Yesterday saw the beginning of Palestine Action Week, a campaign week hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine as they call on College to take “a full academic boycott of Israel in line with the Palestinian people’s call for a non-violent international boycott of Israel”. In 2008, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions issued a report recommending boycott and divestment actions against Israel, based on the anti-apartheid model. Additionally, in 2004 Palestinian civil society called for the boycott of Israel.
Speaking to Trinity News, a member of the group explained that “in keeping with the university’s history of intellectual and cultural solidarity against apartheid crimes in South Africa in the past, we demand to end the current research ties between TCD and Israel, and veto on any future research links that condone, contribute or lend academic credence to Israel’s policies of occupation and discrimination against the Palestinian people”.
Today there will be a film screening of “The Time that Remains” happening at 7pm in Aras an Phiarsaigh. Wednesday shall see a Cave Writings x BDS collaborative event featuring a creative arts performance with theme of Palestinian struggle at 8pm in the Boars Head. On Thursday, the group are coming together with TradSoc, RAMSI and MASI for a food, music and culture night to highlight the rights of Palestinian refugees both within Palestine and world-wide.
Closing the week, on Friday at 1.40pm Students for Justice in Palestine will gather in Front Square before delivering their petition to the Provost at 2pm, a petition calling on College to adopt a formal academic boycott of Israel which has gathered over 2,000 signatures to date. To afford those interested the opportunity to sign this petition ahead of Friday, there will also be stalls set up throughout the week.
The range of events will be taking place throughout the week are sure to garner interest after last night’s demonstration, in which members of Students for Justice in Palestine protested the arrival of Israel’s ambassador to Ireland to speak at a SOFIA event. Ciaran O’Rourke, one of the founders of Students for Justice in Palestine, said that they were “calling for human rights for Palestine and for Palestinians”. He also took issue with the Israeli ambassador “stating that the military siege of Gaza does not exist”.
All are welcome to participate in the events taking place throughout the week, as the group said :“We are encouraging anyone supporting our campaign to come to any or all events during the week, and especially to Friday’s petition delivery”
For more information, you can visit the ‘Students for Justice in Palestine – TCD’ Facebook page or http://www.facebook.com/apartheidfreecampus.