Vaccine Developed by Israel Could Be Used by Those Boycotting It, BDS Co-founder Says

'Cooperating with Israel against the virus isn't normalization,' Omar Barghouti says

JTA
Marcy Oster
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People take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration, calling for a boycott of Israel and for the recognition of the State of Palestine, Paris, October 10, 2015
People take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration, calling for a boycott of Israel and for the recognition of the State of Palestine, Paris, October 10, 2015Credit: MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE / AFP
JTA
Marcy Oster

The founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement said that if Israel invents a vaccine for the coronavirus, those who boycott it can still be given the vaccine.

Omar Barghouti made the comments in a Facebook live Arabic-language webinar Sunday titled “BDS and Anti-normalization: The most important strategies to fight against the deal of the century, even in the time of COVID-19.”

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Haredi leaders learn harsh corona lesson as Israel sends in the troopsCredit: Haaretz

Barghouti said that Israel should not be allowed to use the coronavirus crisis to maintain relations with the Palestinian Authority and with other Arab states.

He also said, according to the Jerusalem Post: “if you use medical equipment from Israel — it’s not a problem. Cooperating with Israel against the virus – to begin with, we do not consider it normalization.”

Omar Barghouti speaks during a conference at the ULB university in Brussels, on April 30, 2013.
Omar Barghouti speaks during a conference at the ULB university in Brussels, on April 30, 2013. Credit: AFP

The same is true of other medical breakthroughs, he said.  “If Israel finds a cure for cancer, for example, or any other virus, then there is no problem in cooperating with Israel to save millions of lives,” he said.

He pointed out, the Jerusalem Post reported, that “up until now, we have not been in a situation where we need Israel urgently and no one else can save us but Israel. If that will happen, saving lives is more important than anything else.”

The description of the webinar in the Facebook post accused Israel of exploiting Palestinian workers in the country by not offering them protection against the virus, and accused Israel of “intensifying the looting of the land and arrests, oppression and killing, while normalization continues with the Arab official system.”