This week is the 8th annual Israeli Apartheid Week, celebrating the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement. Here is a statement from the organisers:
The 8th annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will take place in a record number of campuses across the UK from February 20 to 24. IAW is an annual international series of events, which last year reached more than 100 cities across the globe. The week will feature lectures, film screenings, cultural activities, and creative actions aimed at raising awareness about Israel’s system of colonialism, occupation and apartheid toward Palestinians. Importantly, IAW will build support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign launched in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian civil society organisations. The demands of the BDS movement are: full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, an end to the occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands, and the protection of Palestinian refugees’ right to return.
In an open letter dated October 21-2011, Palestinian students wrote to their counterparts around the world: “we hope you put BDS at the forefront of your campaigns and join together for Israeli Apartheid Week, the pinnacle of action across universities worldwide”. Layla Auer one of many IAW organizers in London explains, “IAW activities this year are a direct response to this call from Palestinian students and in solidarity with the youth movements across the Arab World as they have inspired us with their commitment to struggle for freedom, justice and equality”.
Previous participants in IAW have included Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti and Ronnie Kasrils among other prominent supporters of Palestinian rights. The program in the UK this year is youth focused and features well-known film director Eyal Sivan, and students from South Africa and Palestine, as well as performances by hip-hop artist Lowkey and spoken-word poet Rafeef Ziadah.