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Annual Israeli Apartheid Week kicks off across the globe Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Annual Israeli Apartheid Week kicks off across the globe

Israeli Apartheid Week activities have taken place in February of every year since 2005 [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 February, 2016

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Hundreds of universities are taking part in Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual event aimed at highlighting Israel's ongoing injustice against the Palestinian people.
Over a hundred universities around the world are taking part in the planned Israeli Apartheid Week this year.

The annual event, established in 2005, aims to raise awareness on "Israel's ongoing settler-colonial project and apartheid policies over the Palestinian people" while also garnering support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Panel discussions, lectures, film screenings and presentations are among the activities being organised across universities for this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week.

"The activities help us push the message out to a world which has yet to truly understand the extent of the crimes being committed by Israel," Razan Shamallakh, organiser at SOAS Palestinian Society told The New Arab.

"Israel's discrimination, bigotry, violations against international law and crimes against humanity are very easily compared to apartheid South Africa – and that is why we openly accuse it of being an apartheid state."

This year's London campaign saw 100 anti-Israel posters plastered across London Underground platforms and trains, exposing Israeli war crimes to millions of commuters.

See the posters here

However, the anti-apartheid posters were shortly taken down by Transport for London workers when Israeli officials allegedly called London Mayor, Boris Johnson and requested they be taken down.

Palestinian activists in the UK took a blow when the government banned public bodies from taking part in BDS campaign in February.

But Shamallakh said the IAW is as important as ever due to the direct action being taken by the government.

"Cameron's attempt to block boycott of Israeli goods and products is a sign that the movement is affecting Israel, but it also encourages us to make this IAW even more effective."

Cameron's move follows a series of local boycotts in recent years that have angered Israeli authorities.

In 2014, Leicester City Council instituted a boycott on goods made in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

A Scottish government notice to local councils in Scotland also "strongly discourages trade and investment from illegal settlements".

The European Union last year backed the labelling of products from Israeli settlements, in a move that Israel condemned as discriminatory and warned could harm the peace process with the Palestinians.

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