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Sep 17, 2016
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BDS Leader Omar Al-Barghouthi: Black Lives Matter Support Us because Freedom for Palestine Means Freedom for Blacks in the U.S.

#5703 | 05:27
Source: Mayadeen TV (Lebanon)

Speaking on Mayadeen TV, Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement, hailed the achievements of the movement, saying that the academic, cultural, and economic boycott of Israel had a great impact. He said that the BDS movement focuses on eliminating Israeli occupation and "apartheid" and on the right of the refugees to return to the homes from which they were expelled. Barghouti said that the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. had "recently incorporated BDS into their platform," and that "freedom for Palestine means freedom for blacks in the U.S." According to Barghouti, Hillary Clinton supported the fight against BDS because she was financed by "American-Israeli Zionist" Haim Saban. The interview aired on September 18, 2016.


Following are excerpts



Host: "The [BDS] movement 'espouses the simple principle that the Palestinians have the same rights as the rest of humanity.' 'The rest of humanity' - isn't that going a bit too far?"



Omar Al-Barghouthi: "Not at all. We do not have even our most basic rights. The BDS movement was launched because of the ongoing failure to protect the rights of the Palestinian people. Some of these rights were frittered away: The Right of Return is in danger, the right of our people to the 1948 lands is in danger, and even the right of our people to the 1967 lands. Some of these rights are ignored. The BDS movement was created in 2005, in order to focus on the elimination of the occupation, on the elimination of the system of racial segregation - the Israeli apartheid - and on the right of the refugees to return to the homes from which they were expelled."






"There are major differences between the West Bank, including Jerusalem, Gaza, and the 1948 lands, because of the different nature of the Israeli regime in each of these regions. In Gaza, which is completely under siege, there is great difficulty in boycotting some merchandise that has no substitute. Israel uses Gaza and the West Bank to dump its low-quality merchandise."






"Today, we see large academic associations in the US adopting a total academic boycott of Israeli universities. They completely reject any ties with Israeli universities. [The academic boycott of Israel] is spreading among academics. Thousands of academics in the West, in Australia, in South Africa, and in Brazil have signed petitions rejecting any ties with the Israeli government and universities. In addition, there is what we call a 'silent boycott,' when an academic or an artist boycotts [Israel] without declaring it, because they do not want to be exposed to danger from the Zionist lobbies in their countries. Tens of thousands silently boycott [Israel], without declaring it."






"We are no longer talking about isolating Israel and its racist regime only in the fields of academics and culture. We are now talking about the beginning of a real economic impact, to such an extent that in 2014, direct foreign investment in the Israeli economy dropped by almost 50%, compared to 2013. This is why Israel is beginning to treat the BDS movement as a 'strategic threat.'"






"Whereas Hillary Clinton considers fighting the BDS to be a priority, In the event that she becomes President, on the popular level, even within the Democratic party in the US, we are witnessing a great change among the progressives. Progressive Democrats are an important faction in the Democratic Party, and most of them have begun to support the rights of the Palestinian people more than they support Israel. Support for the boycott [of Israel] is growing tremendously, even among Jewish American youth. For example, according to an opinion poll, conducted by one of the Zionist lobbies in the US in 2014, 46% of the young Jewish Americans under the age of 40, support a total boycott of Israel. Just imagine - we are talking about the young Jewish Americans! So you can imagine the situation among the general population. The BDS movement is gaining ground in a big way in universities, among academics, artists, and trade unions. Some of the largest trade unions in the US have embraced the boycott. Some churches [in the US] have taken punitive steps against the Israeli regime, and against the companies that collude with it. Thus, under pressure from the lobby and from her main sponsor, Haim Saban, an American-Israeli Zionist, the biggest donor of Hillary Clinton's campaign, who considers fighting the BDS to be a priority... Thus, it has also become a priority for Hillary Clinton, who is financed by him."






"In the Arab world, the Palestinian issue is not considered an issue concerning the Palestinians alone. The Moroccans, Tunisians, Algerians, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, and Lebanese view the Palestinian issue and the struggle for Palestinian rights as part of their own struggle for freedom, justice, and rights, and against autocracy. It is part of their struggle. There is an effort to separate the issues, saying: 'Why should we fight for Palestine? We have serious problems in every Arab country.' Or, as some people began to say: 'C'mon, Palestine is all we needed...' Palestine is not detached from the struggle for freedom in the Arab countries. Take, for example, Black Lives Matter, a movement of African-Americans. They have recently incorporated BDS into their platform. This was a major victory for us. It is not only because of international solidarity with the Palestinian people that the Palestinian issue has become one of the most important issues worldwide, espoused by every progressive man and woman in the world. It is also because of their own principles. Freedom for Palestine means freedom for blacks in the US. Justice for Palestine means justice for blacks. Why? We are boycotting the G4S company, which is also involved in running private prisons in the US, which violate the rights of blacks and Latinos. Thus, there is a common struggle against these companies and this system. The ties between the American and Israeli governments harm the Americans, just as they harm the Palestinians and Arabs."





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