Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, film screenings, multimedia displays and boycott of Israel actions) held in cities and campuses across the globe. Last year’s IAW was incredibly successful with over 215 cities participating worldwide.
IAW seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.
To accommodate various university schedules and cities from around the world, IAW will take place in slightly different weeks but all in the months of February and March. Here is a list of dates for regions confirmed so far:
Europe: February 25 – March 10
Palestine: 8-15 March
United States: March 4 – 8
Canada: March 4 – 8
South Africa: March 11 – 17
If you would like to organize and be part of Israeli Apartheid Week on your campus or in your city please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED DURING IAW
IAW offers ordinary people around the world an opportunity to partake in something truly global. If you would like to get involved and organize your own IAW event or action let us know so that we can share with you the IAW Basis of Unity and organizing principles. Here are some ways that you can actively get involved:
1. Organize a film screening
Consider hosting a film. For more info or for suggestions contact us at email@example.com
2. Arrange a lecture, workshop, rally or protest
There are many speakers ranging from academics, politicians, trade unionists and cultural activists that we can suggest for you to host. Be in touch with us and we can put you in contact.
3. Organize a BDS action
Organize with others a practical boycott of Israel action or have a BDS motion tabled at your relevant student council, municipality etc.
4. Join us online
Help us spread the word online about Israeli Apartheid Week
5. Be creative
Be creative! Draw attention to Israeli apartheid with a Mock Israeli Apartheid Wall or Checkpoint, a flash mob, a concert or poetry reading, street theater, protest etc.
Student solidarity groups from more than twenty UK universities held Israeli Apartheid Week events last week, raising awareness of the apartheid analysis and building boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on campus. Coming towards the end of an academic year that has seen students’ unions across the country and the National Union of Students move to support BDS initiatives and many successful BDS campaigns, the week has been hailed as having taken the UK student movement for Palestine to new heights.
The week kicked off on the Monday with a national day of action, with campuses across the country organising mock checkpoints, street theatre and supermarket actions.
Focus on youth
Organisers chose to bring young activists from Palestine and South Africa as visiting speakers, resulting in energetic and action-focused panel discussions and providing students with the opportunity to hear about the latest developments in the Palestinian and South African youth movements.
In Scotland, five universities hosted talks by Adameer activist Murad Jadallah and Wassim Ghantous, a Palestinian youth activist currently active in the Belgian BDS movement. With students in Scotland especially active in organising solidarity for Khader Adnan, Murad’s talks on the work Adameer had been doing to support him were particularly well timed. The announcement that Adnan was to be released came shortly before one of the biggest public events was due to start.
Yara Sadi from the Who Profits from the Occupation? project spoke alongside local activists in Leicester, Leeds and Sheffield and Israeli BDS activist Leehee Rothschild visited the universities of Sussex, Warwick and Essex.
In London, the main panel discussion featured film maker Eyal Sivan, Palestinian BDS National Committee secretariat member Rafeef Ziadah, journalist Ben White and South African student leader Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. Mbuyiseni spoke passionately of the “potent gift of international solidarity” that contributed to the downfall of South African apartheid and must be developed further to support the Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid.
Mbuyiseni also spoke in Nottingham and alongside Ewa Jasiewicz at a meeting at Manchester Metropolitan University that launched a campaign against the university’s ties with Veolia, the French multinational that provides services to Israel’s illegal settlements.
At the University of Liverpool, the Guild of Students voted to adopt a range of policy motions in support of campaigns following presentations earlier in the week by the Corporate Watch research group about their newly released BDS book Targeting Israeli Apartheid.
On Friday, the week was rounded up with a series of social events. In London, a Beats Against Apartheid event was attended by over 600 students. It was the perfect energetic ending to an inspiring week with performances from hip-hop artists Lowkey, Mic Righteous, Awate and spoken word performers Rafeef Ziadah and Jody Mcintyre among many others.
Opposition and repression
Despite much fanfare in the Israeli media, the official ‘Voices for Israel’ delegation made little impact. Bizarrely, meetings at which they spoke were poorly publicised and there was almost no visible presence on campuses from the official delegation.
In contrast, local pro-Israel student activists attempted to intimidate IAW organisers, with students at LSE being pelted with water balloons as they staged a mock check point on campus and there were reports of confrontational behaviour in Birmingham, Nottingham and elsewhere.
