There has been an orchestrated campaign to hound Omar Barghouti a
leading figure in PACBI. Omar has registered for a PhD at Tel Aviv
University and is being accused of hypocrisy by boycott opponents.
It has never been PACBI’s policy, or BRICUP’s to call for
Palestinians not to study at Israeli Universities. Because of the restrictions
on Palestinian Universities, Israeli universities are the only places
that many Palestinians can study at. This is particularly true at doctoral
level where Israeli occupation and blockade has prevented all but a
few programmes being offered within the Occupied Territories.

It is difficult for many Palestinians to study abroad, even if they
can get scholarships and exit visas they run a high risk of losing
their residencies rights when they try to return. This is an especial
issue for those with Jerusalem IDs. Omar as a holder of an Israeli
ID is, through Israel’s version of the Pass laws, not allowed to enter
the areas of Palestine where the universities are sited.

Omar’s decision to study at TAU, where despite the recent fuss
he has been a student for ten years, highlights the pressure that Palestinian
Universities are under and reinforces the argument for an international
boycott of Israeli higher education. There is hypocricy here, but it
comes from the Zionist claque, not from Omar who BRICUP is proud to
have as a friend.

Read PACBI’s statement
on the campaign against Omar Barghouti