As some may know, Omar Barghouti has recently completed a book on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. He is supposed to have a book tour in the US in April, which has already been organized in many cities. He was informed by the US consulate in Jerusalem that his visa application is "delayed", which has often been a tactic by the US State Department to deny a visa but then have a way to reverse itself if it finds itself under pressure. This is case of freedom of expression. Omar lived in the US for 11 years, got his BS and Masters degrees from Columbia University in NY , worked for many years here, and even had a permanent residence in the US before he gave that up to go back to live in Palestine. He has entered the US numerous time, most recently last year on a 5-year visa that just expired. Thus, the US has never had a problem with issuing him a visa. The only thing that has changed since last year is that he publish a book about BDS, and the BDS movement has become much more successful. The conclusion must be that there is absolutely no reason other than denying him the opportunity to promote his book in the US.
Please see the article referenced below about this:
Omar was defiant this morning and issued this statement:
"Ms. Clinton can sing the tunes of freedom all she wants when watching the news of Arab popular revolts from Morocco to Bahrain, but she is not fooling any average-intelligence person in the Arab world. US policy, especially after the veto cast yesterday against the most benign UN Security Council resolution, simply reiterating universal, long-held facts that Israel's colonial settlements are illegal and thwart just peace, is being exposed to the new generation of restive, fearless, freedom-aspiring Arab youth as the main cause of their oppression, of buttressing and protecting the tyrants that have denied them all freedoms for decades. It has long been exposed, too, as the key partner of Israel in its occupation, colonialism and apartheid. Without US largess, Israel's multi-tiered system of racist and colonial oppression cannot possibly survive.Freedom, from the US establishment's perspective, amounts to the "liberty" to bow to their hegemony and accepting their multinationals' pillage of the world as fate. We shall continue to speak truth to power no matter what the consequences. We shall continue to struggle for nothing less than full freedom, full justice, full self determination, and full emancipation from US imperial hegemony."
If you are so inclined, please contact the US State Department and the US Consulate in Jerusalem to pressure them to grant Omar a visa. US citizens deserve the right to hear his opinions.
Consul General Daniel Rubinstein
U.S. Consulate General, Jerusalem
18 Agron Road, Jerusalem 94190
Tel.: +972.2.622.7230, Fax: +972.2.625.9270
Department of State:
Public Inquiries Division