Regardless of these attempts at intimidation, Israeli Apartheid Week has been widely successful and has continued its consistent growth across the UK. Indeed, the failure of pro-Israel activists to detract from our activities in any meaningful should be seen as a further sign that the debate on UK campuses is now happening very much on our terms.
For information on the Israeli Apartheid Week events that will take place elsewhere in the world in the coming weeks, check out the official Israeli Apartheid Week website.
- Israel student society attacks peaceful Palestine protest with water bombs at London School of Economics (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Apartheid conference goes ahead in Paris despite university ban (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Mbuyiseni Ndlozi – Israeli Apartheid Week | Stop the Wall (aboriginalpress.wordpress.com)
- Transforming Finkelstein BDS attack into opportunity (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- This year, another U.S. media blackout of “Israeli Apartheid Week” (dangordonreporting.wordpress.com)
Israel student society attacks peaceful Palestine protest with water bombs at London School of Economics
A student street theatre put on by the Palestine Society at the London School of Economics was attacked by members of the Israel Society today.
Part of Israeli Apartheid Week, the peaceful mock checkpoint was attacked with water bombs, knocking down some of the set. LSE Palestine Society member Jen Izaakson said they shouted “Hamas” and “death to Israel” as they threw the water bombs.
With breathtaking hypocrisy, the Israel Society later put out a statement demanding a “full apology” and “dialogue”, claiming the street theatre had been “provocative”.
But Izaakson told EI the attack had only increased the Palestine Society’s “resolve to do more stuff this week” promising the checkpoint stunt would be extended from one day to five in response. “People did get hurt” by the water bomb attack, she said.
Reality of Israeli apartheid for Palestinians
The “checkpoint” had been set up to illustrate to LSE students the kind of restrictions Palestinians in the West Bank regularly face at Israeli checkpoints. Palestinians in the West Bank are stopped and detained at Israeli checkpoints every day, while (often armed) Israeli settlers living in the same area sail through them unmolested.
LSE Jewish Society President Jay Stoll seemed perfectly aware of this reality. He claimed on twitter to have responded to the checkpoint that “I’m Israeli and don’t need” an ID.
Although the students’ union blamed unnamed “organised individuals” Izaakson said she recognized the attackers as “prominent members” of the Israel Society.
In a statement, the Palestine Society said: “Students from LSESU Palestine Society re-enacted an Israeli checkpoint on Houghton Street, as the start of Israeli Apartheid Week. The re-enactment was to show the suffering Palestinians face on a daily basis, trying to live their lives. All students which took part, had pre-agreed to take part in the re-enactment and students who did not wish to be involved were not forced to take part. The re-enactment passed peacefully for two hours, with students responding incredibly positively to the action… We as a society call on management to continue to protect our right to peaceful protest on LSE’s campus.”
Rafeef Ziyadeh, a spokesperson for the London organizing committee of Israeli Apartheid Week told EI: “This is typical of the usual intimidation from Zionist groups. It’s not going stop this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week, which is set to be the biggest one yet. We call on London students to come out and attend our week of events and not let Israel’s apologists provoke or intimidate them.”
The LSE Students’ Union released a statement saying: “Whilst peacefully re-enacting an Israeli checkpoint and talking to students about the issue, a small group of organised individuals ran towards members of the LSESU Palestine Society and threw water bombs which hit several students and knocked over property of the Palestine Society… The safety and welfare of students is of the utmost importance and the Union will be investigating the matter immediately in conjunction with the School.”
Israeli Hasbara minister worried about sucesses of Israeli Apartheid Week
Coming on the first day of Israeli Apartheid Week, this seems to be an attempt to draw pro-Palestinian students into violence, and attention away from the week’s events that seek to highlight the realities of Israeli apartheid in occupied Palestine.
A report in the Jerusalem Post yesterday said that Israel’s Hasbara (propaganda) minister Yuli Edelstein had dispatched Israeli settlers and other “Faces of Israel” to London and other cities where Israeli Apartheid Week was taking place to “answer to the attempts to de-legitimize Israel”.
Israeli Apartheid Week is taking place on university campuses around the world this month. The London event is on this week, with the biggest event set for Wednesday. You can read more about it on this Facebook page.
- [Dublin, Israeli Apartheid Week 2012] Boycott Israeli Goods demo (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Paris university pulls plug on “Israeli apartheid” talk (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- [Galway, IAW] Iyad Burnat: Non-violent resistance to Israeli Apartheid (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- [Limerick, IAW] Iyad Burnat: Non-violent resistance to Israeli Apartheid (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Events (coalitionforpalestine.org)