The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), of which CUSJ is a member, has reported this week that peace activist and BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti was arrested, interrogated and harassed by Israeli authoriites. This seems to be part of the Israeli government’s campaign to criminalize the BDS movement, intimidate activists and stop free speech. CUSJ has issued a statement, copied below. For more information, click here.
CUSJ Statement in Support of Dr. Barghouti and the BDS Movement
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ), a national faith-based organization committed to the inherent worth and dignity of every person and justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and its grassroots boycott, divestment and sanction (BDS) campaign against the State of Israel and those benefitting from the Occupation and dispossession of Palestinians. The ongoing and growing Occupation is in flagrant violation of human rights and international law.
On March 6th, Israel’s parliament passed a law barring entry or residency to non-Israelis who advocate boycott. On March 19th, Israeli authorities entered the home of Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS movement. Dr. Barghouti was detained and interrogated for 5 days. A travel ban has now been imposed, so that Dr. Barghouti will no longer be able to accept his invitation to receive the Gandhi Peace Award at Yale University.
These ongoing and increasing intimidation tactics by the State of Israel only serve to strengthen the resolve of human rights defenders to promote the BDS campaign and its call for ‘freedom, justice and equality’ for the Palestinian people. Seventy-eight per cent of Canadians consider the call to boycott Israel to be ‘reasonable’ and the majority think sanctions are ‘reasonable’ to ensure respect for international law.
When will the Canadian government wake up to the realities of this ongoing human-rights catastrophe, and rescind the 2016 parliamentary motion condemning the non-violent, grassroots BDS movement? When will the Liberal Party’s election promise to serve as an ‘honest broker’ in the Middle East be fulfilled?
We stand in solidarity with Dr. Barghouti, the BDS movement, and the Palestinian BNC’s statement.
Standing on the Side of Love & Justice!!