“Giving Barghouti a peace prize for this “advocacy” is an insult to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi who, unlike the recipient, was a true pacifist,” critics of the “peace prize” given to BDS founder Barghouti said.
Yale University came under fire after the Connecticut-based organization “Promoting Enduring Peace” awarded Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement, with the Gandhi Peace Award at Yale University on Sunday.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace, presented Barghouti with the peace prize. Barghouti accepted the award in the presence of about one hundred people and received a standing ovation.
Yale students mostly refrained from attending the event, and only a small handful of students did come to lend their support.
The event was co-sponsored by the Yale chapter of the anti-Israel student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
Yale University officials, meanwhile, attempted to distance the school from the award ceremony.
“A student organization reserved space for the awarding of the Gandhi prize, which is given by an organization not affiliated with Yale,” the university said in a statement. “Yale honors requests by our community to invite speakers and groups to campus in accordance with our academic mission of fostering the free exchange of ideas.Views expressed at these events are those of the individuals involved and do not represent the views of the university as a whole.”
Writing to explain why honoring Barghouti with a peace prize is so “tragically misguided,” members of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven wrote in the New Haven Register on Monday that BDS “is built on subterfuge.”
“It [BDS] exploits nonviolent tactics and progressive viewpoints to undergird what is an openly hostile agenda to Israel’s very existence,” they explained.
Barghouti has made it clear time and again that he rejects a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and will only accept a single state where Palestinians have total sovereignty, all statements and actions that counter any real peace efforts.
“Calling for a one-state solution where the end result is Palestinian sovereignty over Israel makes war the likely end result of the BDS mission,” they wrote, and therefore “giving Barghouti a peace prize for this “advocacy” is an insult to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi who, unlike the recipient, was a true pacifist.”
“Efforts by BDS to reject Israel’s right to exist as the homeland for Jewish sovereignty ought to be vociferously opposed, and the motivations of its supporters exposed,” they added.
“If Barghouti and Promoting Enduring Peace truly cared about the welfare of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they should call for increasing economic investment and development, not for boycotts. They should reject violence and provocation by Palestinian terrorists that undermine the security and welfare of Israelis and Palestinians,” they wrote.
“Organizations such as Promoting Enduring Peace, campaigns such as BDS, and “peace” awards to individuals such as Omar Barghouti will make “enduring peace” much less attainable,” they concluded.
Barghouti, who resides in the Israeli city of Acre, was able to attend the ceremony after an Israeli court temporarily lifted a travel ban imposed on him. Israel issued the travel ban and placed Barghouti under house arrest in March after he was suspected of evading taxes on $700,000 of his income.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff
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