March 26. Omar Barghouti , who is to receive the Gandhi Peace Award on April 23, was arrested at his home on March 19 in Acre, Israel. He received bail the next day, but was been interrogated for at least four days. The charge is “tax evasion” though it’s well known that Barghouti has been in the sights of Israeli authorities for years for his leadership in the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). Barghouti’s travel permit was seized. This is the statement from the BDS Movement committee.
He is scheduled to receive the award along with Ralph Nader on Sunday, April 23 in New Haven at the SSS Building (Yale), 1 Prospect Street at 4 p.m.
Promoting Enduring Peace is standing behind Barghouti and will go ahead with the ceremony. Barghouti is going to court to try to get his travel papers back. If he’s not able to come in person he’ll be honored in absentia.
Here is the New Haven Register account of the arrest and some of PEP’s comments
As voices of conscience many Gandhi Peace Award winners have been arrested at one time or another. Dorothy Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, , Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben Kathy Kelly
As jailed Henry David Thoreau (not a Gandhi Peace Award winner, but a tax resister) said to Ralph Emerson who had asked through prison bars,”What are you doing in there?”. The reply from Thoreau was,”What are you doing out there?”
PEP will be coming up with a petition in his support which we will ask you to sign.