Speaking in Washington, D.C., Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement said that Israel was a "supremacist order," and called for the right of return for Palestinians. "We are the indigenous people of the land. We were ethnically cleansed," said Barghouti. Responding to a comment by a member of the audience, who said that if enough Palestinians returned, it would put an end to the State of Israel as a Jewish state, Barghouti said sarcastically: "Ending a supremacist order - that is bad because...?"
Omar Barghouti: "Anyone who dehumanizes Jews by making them super-humans or sub-humans is making a racist statement, and we should not accept that. A movement for Palestinian human rights cannot be racist against anyone else, cannot be interpreted as (calling) for the destruction of anything else, except injustice. Yes."
Audience member: "One quick follow-up, the specific... When we crack it down, it comes to the right of refugees to return, with the implicit fact that if you had enough Palestinians returning to this 'Land of Israel,' you would no longer have a Jewish majority, and that would put an end to the State of Israel as a Jewish state."
Omar Barghouti: "Ending a supremacist order - that is bad because...? I mean, if I kick you out of your home, and then a number of years afterwards, you want to come back, I tell you: 'Wait a minute, I might have allowed you alone to take the basement, but now you have too many children, so you can't come back.' It's my home damn it! I mean you took my home, and now you won't let me back because I have too many children?! That is the racist logic. Palestinians are not some immigrants, escaping a war-torn region in Africa, Asia or Latin America, who are begging to come to this land of opportunity called Israel. It is our homeland. We are the indigenous people of the land. We were ethnically cleansed. We have every right under international law to go home. If that destroys a certain supremacist order, why is that a problem?
"I get this all the time - this kind of implicit point that 'we hope that not too many would return.' I know you did not mean that, but I get that. 'We hope that not too many would return' - that some any Palestinian refugees would decide to stay in Canada, the U.S., or Lebanon, or wherever they are, in Jordan, and so on. Why is that? Why are people wedded to the idea of maintaining this one case of a racist supremacist state on Earth? No other country can claim a divine right to be a racist supremacist country except Israel. Why should anyone protect that order? I don’t understand it. Yes, but the assumption is that we have to convince Israel to give up and give us our rights. It is not a matter of convincing. It is a matter of compelling. It never was. Masters never give up power. Never! It's only the resistance of the slaves and the massive solidarity with their struggle that forces the masters to give up their colonial privilege. That is the only way."