Israel Bars Founder of Boycott Movement From Traveling Abroad

May 11, 2016

Israel has barred a prominent founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement from traveling internationally. According to accounts in a variety of Israeli media outlets, including Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s Interior Ministry has refused to renew Omar Barghouti’s travel documents and has said that his permanent resident status is under review. The Interior Ministry said there is evidence that Barghouti's "center of life" is in the West Bank, not Israel, an allegation that Barghouti denies. He said he has lived legally in Israel since 1994 and has not previously had a problem renewing his travel permit, which he does every two years.

Barghouti, who was born in Qatar and is married to an Arab citizen of Israel, regularly travels to promote the movement to boycott Israel, including Israeli universities. He has spoken at the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association.

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