was traveling to the US to promote the BDS movement and attend his daughter's wedding but Israeli officials stopped him from boarding his flight.

"I was abruptly stopped and prevented from boarding my flight at Ben Gurion airport. The US consulate informed the airline staff that US immigration has banned me from entering the country, despite having a valid visa, without providing a reason," he wrote.

Barghouti speculates that he was banned because Israel is "outsourcing its anti-Democratic tactics to the US."

"Given my regular, unhindered travel to the US for years, this ban seems to be an ideologically and politically motivated measure that fits in with Israel's escalating repression against human rights defenders," he claimed.

A State Department official refused to discuss the details of Barghouti's visa.

"Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases," the official told NPR.

Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs said it was not connected to the matter and had no knowledge of the US' decision to bar Barghouti.

Barghouti then blasted US President Donald Trump for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. He also criticized Congress for passing laws that allow states to boycott businesses that embrace the BDS movement against Israel.

"All of this has emboldened Israel's hardline rightwing government to accelerate its racist, oppressive policies towards the Palestinian people," he argued.

This is not the first time the BDS leader has had trouble leaving Israel.

According to The Times of Israel, Israel has prohibited Barghouti from leaving the Jewish States multiple times in recent years by refusing to renew his travel documents. 

In February, Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy released a report alleging that members of the BDS movement are linked to terrorists.

The report entitled, "Terrorists in Suits: The Ties Between NGOs Promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations" names 13 NGO's that support the BDS movement.

Out of the 13 NGOs examined, the report identifies more than 100 connections between BDS organizations and terrorists. Those connections include joint campaigns, funding, and even manpower.

Barghouti openly supports Palestinians' "armed resistance" against Israelis.

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