Israel Apartheid Week March 1-7

Since it was first launched in 2005, Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) has grown to become one of the most important global events in the Palestine solidarity calendar. Last year, more than 40 cities around the world participated in the week’s activities, which took place in the wake of Israel’s brutal assault against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. IAW continues to grow with new cities joining this year.

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.

ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK 2010- NEW YORK

Monday, March 1st – Friday, March 5th, Monday (11am-5pm), Tuesday-Thursday (12-3pm)

LIVE ART DISPLAY: MOCK APARTHEID WALL ON LOW PLAZA – Columbia University

Throughout the week, we will be displaying an *mock* Israeli Apartheid Wall on Low Plaza. On Monday, a local artist will design a mural on the wall in order to showcase the power of art as resistance, which has been utilized on the REAL Apartheid Wall throughout the West Bank:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZK7D6WqzR0

Tuesday March 2nd, 7:30PM-9:30PM

ISRAELI APARTHEID: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

Confirm Attendance Here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=330226107550&index=1

Featuring: Ben White, Author and Freelance Journalist, Andrew Kadi, Activist from Adalah-NY, and Anjali Kamat, news producer for Democracy Now!

Location: 420 West 118th St, NY, NY 10027, Room 417 Altschul Auditorium

Sponsored by: Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (C-SJP), Arab Student Association (ASA), Turath: The Arab Students Organization at Columbia University, International Socialist Organization, CCAW, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), CIRCA, MSA, Adalah-NY, Codepink and Al-Awda NY.

Wednesday March 3, 7:00PM-9:00PM

OCCUPATION & RESISTANCE FROM PALESTINE TO TURTLE ISLAND

Confirm Attendance here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=329402606897&ref=mf

An Evening of Stories, Video, Music, Discussion and Strategizing with 7th Generation Indigenous Visionaries-Students from Haskell Indian Nations University recently returned from Palestine.
Location: American Indian Community House, 11 Broadway, 2nd floor
Sponsoring Organizations: Palestine Education Project and American Indian Community House

Thursday, March 4, 2010, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, NYU

RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=332308863513&ref=mf

THE INDIGENOUS STRUGGLE: A CALL FOR THE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL

A panel discussion on indigenous connections between Palestinians, South Africans, and Native Americans, and their joint call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions [BDS] against Israel.

Featuring a member of the Indigenous Delegation to Palestine, Zackie Achmat, a prominent South African anti-apartheid activist, and Nada Khader, the director of WESPAC.

Tuesday, March 9th, 5:00PM – 7:00PM

MOVING PROCESSION TO PROTEST THE ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER OF “THE FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES (IDF)

Location: The dinner is at the Waldorf Astoria, we will be protesting outside. Please checkhttp://newyork.apartheidweek.org/ for exact location on where to meet.
Sponsoring Organizations: Jews Say No!, Adalah-NY, Gaza Freedom March, Judson Church, Women In Black Union Square, Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism, CODEPINK, Brooklyn For Peace, Women of a Certain Age, Center for Immigrant Families, Wespac, Middle East Crisis Response, Regeneración Childcare NYC, National Lawyers Guild—NY Chapter, Post Road, American Jews for a Just Peace

COLUMBIA SPECTATOR Article on Israel Apartheid Week

“Israeli Apartheid Week: A Call for Action”

“We must take this painful step [to withdraw from large portions of the West Bank]. There are millions of Palestinians in this region. If they vote, this will become a bi-national state, and if not—an apartheid state.”1 These words were spoken by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during a recent speech at Bar-Elan University. Many prominent Israelis, including former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, have consistently made the apartheid analogy.

A walk through the West Bank shows that Barak’s words come many years too late—the apartheid future Barak warns his people of is already here. How has Israel, sixty-two years after its birth, found itself in this reality? The answer is found in three systems of oppression: (1) The prolonged occupation and colonization of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; (2) The system of racial discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel; and (3) The persistent denial of the UN-sanctioned rights of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.

Despite the Obama administration’s efforts to halt colonization in the West Bank with “no exceptions,”2 Israel continues to build without restriction and cuts off Palestinian cities and families from each other, particularly in East Jerusalem. Approximately 24,145 Palestinian homes3 have been destroyed in part to make way for these U.S. subsidized homes for Jewish-onlyneighborhoods. In addition, hundreds of Israeli checkpoints strangle movement, non-violent protesters languish in Israeli prisons in the thousands without charge, and access to water, education, electricity, and other basic necessities are greatly restricted.4

Prospects for just negotiations are almost non-existent. Fortunately, an international grassroots movement committed to drawing attention to Israel’s apartheid practices has gained traction. This week, people around the world will participate in the 6th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week and call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. BDS, the movement so instrumental to ending South African apartheid, calls for people of conscience to refrain from buying Israeli goods, dissolve contracts with companies and institutions complicit in Israeli apartheid, and push for governmental sanctions of Israel until it grants Palestinians their basic human rights.5

Eleven days separate the election victory of the South African Nationalist Party on a platform of apartheid (May 26, 1948) and the declaration of the state of Israel (May 15, 1948), yet history has run a different course in both locations placing one indigenous population on the road to equality and the other in a state of perpetual subjugation. A reevaluation of what went right in South Africa and what went terribly wrong in Israel therefore seems to be completely in order.  Even those that fought and lived against Apartheid like Nelson Mandela, have sided with the Palestinians and called for an end to the Israeli Apartheid system: “The UN took a strong stand against [South African] apartheid…But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”6

During this week, Columbia is coordinating with other New York organizations and universities to showcase a series of events to raise awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people. Today on Columbia’s campus, there will be a mock Apartheid Wall to highlight the 8-meter high segregation wall that cuts through the West Bank. On Tuesday, expect a joint lecture by Ben White, author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide”, Anjali Kamat, producer for Democracy Now!, and Andrew Kadi, human rights activist with Adalah-NY.

You might ask why a group of busy Columbia students would spend their weekends building a mock wall and organizing for this week. The answer is two-fold; as tax-payers who fund the Israeli occupation with 7 million dollars a day7 (even in this economy), we are complicit in allowing this to happen with our money.  We believe this issue is one of the most urgent of our time.  While some may try to distort the meaning of this week and label it as anti-Semitic or fueled by hate, we wish to clarify: This week is motivated by love and respect for human rights and social justice everywhereand for all people, something that Palestinians have been denied for far too long.

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