1 March 2010 – Today marks the first day of Israeli Apartheid Week in cities around the world. The week of activities, which was started by a group of activists in Toronto, Canada in 2005, has grown to become one of the main highlights of global activism in support of the rights of Palestinians, and to globalize the struggle against Israel’s apartheid regime.
IAW 2010 takes place following a year of incredible successes for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the global level. Lectures, films, and actions will highlight some of theses successes along with the many injustices that continue to make BDS so crucial in the battle to end Israeli Apartheid. Speakers and full program for each city are available at: www.apartheidweek.org
In Bethlehem, Israeli Apartheid Week begins with a panel discussion which will be held at the Beit Jibreen Cultural Center (Handalla Center) in al-Azzeh refugee camp. The panel will feature speakers from the Badil Resource Center, Palestinian Campaign to Stop the Wall, and the Palestinian BDS Campaign National Committee. The event will also include photo exhibits about graffiti in the Gaza Strip and Palestine’s “Ongoing Nakba.”
The highlight of tonight’s event will be the launching of a campaign within the Azzeh refugee camp under the slogan “Israeli products are not welcome in our camp – boycott Israeli apartheid.”
The week of activities continues each day this week with film screenings, workshops and public rallies all highlighting the ways in which Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, and highlighting the importance of developing the global campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions.
The week will be marked in the Gaza Strip beginning on Wednesday 3 March 2010. The first event will be screening of “Mandela”, a documentary about the anti-apartheid struggle followed by a discussion with Dr. Haidar Eid of al-Aqsa University about the South African experience during the apartheid era.