BDS Founder: ‘No Problem’ Using Coronavirus Vaccine If Israel Develops

Omar Barghouti

TEL AVIV – If Israel develops a vaccine against coronavirus, anti-Israel boycotters are still permitted to use it, Omar Barghouti, founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state said.

Barghouti made his Arabic-language remarks in a live video on the BDS page during a webinar he hosted, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The webinar was entitled “BDS and Anti-normalization: The most important strategies to fight against the deal of the century, even in the time of COVID-19,” referring to the Trump administration’s proposal for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The BDS founder warned that the pandemic cannot be a “honeymoon” for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He also slammed the PA for failing to cease security cooperation with Israel.

He added, however, that “is not a problem” to use an Israeli-made vaccine or to accept other medical equipment from Israel.

“Cooperating with Israel against the virus – to begin with, we didn’t consider it normalization,” he said.

“If Israel finds a cure for cancer, for example, or any other virus, then there is no problem in cooperating with Israel to save millions of lives.”

“The BDS announced normalization criteria long ago,” Barghouti said.

The BDS-founder added that “up until now, we have not been in a situation where we need Israel urgently and no one else can save us but Israel. If that will happen, saving lives is more important than anything else.”

The BDS movement accused Israel of being responsible for a “humanitarian disaster” facing Palestinians in Gaza and in Israeli prisons over the pandemic, the report said.

The movement also accused Israel of “continuing to exploit Palestinian workers… without the simplest protection against the virus” and of “looting of land, arrests, oppression and killing” during the pandemic, while condemning continued normalization in “the Arab official system.”

The Post cited the U.N. as repeatedly commending Israel and the Palestinian Authority for close collaboration in their efforts to fight the virus.  The international body’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said there was “unprecedented cooperation on efforts [between the two] aimed at containing the epidemic.”

The two sides regularly meet and Israel has trained Palestinian medical teams and donated PPEs to the PA.

The BDS movement promotes political, economic and academic boycotts against Israel and is accused of being antisemitic.


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