Omar Barghouti (not to be confused with convicted murderers Ahmed Barghouti or Marwan Barghouti) is a graduate student in Philosophy at Tel Aviv University. He is also a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), the leaders of the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Some have suggested that Barghouti, a ‘Palestinian citizen of Israel’ is behaving hypocritically by continuing to study at a university that he urges others to boycott; but as we will see, he’s no stranger to double- or even triplethink. There is a petition (in Hebrew) here which has been signed by almost 143,000 people who want to see him kicked out of Tel Aviv University.
Barghouti is often referred to as ‘moderate’ and ‘nonviolent’, which he is compared to Ahmed and Marwan, for example. But although he doesn’t launch terror attacks or even give speeches calling for Arabs to rise up and slaughter Jews, his goal is the same, to end the state of Israel.
Omar Barghouti is a man at home in the academic world who spins the ugly core that underlies all of Palestinian Arab ‘culture’ — burning hatred and a drive for bloody revenge — into perfectly formed academic English, providing a theoretical basis for educated Westerners to tap into their own darker impulses in the guise of an enlightened pursuit of justice, and in terms of the most modern post-colonial thought.
This paper argues for a secular, democratic state in historic Palestine as the most morally coherent solution to the century-old colonial conflict because it offers the best hope for reconciling the inalienable right of the indigenous Palestinians to self-determination and the acquired rights of the colonial settlers to live in peace and security, individually and collectively. Accepting colonists as equal citizens and full partners in building and developing a new shared society is the most magnanimous offer any oppressed indigenous population can present to its oppressors, but for such to be attained, settlers must shed colonial privileges and character, accept justice, unmitigated equality, and conscious integration into the region. Building a just and lasting peace anchored in international law and universal human rights, conducive to ethical coexistence requires the ethical decolonization, or de-Zionization of historic Palestine. Such a process is premised on a revitalized, democratized Palestinian civil resistance movement with a clear vision for a shared, just society and effective worldwide support for reaffirming Palestinian rights and ending Israel’s violations of international law and universal rights. By emphasizing the equality of humanity as its most fundamental principle, this paper shows that the proposed secular democratic state promises to transcend national and ethnic dichotomies that now make it nearly impossible to envision reaching any just solution to the most intricate questions. [my emphasis]
In other words, if the ‘colonists’ (Jews) can be made to give up their ‘colonial privileges’ (security), the ‘indigenous’ population will magnanimously permit the creation of a truly ‘ethical’ and just society! Although this isn’t mentioned, I presume that if the ‘settlers’ do not freely choose to renounce their ‘privileges’, the ‘resistance’ won’t be so magnanimous.
Despite its appeal to some Western academics, whom Barghouti skilfully manipulates, the theory’s premises are false. They do violence to historical facts. And Barghouti’s constant references to ethics, justice, human rights, equality, etc. are so entirely inappropriate — especially in the context of historical Palestinian Arab behavior — as to be obscene.
I’m sure that I don’t need to repeat it yet again, but Israeli Jews are not colonists, most Palestinian Arabs are not indigenous, the post-colonialist framework doesn’t apply, and an Arab-majority one-state solution would become a bloodbath within hours of its birth.
But like Ahmed and Marwan, Omar wants a bloodbath. So he is doing his best to prepare the ground for it, by weakening Israel through BDS and by delegitimizing and isolating it from the Western democracies that might be expected to support it against its racist, undemocratic and brutal Arab and Iranian enemies.
And all the while he is nurtured by the institutions of the Israeli state that he wishes to destroy.