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  • Omar Barghouti listens during an interview with the Associated Press in the West Bank city of Ramallah

    Omar Barghouti listens during an interview with the Associated Press in the West Bank city of Ramallah | Photo: AP

Published 28 April 2019

“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. A determined struggle against the boycott constitutes true defense of the citizens of the State of Israel."

The Israeli human rights group, Betzalmo, has called on Israel's Attorney General and Minister of Interior to cancel BDS-founder Omar Al-Barghouti's residency status, Arutz Sheva reported Sunday.

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According to a letter that was dated for April 24, 2019, the Israeli NGO argued how it was possible that Barghouthi could be denied entry into the United States, but not in Israel, which is the country he is calling on the world to boycott. 

"A recent law authorizes the Minister of the Interior, 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," Betzalmo 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."

The Israeli NGO said "in addition, the BDS movement collaborates with terrorist organizations, so there is undoubtedly an indirect link between Mr. Barghouti and terrorist organizations."

Betzalmo CEO Shai Glick also released a statement in which he corroborated the claims in the letter that was dated for April 24.

“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. A determined struggle against the boycott constitutes true defense of the citizens of the State of Israel." Glick said. "We cannot demand from our allies in the world to prevent the entry of a boycott activist and to prevent conferences of boycott organizations, while allowing those leading BDS activists residency in Israel, giving them State benefits and a platform. 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.”

Barghouti was previously denied entry in to the United States, despite having the necessary documentation to enter the country.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is a global campaign that has called for the economic boycott of Israel until it meets its "obligations under international law."

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