On Wednesday, Palestinian students, activists, professors and politicians gathered in Qalqilya to discuss the boycott movement in the West Bank. Some 70 people attended, a majority of them students, to present ideas and assess the current successes as well as the obstacles to moving BDS forward in their schools and communities.
The workshop was organized by al-Quds Open University students in Qalqilya along with Stop the Wall under the title of âFor the sake of activating the boycott of Israeli goods in the Qalqilya district.â The main speakers included a representative from the Ra’ed Center, al-Quds open university students, Omar Barghouthi, Qalqiliya governor Rabih al-Khandaqji, Suheil Sulieman from Stop the Wall and Dr. Ahmed Jabr, vice director of education in the Qalqilya district.
Al-Khandaqji and Dr. Jaber both spoke about the importance of boycott as a tool of resistance and stressed the need for the students to build up the initiative within their universities. Dr. Jaber added that the student movement serves as an important example and should enjoy the respect and support of both communities and leaders.
Sulieman also spoke about the importance of building a national culture of boycott. He also stressed the need to take seriously the ICJ decision and work towards its implementation and application on the ground.
Speaking about the international boycott, Barghouthi outlined the recent successes of the international BDS movement, which has been built up in a relatively short amount of time. He also discussed the national situation, focusing on the forms and dangers of normalization.
Students from al-Quds Open University also gave presentations on boycott, including a short lecture as well as a film. The film, comprised of interviews with pharmacists, businessmen, shopkeepers and citizens, explored how the people of Qalqilya feel about boycott and ways in which to move it forward at a grassroots level.