Omar Barghouti’s Guardian love-in

This is cross-posted at Richard Millett’s Blog

Omar Barghouti (

The new mantra of the far-left is that the “South Africa moment” has arrived in relation to Israel.

Reasonable people around the world recognise what Israel is up against when confronting Palestinian terrorists groups. They recognise that Israel’s battle is a mirror-image of the battle that NATO troops are fighting in Afghanistan. While the focus of Al Qaida, the Taleban and Hamas are different all Islamist terror groups employ the same brutal tactic of deliberately targeting and murdering innocent civilians.

Yet in an article for The Guardian Omar Barghouti praises Desmond Tutu, Richard Falk and Mairead Maguire for endorsing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and that some artists have decided not to entertain in Israel. Many superb artists do play in Israel including Elton John, Madonna and Joan Armatrading.

Far from being a “South Africa moment” Barghouti would know, seeing as he is studying for a Masters at Tel Aviv University, that Israel is booming. The currency is very strong (Israeli banks took on no toxic debt), investments continue to poor in and low cost carriers have started to fly there. Exports flourish with tasty Israeli fruit and vegetables gracing the shelves of British supermarkets. Technological and scientific innovation continues apace (Israeli scientists have recently created a breathe test to detect common forms of cancer).

In his article Barghouti argues that BDS wants three main objectives of the Palestinian people realised:

1. The “occupation” ended – This is understandable but it can only be done around a negotiating table. Israel’s security is paramount and Israel has a right to be in the West Bank. Israeli forces are authorised to be there pursuant to UNSCR 242 drafted after the 1967 war. Arguably the settlers are there in accordance with the Balfour Declaration (“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people..”) that was incorporated into the British Mandate of Palestine, a legal instrument endorsed by the League of Nations and incorporated into the United Nations.

2. An end to the racial discrimination against Israel’s Palestinian citizens – Barghouti believes Israel is an “apartheid state” because he thinks it privileges Jews over its own Arab population (some 18% of the total). He didn’t give examples but we all know by now that Israeli Palestinians are well represented politically and some are very nicely off thank you very much. If you want to make money in Israel you can. While things in Israel, like most western countries, are not perfect Israeli Palestinians can fight politically to improve their conditions if they feel they are being slighted.

3. The so-called “right of return” for Palestinian refugees – The outcome of this would be the demographic destruction of the Jewish state, which is the real objective of the BDS movement. Israel obviously won’t agree to this but Barghouti thinks this “right” has UN approval and he disingenuously quotes UNSCR 194, which is not a “right” at all.

UNSCR 194 “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date..

Anyone read the Hamas Charter recently?:

The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.

I’m not sure that “killing the Jews” correlates too well to wishing to “live at peace with their neighbours”.

Which brings us, finally, on to the most pernicious aspect of the BDS movement. An increasing amount of the Palestinian and pro-Palestinian narrative is being aimed at Jews per se. Anti-Semitic cartoons are rife in the Arab world and Hamas is open about what it thinks of Jews.

Pro-Palestinian activists have no qualms about equating Gaza to a Nazi concentration camp. Placards at anti-Israel rallies proclaim “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza” while pictures of children behind barbed wire abound.

Then there are the boycotts themselves. Anthony Julius has recognised that historically the boycott has been the main tool used to isolate the Jews. In hisTrials of the Diaspora – A History of anti-Semitism in England he cites France in the 1890s, Limerick in 1904, Nazi Germany, Egypt in 1945 and Saudi Arabia in 1952. In the UK during the 1930s and 1960s right-wing fascists carried out boycotts.

Today it is Israel, which is disproportionately Jewish, that is being similarly boycotted. The sole qualification is to be Israeli. Organisations like Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) make no bones about this.

Targeting someone because of their origin is normally considered racist but not, apparently, when it comes to Israel. Although the BDS movement is unsuccessful what makes a respected British newspaper like The Guardian unable to recognise the vicious ideology it is promoting is totally beyond me.

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16 replies »

  1. I agree with you, Hi, although I wouldn’t want any harm to come to him. I would want a blinding flash of reason to make him so uncomfortable and consumed with doubt that he’d feel compelled to go into Gaza and preach his new message on street corners there about the error of Hamas’ ways…..

    Of course, he wouldn’t last five minutes but…..

