Second only to Ramadan, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is my favourite time of the year. I get to see people who grew up watching nothing but the news find out just how much there is to the colonization of Palestine – and a year later seeing them organizing for that very cause. Israeli Apartheid Week crafts visionaries and activists.
Every year, over 150 universities around the world take part in Israeli Apartheid Week. Israeli Apartheid Week is a symbolic initiative for Pro-Palestinian student activists. Israeli Apartheid Week serves to raise awareness about Israel’s settler-colonial project and apartheid policies and how it has affected the indigenous Palestinian population as well as other ethnic/religious minorities in the region.
This year at McMaster IAW is expanding a little. Normally it sheds light on the conditions of Palestinian people and on the perpetuators, policies and funders of their oppression. It brings facts, statistics and experiences of Palestinian and non-Palestinian people who have lived or travelled in Palestine. It brings the on-the-ground reality. This year, we are kicking it up a notch. In addition, we are going deeper into the systems and analyzing the oppressive power structures of colonization and imperialism and how that created the Zionist state as well as contributed to the marginalization of other oppressed groups. Here is a list of some of the events:
Palestine 101 Teach-In – Monday March 6th, 12:30-2:30pm. McMaster Undergraduate Student Centre Room 218
We will be hosting an introductory teach-in in regards to the Israeli occupation/colonization of Palestine. This is the very first event of IAW as we want to provide students foundational knowledge about the history and basic principles about the occupation so that students can come to the rest of our events throughout the week with an understanding of the occupation and its implications.
Decolonial Narratives: Settler Colonialism in Canada and Palestine – McMaster University, March 9th, 4:30 – 7pm, MDCL 1110
Do you want to understand the dynamics of colonialism and the impact settler-colonialism has had on indigenous populations around the world? Have you ever had questions about the comparisons between Canada and Israel as settler-colonial entities? This event is a panel that will connect the indigenous struggles of North American Indigenous groups and Palestinians. Nayrouz Abu Hatoum, a lecturer at Ryerson University and Phil Monture, previous director of Land Claims Research Office at the Six Nations of the Grand River will be speaking on the historical oppression these indigenous groups have faced. This event will focus on the implications colonialism has had on these communities.
“The Lab” Film Screening: Israeli Weapons Industry and the Gaza Strip – March 8th, McMaster University Room TBA
A documentary about the Israeli weapons industry and how its success depends very much on Israel testing weapons in wars on the Gaza Strip and its connection to militarization around the world.
Rock our Souls Coffee house – Bridges Café, McMaster University, March 10th
In honour of International Women’s Week, United and Colour and Solidarity for Palestinian for Palestinian Human Rights are hosting a coffee house to celebrate and remembering the resistance of all women who are black, indigenous, Muslim and other women of colour. There will be spoken word poets, artists and singers performing as a form of cultural resistance.
Those are some of the highlights planned for this month. IAW happens all around the world so chances are there is a campus near you with incredible events that you can attend. See you there.