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  • Co-founder of BDS movement Omar Barghouti was denied entry in the U.S. last week.

    Co-founder of BDS movement Omar Barghouti was denied entry in the U.S. last week. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 April 2019

BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti said that the U.S. is doing Israel's bidding by not letting him enter the country. 

“With this denial of entry, Israel appears to have once again enlisted the Trump administration to do its bidding, this time to repress Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders,” Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement wrote after he was denied entry in the United States last week.

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Organized by the Arab American Institute (AAI), Barghouti was scheduled to visit different universities in the U.S. last week “to address the critical need for cutting U.S. complicity in Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian rights.”

He was also supposed to attend his daughter’s wedding.

However, Barghouti was denied entry into the U.S. April 10 when airline staff at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel informed him that he wasn't allowed to board his plane to New York. The Palestinian rights activist kept his commitments and gave talks via video calls, but missing his daughter’s wedding pained him the most.

“I cannot possibly compensate the personal loss of missing my daughter’s wedding. I am hurt, but I am far from deterred,” Barghouti wrote.

The activist then went on to explain how the U.S. President Donald Trump administration has been doing Israel’s bidding, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israel's claim that it has territorial rights over the Golan Heights

In an interview Barghout says Trump's own pro-Israel policies have “emboldened Israel’s hardline rightwing government to accelerate its racist, oppressive policies towards the Palestinian people. Over the last year, Israeli soldiers have massacred hundreds and injured thousands of unarmed Palestinian protesters demanding refugee rights and freedom from the open-air prison that Israel has turned Gaza into,” Barghouti explained.

However, “as the impact of BDS rises, Israel’s popularity is declining worldwide,” the activist said.

A joint petition by AAI and the Jewish-American campaign group, Jewish Voice for Peace, has been circulated, demanding an end to Bourghati's travel ban.

The U.S. decision to ban the activist goes in line with growing anti-Palestine policies where 27 states have already introduced anti-BDS laws.

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