9th August 2010
A few days ago various Israeli media agencies announced the launching of the Funjoya Student Festival in Eilat. This festival will take place during 2-4 September. Tourism Ministry of Apartheid Israel has invested around one million dollars in this project.
Students from Western Europe and the US are expected to participate in this event whose organizers are cooperating with international student bodies such as Project Birthright and the World Union of Jewish Students which in their turn are promoting it on campuses internationally.
It comes as no surprise to us, imprisoned students in Gaza, that Israel is desperately trying to whitewash its crimes in such a manner. After bombing our homes, factories, hospitals, schools and universities and taking the lives of over 1434 individuals, including more than 413 Palestinian children, in 2009 and then massacring nine peace activists aboard the humanitarian Mavi Marmara in 2010, Israel is most definitely busying itself in beautifying its image on the international scene in a Hasbara campaign. This time it targets students.
From under a most brutal siege humanity has witnessed during this modern age, we urge all students around the globe to boycott this festival We ask: will it speak about the cultural confiscation, the occupation of Palestinian history, the system of racial discrimination, home demolition, settlement expansion, settler colonialism and land expropriation? Will it tell of how apartheid Israel slices the West Bank into Bantustans separated by more than 600 checkpoints and a monstrous Apartheid Separation Wall preventing Palestinians from access to local hospitals, schools and universities, not to mention their families and relatives?
Like the historical moment that Sharpeville 1960 created when the White police force shot and killed 69 Black peaceful demonstrators, Gaza 2009 and the killing of more than 434 Palestinian children has created a spark worldwide. During the attacks of 2009, more than 34 campus occupations took place in Britain and other countries. In the US, student senate of Hampshire College became the first student union in America to divest from some companies having ties with Israel, followed by University of Michigan, Dearborn and later UC, Berkley.
Students from around the world should unite against war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by apartheid Israel until it complies with international law.
We, therefore, appeal to students all over the world to join us in our struggle for freedom, justice and equality. We extend our hands to them to come and visit the Gaza Strip instead and show us true student to student solidarity.
As South African archbishop Desmund Tutu once said “if you choose to be neutral in situations of injustice, then you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” And we urge you herein: don’t choose the wrong side of history.
PSCABI (Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel)
University Teachers’ Association in Palestine