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SJP: Palestine Awareness Week 2013

Presentation on Palestine for the PAW Presentations Committee

Andrew Newton

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of SJP: Palestine Awareness Week 2013

Common Misconceptions
About Israel and Palestine

1) It's an age old conflict
2) It's a religious conflict
3) It's all about Arabs vs. Jews
4) There's an unstoppable cycle of violence
The establishment of the state of Israel
Over 700,000 Palestinians driven out
Massacres at about 24 villages
Became known as "al Nakba", or "the catastrophe" among Palestinians.
Israel's Birth,
Palestine's Catastrophe
The Occupation Begins
Israel pre-emptively strikes Egypt, Jordan and Syria, seizing Palestinian land
Over 300,000 more Palestinians are forced to flee
The First Intifada
A predominantly nonviolent uprising begins in Jabalia refugee camp in December 1987
The intifada, which means "shaking off", was a response to growing Israeli settlements and state violence
The uprising lasts until 1993
The Oslo Accords
A tenuous agreement is reached between the Israeli government and the newly-established Palestinian Authority.
During this process, Israel more than doubled the construction of new settlements in the West Bank
The Second Intifada
Israeli political candidate Ariel Sharon enters al-Asqa mosque in Jerusalem and claims the site is, and will remain, in Israeli hands
This prompts another uprising and a growth of support for Hamas among Palestinians.
In December, Israel conducts a bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip, killing over 1,400.
That same year, the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions develops momentum, promoting nonviolent means of resistance
Operation Cast Lead
Life Under Occupation
Living Conditions
in Gaza
The Wall
Life Under Occupation
In 2002, the Israeli government began construction of a wall in the West Bank
Many Palestinians have lost access to their farmland, medical care, education, and community because of the wall
The planned length is over 400 miles
Checkpoints are Israeli military barriers monitoring or preventing Palestinian movement.
Most checkpoints are between Palestinian towns and villages, separating people from their jobs, schools, families, and holy sites
In the West Bank, Palestinians & Israelis can't use the same roads, schools, houses, & legal systems.
There are more than 30 laws that discriminate against Palestinians in Israel.
The army often disables Palestinian roads with seemingly arbitrary roadblocks
“Gaza is a prison and Israel seems to have thrown away the key.”
- UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, John Dugard
Although 8,000 Israeli settlers were removed from Gaza in 2005, the Israeli government still mainstains control of its borders, airspace, and shorelines.
The Israeli government also decides which people, goods and medicines go in and out of the Gaza Strip.
Israel has repeatedly attacked international convoys attempting to bring in humanitarian aid.
There are over 7 million Palestinian refugees
Many still carry to keys & official titles to their land
In 1948, the UN General Assembly declared that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbour should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date."
The Palestinian right of return has yet to be granted.
What is BDS?
Ensuring university investment portfolios don't support companies that profit from the occupation
The BDS movement aims to put economic pressure on Israel in order to make the occupation politically inconvenient
It is modeled after the non-violent tactics used to end apartheid in South Africa.
There are three end goals to BDS:
3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
1) The end of Israel's occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and the dismantling of the Wall.
2) The recognition of the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
What is BDS?
Targeting the corporations
that profit from the occupation
Exposing academic and cultural institutions that maintain or defend the oppression of Palestinians
A growing number of artists have refused to perform or exhibit in Israel until the occupation is ended
Imposing legal limitations to trade with Israel. This is difficult in the US, as we have a strong Israel lobby.
The US and Israel have maintained a 'special relationship' since the end of WWII. They've received more US aid than any other country despite being considered a "first world" nation
Since 1985, the US has provided nearly $3 billion in grants annually to Israel, over $8 million each day
The money we send to bolster Israel's military power could be better spent on education, health care, etc.
US-Israel Connections
The 2012-2013 academic year has seen seven University of California campuses launch campaigns to divest university funds from corporations enabling oppression of Palestinians
In November 2012, UC Irvine’s student senate became the first to successfully pass a divestment resolution (without being overturned by veto), voting 16-0.
Stanford, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Berkeley, Davis, and Santa Cruz also launched divestment campaigns this spring.
Recent BDS Victories
Relevant UN Resolutions
UN Resolutions 36/266: Condemn the occupation of Palestinian territories, claiming Israel "violates the principles of international law"
UN Resolution 194: Grants Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes peacefully
UN Resolution 3236:
Recognizes Palestinian people's right to self-determination and the Palestinian right to independence and sovereignty
UN Resolution 3379:
Determines that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination" (The resolution was later revoked due to political pressure)
UN Resolution 38/69:
condemn Israel's refusal to renounce the possession of nuclear weapons
UN Resolution 38/79:
Condemn Israel's violation of the Geneva Convention. It "reaffirms the fact that occupation itself constitutes a grave violation of human rights..."
A Brief History
Thank you for your time!
For more info, visit sjpbruins.com

Students for Justice in Palestine
USC 2013

Operation Pillar of Cloud
November 14-21, 2012. 170 Palestinians, 5 Israelis dead
In 1986, UC Berkeley students pushed their university to divest $3 billion from South Africa. Nelson Mandela later claimed this was a catalyst for ending apartheid.
Since 2005, Palestinian Civil Society has called for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel similar to those used against South Africa during the apartheid era.
The Associated Students of UC Irvine recently unanimously decided to divest from Israel.
What Students Can Do

“The struggle of man(sic) against power
is the struggle of memory against forgetting”

― Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
in settler-colonial contexts:
"invasion is a structure, not an event"
-Patrick Wolfe
Settler colonialism is a specific colonial formation whereby foreign family units move into a region and reproduce. An imperial power oversees the immigration of these settlers who consent, often only temporarily, to government by that authority. This colonization leads, by a variety means, to depopulation of the previous inhabitants, and the settlers take over the land left vacant by the previous residents.
Unlike other forms of colonialism, the "colonizing authority" (the imperial power) is not always the same nationality as the "colonizing workforce" (the settlers) in cases of settler colonialism. The settlers are, however, generally viewed by the colonizing authority as racially superior to the previous inhabitants, giving their social movements and political demands greater legitimacy than those of colonized peoples in the eyes of the home government.
The crime of Apartheid is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime."
South African
julien bousac
The Prawer Plan
In September 2011, the Israeli government approved a five-year economic development plan called the Prawer plan. One of its implications is a relocation of some 40,000–70,000 Negev Bedouin from areas not recognized by the government to government-approved townships.

The Prawer Plan
Current Talks
Full transcript