Basis of Unity
Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) was initiated by student activists at the University of Toronto in 2005 and has since spread to cities across the world, including cities in Palestine and South Africa. Israeli Apartheid Week nowadays is the result of a global network of students, youth, and community organizations working to build Israeli Apartheid Week as part of worldwide actions in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement.
We push forward an understanding of Israel an apartheid state. Palestinian citizens of Israel are barred from controlling and developing over 90% of the land, and discriminated against in most aspects of life, particularly in education, health care, public services and employment; simply because they are Palestinians. Palestinians expelled in 1948 and 1967 are denied the right to return to their homes and lands, while the fact that anyone of Jewish background – from anywhere in the world – has the automatic right to become an Israeli citizen and live in Palestine. In the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians live under separate and discriminatory military law, in isolated Bantustans surrounded by the Wall.
We work to end all international complicity with this apartheid state. Governments provide extensive political and economic support to the Israeli apartheid regime. Corporations profit through investments and joint operations with Israeli companies. Institutions, organizations and unions provide economic and moral backing by maintaining investments in and relations with Israel. Artists, intellectuals and sports teams legitimize Israeli apartheid by continuing business as usual. It is this type of support and cooperation, which allows apartheid to continue to exist, and this is why ending international complicity is so important.
We understand Israeli apartheid as one element of a global system ofeconomicand military domination. To this end, we stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular, indigenous communities suffering under settler colonialism, exploitation and displacement.
We are against the racist ideology of Zionism, which is the impetus for Israeli colonialism, because it inherently discriminates against those who are not Jewish. We are against all forms of discrimination, and believe that there can never be justice without the restoration of full rights for everyone, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or nationality. Our demands are based upon the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, issued on 9 July 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations, which states that:
Boycott, divestment and sanctions should be imposed and maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands, dismantling the Wall and freeing all Palestinian and Arab political prisoners;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN General Assembly resolution 194.
To be part of the Israeli Apartheid Week International Network, organizations should commit to:
a) the basis of unity above
b) coordination with the international network
c) building, as part of Israeli Apartheid Week activities, local BDS awareness and campaigns.