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BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti addresses EU parliament

Barghouti addresses the European Parliament on Wednesday [Twitter]

Date of publication: 2 March, 2018

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Renowned Palestinian activist and co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti spoke to the EU parliament on Wednesday, despite Israeli efforts to prevent him from doing so.
Omar Barghouti, celebrated human rights activist and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday at the invitation of Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes to take part in a discussion panel on "The Israeli Settlements in Palestine and the European Union".

His address was championed by Palestinian and human rights activists and seen as giving momentum to the BDS movement, after pro-Israel advocacy groups tried to prevent him from attending the discussion panel.

Ms Gomez said during the discussion that she had been "intimidated" in the run-up to the panel by a "very perverse lobby" of Jewish organisations trying to prevent Barghouti from attending the discussion.

Barghouti received support from many EU parliamentarians, including Danish MEP Magrete Auken who tweeted urging the EU to discuss "the impact of illegal Israeli settlements and #EU passivity". "(The) EU must act in respect to international law," she added.

A large number of Israeli delegates to the EU were also present at the panel, some of whom attacked Barghouti during the discussion, labelling the BDS movement "anti-semitic" and "unhelpful" to Palestinians.

Barghouti made it to Brussels despite Israel imposing a travel ban on him two years ago. The prominent activist was also prevented from accompanying his cancer-stricken mother for treatment in Jordan in January.

At the time, Barghouti accused Israel of "imposing this travel ban on me, demonising me and threatening me to intimidate me into silence".

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