Palestinian human rights activist speaks at Oregon State

Bassem Eid is an outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority and has traveled the world speaking about his desire for dignity for his people and peace between Palestine and Israel.

Posted: Mar. 14, 2019 11:23 PM
Updated: Mar. 15, 2019 11:37 AM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- A Palestinian rights activist was on the Oregon State Campus to educate people about Palestinian conflicts with Israel and within their own state.

Bassem Eid is an outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority.

He has traveled the world, speaking about his desire for dignity for his people and peace between Palestine and Israel.

International nonprofit StandWithUs, which focuses on education about Israel, brought Eid to speak at Oregon State University.

Eid wants to shed light on the internal conflicts within Palestine, and how the boycott, divestment, and sanctions, or BDS, against Israel will affect both Palestinians and Israelis.

According to the BDS movement website, their goal is to "end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."

However, Eid said this movement has only caused more issues between the two sides.

"So these people are not only just causing damage to our economy, but also causing damage to the relationship, to the co-existence, to the economic cooperation between the Israelis and the Palestinians," Eid said.

Corvallis resident Lisa Shepard was at the Memorial Union listening to Eid speak and said he hit the nail on the head.

"This is something I've thought about for years, is that there is so much money, energy, lives are lost focusing on the conflict when there could -- people could be working together and there would be economic gain both ways," Shepard said.

The University of Oregon Student Government passed a resolution in support of the BDS last spring, and StandWithUs and Eid believe there may be an initiative at Oregon State in the future as well.

They said that resolution led to antisemitic vandalism at the Hillel building on the UO campus.

That resolution was deemed unconstitutional by the University's Student Senate and was later amended.

Eid said his ultimate goal is helping people see how movements like the BDS are further disrupting possible peaceful resolutions between Israel and Palestine.

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