4 March 2010 – Dozens of students at Bethlehem University spread out through their campus today asking other students to sign a petition that calls on the university administration to ban Israeli products from their campus.
The petition states that “Israeli products are found in all parts of the university campus, and include cafeteria food, office supplies, and cleaning supplies” and calls on the university administration to “clear the campus of of all items produced by the racist apartheid state.” The students also distributed stickers throughout the university that state “Let us resist Israeli apartheid: Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions.”
The action was carried out as part of the sixth annual Israeli Apartheid Week, a week of events that is taking place in over 40 cities across the globe, and which has 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.
Israeli Apartheid Week 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
Bethlehem activities as part of Israeli Apartheid Week have been taking place on a daily basis since the first of March. On that day, activists of the Handala Center in al-Azzeh refugee camp organized a public forum at which they launched a campaign under the slogan “Israeli products are not welcome in our camp – boycott Israeli apartheid” to clear their camp of Israeli products. The activities in Bethlehem are carried out with the support of the Palestinian BDS Campaign National Committee (BNC), and organized by a group of active youth in the Bethlehem district.
Activists in Gaza City launched their Israeli Apartheid Week activities on Wednesday with a film screening and discussion on the comparisons between South African apartheid and the Israeli regime. Meanwhile, participants in Bethlehem’s Dheisheh refugee camp attended a film screening that was followed by a discussion on the role of cinema in resistance against apartheid. Today, the activities continue in the Gaza Strip with a live video conference between activists in Gaza City and their counterparts in the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona.
Activities will continue in Bethlehem on Friday with a demonstration in the village of al-Ma’sara against the Israeli apartheid wall, and a rally on Saturday at 10am at Bab al-Zuqaq, one of Bethlehem’s major traffic intersections, to distribute leaflets and stickers calling for a boycott of Israel.