Coinciding with the 30th Anniversary of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, the âIsraeli Apartheid Week 2006â was held simultaneously in Oxford and several Canadian cities â Toronto, Montreal, and Kitchener-Waterloo. The initiatives ran from the 13th â17th February and featured speeches, film screenings, lectures, cultural events and public forums.
The action week was based on a common understanding of the racist colonial nature of the state of Israel and centred around the Palestinian call for the isolation of Apartheid Israel. Speakers included many Palestinians in the Diaspora, veterans of the anti-apartheid movement in support of South Africa and other anti-racist and indigenous rights activists. Organisers hope that a 2007 event will now expand to other cities.
The Palestine Society at Oxford University held five days of events highlighting the racist, colonial nature of the Occupation of Palestine and echoed the international call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid Israel.
The events addressed the ongoing expansion of the Apartheid Wall and its devastating impact upon Palestinian lives; the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes; Apartheid Israelâs routine oppression and killing of Palestinians; the racist nature of the Zionist state; and the analysis of the so-called âwithdrawalâ from Gaza that in served to tighten the Occupation and left Gaza imprisoned.
In Oxford the week began with a lecture by University of California (UCLA) professor Gabi Piterberg, an expert in Zionism and Apartheid, who outlined the parallels between the Israeli and South African Apartheid regimes. Oxford University Professor Karma Nabulsi gave a lecture on Palestinian resistance to the Occupation, which was followed by a student panel discussion. Other Oxford University lecturers and students led discussions on various aspects of the Occupation, including the denial of Palestinian land rights and Israelâs ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their communities. The right of return for Palestinian refugees was emphasised throughout the week.
The week culminated with a lecture entitled âResisting Apartheid: Divestment and Solidarity,â where the participants discussed the growing popular campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid Israel. Movements for academic, cultural, economic, sporting and other boycotts are gathering pace around the world. Professors, students and participants came together to continue the isolation of Israeli Apartheid in solidarity with the goals of the Palestinian liberation struggle.
For more information see: www.endisraeliapartheid.net