– 10th International Israeli Apartheid Week (10-16 March 2014, South African Dates)
The 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) campaign takes place in South Africa between the 10th and 16th of March (click here for dates in other countries). The IAW campaign is organized in South Africa by the IAW South Africa Team and has been endorsed by over 65 organziations across the country (see below for a list of the IAW endorsers and partners).
Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, music shows, films and workshops) that seek to raise awareness of Israelâ€™s apartheid policies against the indigenous Palestinians and garner support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign which is aimed to bring an end to Israelâ€™s apartheid policies and violations of international law.
For us South Africans and our liberation, people of the world mobilized in their hundreds of thousands – if not millions – during the 1980s. Across the world people held protests, rallies, concerts, free Nelson Mandela events, lectures, film screenings and a host of other events, actions and campaigns to raise awareness of Apartheid South Africaâ€™s racist policies and to build support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Apartheid South Africa. Today we have an opportunity to â€œgive-backâ€ by joining the growing international movement in solidarity with the indigenous Palestinian people (and their progressive Israeli allies) who are struggling against Israeli Apartheid.
Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of Apartheid, said in 1963: â€œIsrael, like South Africa, is an apartheid stateâ€. Since then there have been several senior –and more appropriate– South Africans who have compared Apartheid South Africa to current-day Israel, including: Ahmed Kathrada, Denis Goldberg, Kader Asmal, Blade Nzimande, Zwelinzima Vavi and Winnie Mandela.
The African National Congress (ANC) Chairperson, Baleka Mbete, at the ANCâ€™s 2012 International Solidarity Conference, also shared this position. And, in fact, our own Deputy President, Kgalema Mothlante, has gone even further in stating that: â€œthe current situation for Palestinians…[under Israel] is worse than conditions were for Blacks under the Apartheid regimeâ€. The South African Government itself has on two separate occasions (statement 1, statement 2) condemned Israeli practices that are reminiscent of â€œApartheidâ€.
But beyond comparisons, there is also a growing paper trail. In 2009, in a 300-page report commissioned by the South African government, the SA Human Sciences Research Council found that Israel is practicing a form of apartheid. This position was then confirmed by the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which sat in Cape Town in November 2011. In March 2012 the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination made similar findings, and last month, on the 31st of January 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a scathing report in Geneva, Switzerland, on the state of human rights in Israel, finding that a form of â€œinstitutionalized discriminationâ€ is practiced by Israel.