Effectively canceling a planned speaking tour, the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem has inexplicably delayed the granting of a visa for Omar Barghouti, founding member of the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) campaign, due to tour the United States this April for the release of his new book, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu called the book “lucid and morally compelling… perfectly timed to make a major contribution to this urgently needed global campaign for justice, freedom and peace.” Former President of the UN General Assembly, Father Miguel d’’Escoto Brockmann called it “timely and responsibly written by a man who understands that creative nonviolence is the only way out of the dire situation in Palestine.”
In recent years, numerous foreign scholars and experts have been subject to visa delays and denials that have prohibited them from speaking and teaching in the U.S.—a process the American Civil Liberties Union describes as “Ideological Exclusion,” which they say violates Americans’ First Amendment right to hear constitutionally protected speech by denying foreign scholars, artists, politicians and others entry to the United States. Foreign nationals who have recently been denied visas include Fulbright scholar Marixa Lasso; Iraqi doctor Riyadh Lafta, who disputed the official Iraqi civilian death numbers in the respected British medical journal The Lancet; respected South African scholar and vocal Iraq War critic Dr. Adam Habib, and Oxford’s Tariq Ramadan, who have both recently received visas to speak in the United States after many years of delays and denials.
For the release of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, Barghouti has standing invitations for events in New York City, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Brandeis University, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. Barghouti studied, lived and worked in the United States for 11 years before permanently relocating to Jerusalem. He attended Columbia University, receiving both Bachelors and Masters degrees from the school. His U.S. born child, whom he needs a visa to visit, currently attends college in Indiana. Between 2005-2010, Barghouti visited the U.S. extensively without incident, on a 5 year visa, which only recently expired.
1. Contact the US Consulate in Jerusalem and the Department of State
Barghouti’s publisher, Anthony Arnove of Haymarket Books, stated that “It’s essential authors be able to travel to promote their books and ideas, and as publishers we believe the free exchange of ideas is vital to a democratic culture. We find it frustrating that Omar’s visa is being delayed and potentially denied for political reasons and hope the Consulate will grant his visa immediately.”
Barghouti tour sponsors are calling on supporters to contact the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem and the Department of State to ask them to fulfill the promise from the Obama Administration of “promoting the global marketplace of ideas” and grant Barghouti’s visa immediately.
*Please feel free to copy Faculty for Palestine at firstname.lastname@example.org *
Consul General Daniel Rubinstein
U.S. Consulate General, Jerusalem
18 Agron Road, Jerusalem 94190
Tel.: +972.2.622.7230, Fax: +972.2.625.9270
Department of State:
Public Inquiries Division
2. Interview Omar Barghouti
To arrange, contact Sarah Macaraeg at email@example.com, 312-315-8476. Barghouti is the author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights, releasing from Haymarket Books April 1, 2011.
3. Spread the news on Facebook
Join the group “Let Omar Barghouti Be Heard” and invite your friends.
Halper is an Israeli author and speaker about non-violent strategies to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD); and was on the Free Gaza flotilla that broke the Gaza siege.
The Canadian civil society has a responsibility to fight the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and to expose the Canadian government’s unjustified support for Israel. Time has come to send a Canadian boat to challenge the blockade of Gaza, in coordination with similar international efforts.
The Canadian Boat to Gaza is a pan-Canadian collective effort with the endorsement of approximately 100 organizations and many more individuals. With organizing taking place in communities right across the country, we are now closing in on the half-way mark for our $300,000 fundraising target (cost of boat and crew, not including aid to carry to Gaza).
We are counting on your continued support – only together can we achieve our ultimate goal of justice and freedom for all Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere.
TOGETHER, WE’LL BREAK THE SIEGE!
When: Saturday, 12 February 2011 · 19:00 – 22:00
(Doors Open at 7:00pm/Talk Starts at 7:30pm)
Advance Tickets: $10 available at:
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St., Toronto
Toronto Women’s Bookstore, 73 Harbord St., Toronto
More Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Ruth at 416-588-6356
YES WE CAN
BREAK THE SIEGE ON GAZA!
Mark your calendars – the Seventh Annual Israeli Apartheid Week will take place in Toronto from March 7 – 11, 2011!
Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. IAW will be running for the sixth consecutive year in 2011, with events taking place in March all over the world. The week’s events will include lectures, multimedia events, cultural performance, film screenings, demonstrations, and more.
The past few years have seen a sharp increase of literature and analysis that has sought to document and challenge Israeli apartheid, including reports issued by major international bodies and human rights organizations and findings published by political leaders, thinkers, academics, and activists. Many of these efforts have highlighted the role that could be played by people and governments across the world in providing solidarity with the Palestinian struggle by exerting urgent pressure on Israel to alter its current structure and practices as an apartheid state. Prominent Palestinians, Jewish anti-Zionists, and South Africans have been at the forefront of this struggle.
At the same time, an international divestment campaign has gained momentum in response to a statement issued in July 2005 by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations calling for boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel . Important gains have recently been made in this campaign in countries like South Africa , the United Kingdom , Canada and the United States .
The aim of IAW is to contribute to this chorus of international opposition to Israeli apartheid and to bolster support for the BDS campaign in accordance with the demands outlined in the July 2005 Statement: full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, an end to the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands – including the Golan Heights, the Occupied West Bank with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip – and dismantling the Wall, and the protection of Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in U.N. resolution 194. In previous years IAW has played an important role in raising awareness and disseminating information about Zionism, the Palestinian liberation struggle and its similarities with the indigenous sovereignty struggle in North America and the South African anti-apartheid movement. Join us in making this a year of struggle against apartheid and for justice, equality, and peace.
Join us this Saturday, February 5th @ 1pm – Queen’s Park to stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt, Tunisia and Palestine. Click here for event.