Dozens of Members of the European Parliament call on the EU to support the right to boycott
More than 30 MEPs have called on the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, to take measures assuring freedom of expression regarding the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality and recognising Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the BDS movement, as a human rights defender.
While the signatories views on the BDS movement differ, they expressed concern regarding “growing attempts to silence and repress advocates of BDS” and called on the EU to “guarantee that it will not introduce measures aimed at limiting freedom of expression regarding the Middle East and BDS.”
Having failed to hinder the growing support and impact of the BDS movement in mainstream civil society, Israel has launched an unprecedented anti-democratic campaign to silence Palestinian narratives and outlaw BDS advocacy.
The Israeli-induced attacks on the BDS movement are advanced through putting pressure on governments, legislators and officials to fight BDS activity through implementing repressive measures that pose a threat to civil and political liberties at large.
The 32 signatory MEPs expressed concerns regarding Israel’s targeted attack on activists advocating for Palestinian rights through BDS and called on the EU to “recognise Omar Barghouti as a human rights defender and afford him and other Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders appropriate protection and assistance.”
Aneta Jerska, the coordinator of the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP) said:
“It is really empowering to see that a growing number of MEPs are taking a clear stance in defence of civil society actor’s right to advocate for BDS, as a matter of conscience, free speech and as a nonviolent means of political expression.”
More than 350 European human rights organisations, trade unions, church groups and political parties, have called on the European Union to defend citizens and organisations right to boycott Israel in response to its occupation and violations of Palestinian rights.