Capetonians will be have a chance to engage with well known Palestinian human rights activist and author, Omar Barghouti, when he arrives in South Africa between the 4th and 8th of July. Barghouti is one of the founding members of the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel movement. He is in the country as a guest of the upcoming War Resisters’ International conference co-hosted by the Ceasefire Campaign and titled “Small Actions, Big Movements: The Continuum of Nonviolence”, which starts on Friday in the Mother City.
Barghouti is based in Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank, Palestine. He is a global commentator on Palestinians issues, who was actively involved in the international anti-apartheid movement during the 1980s. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
In 2005, with Israel’s increasing occupation and human rights abuses, Palestinians, inspired by the successful boycott and isolation of Apartheid South Africa, called on the international community to support a non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and respects human rights. Since 2005 several artists have openly boycotted Israel, various Churches and pension funds have divested from Israel and there is an increasing sanctions campaign, mainly in Europe, against Israeli banks and other finance bodies all due to the growing pressure exerted by the global Palestinian BDS movement.
Barghouti holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University, NY, and a master’s degree in Philosophy (ethics) from Tel Aviv University. The widely syndicated writer has contributed chapters to several books and published his own book “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights” in 2011.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said of the book: “Omar Barghouti’s lucid and morally compelling book is perfectly timed to make a major contribution to this urgently needed global campaign for justice, freedom and peace…I have been to Palestine where I’ve witnessed the racially segregated housing and the humiliation of Palestinians at military roadblocks. I can’t help but remember the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid. We could not have achieved our freedom without the help of people around the world using the nonviolent means of boycotts and divestment to compel governments and institutions to withdraw their support for the apartheid regime.”
In Cape Town, Barghouti will be at the following free public events:
-6pm Sunday, 6 July 6pm at St George’s Cathedral, 5 Wale St, Cape Town
-7pm Monday, 7 July at 2A, Leslie Social Sciences, University of Cape Town