The following is an edited extract of an interview with Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, conducted by Max Chalmers, in April this year. All questions are in italics. It is the basis of a larger feature by Max, which you can read here.
Having advocated BDS for many years, do you see the current moment as a time of expansion, retreat, or plateau for the movement?
OB: This is a period of expansion and further mainstreaming.
It seems you have followed the debate about BDS in Australia (I was directed recently to an article you authored for an online opinion site during the debate about Marrickville council). Are you still following the situation in Australia and are you in contact with domestic activists? What do you make of Australia’s internal debates on Palestine and Israel and on BDS?
OB: I try as much as possible to follow and at times engage in the debate on BDS in Australia, as it is one of the most reactionary and anti-democratic spaces in the west for Palestine solidarity activists and movements.
Have you followed the recent news about Bassem Tamimi’s exclusion from Australia? What’s your reaction?
OB: This is yet another strong indicator of the anti-Palestinian politics of the Australian government which is in stark contradiction to recent opinion polls that show fast growing support for Palestinian rights under international law.
Read the full interview by Max Chalmers at NewMatilda.com.