March 1-7, 2010, Worldwide, with U.S. events in: Bard, NY; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; CT; Davis, CA; Iowa City, IA; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Washington, DC.
The 6th annual Israeli Apartheid Week is currently taking place in cities across the globe. This week, human rights advocates around the world will host educational events, creative protests, and media actions to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies toward Palestinians living within Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Israeli Apartheid Week promotes the Palestinian civil society call for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) as a nonviolent solution to Israeli apartheid. International BDS efforts will remain focused on Israel until it:
1. Ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the Wall;
2. recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;
3. and respects, protects, and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
Sepideah Mohsenian, a student organizer at American University in Washington, DC says “that Israeli Apartheid Week serves to further the trajectory of student activism,” which she believes “will play a crucial role in ending apartheid in Palestine.” Ms. Mohsenian goes on to explain, “Opposition to our activism aside, students should gain comfort and motivation by recalling the tremendous strides that students made against South African Apartheid through campus BDS campaigns. As students in solidarity, we know that our current mobilizations will similarly end such injustice in Palestine/Israel.”
In 1973 the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, which codifies and universalizes apartheid as a crime against humanity. Israel has over 26 laws that legally differentiate between Jews and non-Jews within its pre-1967 borders, including restrictions on land ownership, freedom of movement, and access to natural resources. Additionally, Israel has several military orders and de facto policies in place in the occupied Palestinian territories that impinge on Palestinian rights to marry freely, participate fully in the economic and cultural life of the nation, and which have resulted in over 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners being held in Israeli jails for nonviolent resistance. Over 17,000 Palestinian homes have already been demolished to allow for expansion of ethnically-segregated Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory, all of which are illegal under international law. All of these laws and practices are directly addressed by International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
Palestinians, South Africans, and international human rights advocates are increasingly turning to BDS as a nonviolent means to bring about full freedom and equality within Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. This movement seeks to pressure corporations and institutions which provide direct support for Israel’s ongoing occupation and apartheid practices against Palestinians. Please contact the US Campaign for more information about corporations and institutions being targeted as part of this effort.
For more information, visit <apartheidweek.org>.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 325 organizations working to change to U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. For more information about the US Campaign, click here.