BDS conference blasts normalization ahead of 'Israeli Apartheid Week'

While many Palestinian Authority based companies do steady business with Israel, the BDS conference called it "normalization" which runs counter to their struggle to isolate "apartheid" Israel.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
April 11, 2019 14:08
2 minute read.
Caption: BDS supporters hold a protest against Israel in South Africa's Gauteng province recently

Caption: BDS supporters hold a protest against Israel in South Africa's Gauteng province recently. (photo credit: BDS SOUTH AFRICA)

 
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Select college campuses around the world held "Israeli Apartheid Week" activities last week, condemning what they see as examples of the Jewish state's discrimination.
 
The 6th annual Palestinian BDS National Committee conference kicked off the Apartheid Week activities with speeches and workshops.

Held at the 1,000-seat Dr. Fathi Arafat Conference Center in Al-Bireh, a city near Ramallah in the PA controlled area of the West Bank, videos of various students from around the world were displayed voicing their support for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

Baleka Mbete, speaker of the lower house of South Africa's National Assembly sent a recorded statement, vowing: "The Palestinian struggle is our struggle... our president recently confirmed our position of a downgraded embassy in Tel Aviv. We know that more needs to be done and we will continue to stick to our anti-imperialist stance." 
 
BDS supporters believe that Israel carries out policies similar to South Africa's apartheid regime which lasted from the 1940s until the 1994 general elections. Previous to the histrionic elections, non-Whites were restricted from voting and other policies separated those of different races in the public sphere.

Among the guests at the conference was BDS movement cofounder Omar Barghouti. 
The Qatar-born US educated Barghouti blasted any economic, security or tourism corporation with Israel, reported al Hadath news

Participating in a BDS workshop during the conference, he condemned companies based in the Palestinian Authority that engage in commerce with Israel. Normalization, he asserted would run counter to the movement's goals of pressuring Israel through isolation, reported the Investigative Project on Terrorism who translated excerpts of the speeches.
Wasel Abu Yusuf, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee gave the opening speech at the confectioner which was held at the 1,000-seat Dr. Fathi Arafat Conference Center in Al-Bireh, a city near Ramallah in the PA controlled area of the West Bank.

In contrast a business conference held in February in Jerusalem features Jewish settler leaders and Palestinian businessmen hailing cooperation between the two communities. The Israeli-Palestinian International Economic Forum highlighted the coexistence between PA residents and Israelis living in the region on a daily basis, reported The Jerusalem Post's Tovah Lazaroff.

But Abu Yusuf said BDS was part of the "popular resistance" against what he called the "occupation" reported the Meir Amit intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. He was quoted as saying the PLO planned not to work with the Israeli police on fighting crime and terrorism which affects both populations.

 
Other speakers included Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of Fatah's Central Committee and Muhammad al-Aboushi, senior figure in the National Initiative Movement.

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