Activists in Qatar are gearing up to participate in Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), and will kick off a series of events and lectures locally from March 22 to 28.
IAW is an annual event usually marked by university students around the world in February and March, with the aim of raising awareness about the plight of Palestinians and sign up supporters for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Through IAW and BDS, supporters hope to urge Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land; grant equal rights to Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel; and acknowledge the right of some refugees to return to their homes, according to BDS’s website.
The upcoming conference in Qatar, which is hosting an IAW for the third time, will likely gain fresh urgency following this week’s re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who withdrew his support for a two-state solution ahead of the polls.
In a move criticized by international leaders, he also warned that Israeli Arabs were turning out “in droves” to cast ballots, in a move seen as a way to spur right-wing voters to express their support of him.
In Doha, the opening lecture commences on March 22 at Qatar University, discussing international law and assessing “Palestinian struggles for justice and accountability.”
Other discussions held next week will center around the growing BDS movement and the forms of resistance Palestinians have used historically and today to fight occupation.
There will also be two movie screenings at Katara Cultural Village.
One is The Battle of Algiers, a 120-minute 1966 classic about Algeria’s war for independence. The second, The Turtle’s Rage, is a 70-minute film about a man who is unable to return to Palestine, and the questions from his daughter that he cannot answer.
For more information on the conference, see its Facebook event page here.