IAW began in the West Bank at al-Quds Open University in Tulkarm on Tuesday. More events took place on the following day in a number of universities in the north as well as in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. The events have focused on education and spreading the word in the campuses and camps about BDS, setting the stage for the week to come.
***image2***IAW opened at al-Quds Open University in Tulkarm, where events began mid-morning. Student activists working with the Stop the Wall Campaign distributed questionnaires to 300 students about the importance of boycotting Israeli goods. Activists sent the results to both the student council and the university administration and asked them to sign statements pledging to cease buying Israeli goods, primarily for the cafeteria, and cut any ties with Israeli academics. Students also distributed brochures and other educational material about the boycott campaign in Palestine.
On Wednesday, events were scheduled in several universities in the north. At al-Quds Open University in Qalqilya, students held a presentation about the Wall for their colleagues, and both students and academics agreed to write a statement from university supporting the academic boycott. A similar event took place in al-Khadoury college in Tulkarm, where the youth coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign held a talk and discussion with students on BDS. The student council at al-Khadoury is committed to boycott, and made a commitment to keep Israeli products out of the cafeteria.
Presentations and exhibits were also organized by students in Jenin and Nablus. At the Arab American University, 35 students organized an exhibit of black and white photographs from the Nakba, which was well received by viewers. At an-Najah University, a small group of students began to do research about the attitudes toward BDS held by students and faculty, as they intended to invite Palestinian companies to exhibit products and provide alternatives to buying Israeli.
In Bethlehem, children and youth at Lajee Center in Aida refugee camp organized an event to discuss the BDS campaign with camp residents in general and their families in particular.
The youth group, part of the Badil Resource Center Youth Education and Activation Program, has spent the past year learning about the forced expulsion and displacement of Palestinians since 1948, the rights of Palestinian refugees under international law, the conditions of Palestinian refugees in various host countries, and how to implement and defend their rights to return, restitution and compensation.
The event included theatrical sketches prepared by the students in which they discussed the boycott of Israeli consumer products as well as cultural and academic boycott. The boycott campaign was connected to the refugees right to return through a slide-show presentation of photos of the students’ towns and villages of origin which was accompanied by a short presentation on each of these places of origin before and since the 1948 Nakba.