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The title of Omar Barghouti’s lecture “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions and the Legacy of Mandela and King” is ironic. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an avid Zionist and is quoted saying that he saw, “Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy.” How can a lecture be legitimate if it taints the name of Dr. King by completely disregarding his beliefs?

The lecture is also ironic due to the fact that Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the BDS movement, is currently studying at Tel Aviv University. He benefits, as a Palestinian, from the very country he is making these erroneous claims about.

BDS is a movement that is designed to demonize Israel while spreading the impression of Palestinian victimhood in order to gain international sympathy. It’s a racist and bigoted movement that targets only Israel, with no mention of the countless human rights violations occurring to Palestinian victims in Syria, Jordan and other Arab countries.

Another focus of BDS is to erase Jewish history from the lands of Israel. “Historically Palestinian lands” is partially true, and only when coupled with historically Ottoman, Roman, British and Jewish lands. Palestine has never been an independent country, and there has always been a common Jewish presence.

It’s also common for Israel demonizers to try to compare Israel to South Africa. In Apartheid South Africa, Black South Africans were unable to vote and had no rights in a country where they were the majority. In complete contrast, the Arab minority in Israel benefits from full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government. There are 14 Arab members in the Israeli Knesset (parliament), an Arab member of the Israeli governing cabinet, an Arab member of the Israeli Supreme Court and the list goes on and on.

The article shows a biased perspective on a contentious issue. By not portraying even a sentence about the other side’s viewpoint, the reporter has ignored proper journalism guidelines. By disregarding the facts and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Students for Justice in Palestine have misled the ASU community.


Samantha Rush

Kinesiology Undergraduate

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America Fellow


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