Report: Israeli Judge Lifts Travel Ban on BDS Founder So He Can Collect ‘Peace’ Award at Yale

Omar Barghouti listens during an interview with the Associated Press in the West Bank city
AP/Nasser Nasser

TEL AVIV – An Israeli court temporarily lifted a travel ban on a co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement so he can receive a “peace award” at Yale University this weekend, the organization behind the prize said this week.

According to a statement from a group called Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP), Omar Barghouti will arrive in the U.S. on Sunday to receive the Gandhi Peace Award in person despite initially being banned from leaving Israel after being arrested last month for tax evasion to the tune of some $700,000 in income.

PEP said it was “delighted that Omar Barghouti will be able to come to the United States to accept this well-deserved award for his leadership in the non-violent struggle for Palestinian human rights.”

The BDS co-founder “will able to give a first-hand account of life for Palestinians under draconian Israeli government rule,” the statement continued.

The PEP also sponsored a petition calling for the dismissal of charges that garnered 900 signatures.

Sunday’s PEP ceremony will be co-sponsored by the Yale chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, will present Barghouti with his peace prize. JVP was the group that invited Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh to their annual conference earlier this month.

Barghouti and Vilkomerson are also slated to participate in a panel at Columbia University on Monday titled “The Road to Freedom: The BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights and the Struggle Against Apartheid,” hosted by student groups Columbia University Apartheid Divest and Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine.

The Gandhi Peace Award was awarded to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1960.


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