  2. Interesting link, Israelinurse. As precedent, the Treaty of Lausanne actually mandated an exchange of populations between Turkey and Greece.

  3. Should perhaps have said that I wouldn’t want any harm to come to this scumbag in Israel

    He is a murderer. I think Israeli law errs in not having capital punishment for terrorists.

  4. Bottom line why is he being allowed to study in an Israeli university,he should be kicked out.

    Our democracy is biting us in the ass.

  5. I notice that the Guardian has not covered the following two stories:
    – Der Spiegel claims that Turkey has used chemical weapons against the Kurds.
    – Corrierre del Sera claims that Turkey is supplying weapons to Hizbullah.

  6. This Omar Barghouti was born in Qatar,grew up in Egypt,then moved to Ramallah,how did he end up in an Israeli university.

    Despite a petition having 65,000 signatures,Tel Aviv university refused to expel him.

    This is the Barghouti who thinks that Israelis must be punished, brought down to their knees,before a palestinian is allowed to greet an Israeli in the street.

    Charming,isn’t he.

  7. Benorr:

    “Most of the pro Israeli posters were deleted or vaporized on this Barghouti thread.”

    Any statistics to prove that ? Only one of my 20 or so comments was deleted (and it was a personal comment against one of the anti-Israel robots).

  8. That was a pretty ridiculous article – and certain CiFers lapped up the preposterous notion re. “confirmation that the BDS movement has crossed the Atlantic” (or words to that effect), based on the one single instance of Rachel Corrie’s hometown.

    But cheers for the mention of Joan Armatrading from my native Handsworth!

    p.s. I just did a Google news search on her, and came up with this:

    I don’t agree with the post – but I do wonder how some of the more outspoken people on this site would interpret the apartheid call in this case. Traditional European anti-Semitism? Hardly. Summat to do wth the Koran? Nope. The myopia of the hard left? Not necessarily.

    p.p.s. What is benorr wittering on about? Someone who wasn’t actually on the thread, it seems.

  9. Although the BDS movement is unsuccessful what makes a respected British newspaper like The Guardian unable to recognise the vicious ideology it is promoting is totally beyond me.

    Well the Guardian is an anti-Israel newspaper. Once you acknowledge that, it all makes sense. The endless stream of anti-Israel articles, the continual attempts at delegitimization, the refusal to report the crimes of Hamas and Hezbollah, the hiding of how Palestinians are treated in Lebanon, the obsessive focus every tiny blemish on Israeli society, the failure to condemn Arab anti-semitism …

    There are precedents in the British media. In the 1930’s the Daily Mail under Lord Rothermere was pro-Nazi, and published articles supporting Hitler, and the British Union of Fascists. The Guardian has taken over where the Daily Mail left off.

  10. I liked this bit:

    “Technological and scientific innovation continues apace (Israeli scientists have recently created a breathe test to detect common forms of cancer).”

    The “nose” as it was called was found and initially developed by Dr. Hossam Haick.

    It is funny that you mentioned his project and ideas in this article.

    It can show both the good and the bad in Israel.
    No where is perfect but people like Dr. Haick knows this and seem to focus on the filled half of the glass.

    “”I wanted to return to Israel. My wife, who works as an engineer at the Health Ministry, and I were both raised in families that believe in contributing to your society. I understand the brain drain phenomenon, but I personally opted not to remain abroad. I want to stay in Israel and contribute to society. It pains me to see Israeli scientists who go abroad and don’t return. It’s a pity. ”

    “I also want to prove to others from the Arab community that nothing is impossible. You hear quite a few prejudices from Arab-Israelis, that Arabs cannot get ahead in Israeli academia. I wanted to prove that this is not true; to prove that if you are talented enough, you get to wherever you want. I wish politics emulated academia. The Technion did not take me because of my ethnic background. I hope that my personal story will show a lot of Arab youngsters that if they make an effort and dismiss the prejudices, which can be quite paralyzing, they can get ahead in life. ”

    Had Bargouti’s views were correct Dr. Haick would have never been allowd to study in Beer Sheva or haifa or anywhere.
    Ignorance and prejudice are extremely dangerous.

  11. Pretzelberg:

    “Are you sure that Omar is related to Marwan?”

    possibly at some point in the past 1500 years their family tree crossed.
    They are not related in the near sense to the best of my knowledge.

    It’s like saying that me and Paul Simon are related because we share the same sir name…