Bethlehem – Ma‘an – In anticipation of Nakba commemoration day next month, Palestinian student and youth groups across the West Bank and Gaza signed a memorandum enacting a massive boycott of Israeli products and programs.
The document calls for a halt to any activities that could normalize relations between Palestine and Israel.
"Economic, political, cultural and institutional normalization legitimize Israel‘s oppression of the Palestinian people by giving the appearance of normalcy to the relationship between oppressor and oppressed. This relationship is hardly one between equals as Israel continues to violate our inalienable rights, steal our land, and prevent refugees from our right of return in contravention of international law and numerous UN resolutions," a statement from the student groups said.
The memorandum went on to describe a series of measures the students intended to apply on or before 15 May, when Palestinians commemorate the 1948 expulsion of hundreds of thousands from their homes that lead to the declaration of an Israeli state.
More than list the elements of the boycott, the students asserted "our right to resist Israel‘s oppression of the Palestinian people through all forms of resistance and in accordance to international law, including forms of civil resistance such as demonstrations, sits-ins and, boycotts of Israel."
The students declared adherence to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BDS) and said they would reject "any Israeli-Palestinian meetings that do not recognize our inalienable rights, and explicitly aim to resist Israel‘s occupation, colonization and apartheid."
The student statement said the participating groups would "refuse to take part in whitewashing Israel‘s public image," and that "meetings that are not committed to such principles give a false picture of equality between the two parties by ignoring and legitimizing Israel‘s oppression of the Palestinian people."
The petition was endorsed by the following university councils:
Birzeit University‘s student council
An-Najah University‘s student council and the majority of student blocks on campus
Hebron University‘s student council
Bethlehem University‘s student council
Arab American University in Jenin‘ student council
Al-Quds University‘s student council
Palestine Technical College‘s student council -Aroub
Al-Quds Open University‘s student council-Tulkarem
Al-Quds Open University‘s student council-Qalqiliya
Palestine Technical College‘s student council – Khadouri
The Palestinian Student Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI)
Progressive Student Union Bloc-Gaza
Fateh Youth Organization- Gaza
Progressive Student Labor Front-Gaza
Islamic League of Palestinian Student s- Gaza
Student Unity Bloc-Gaza
Union of Youth Activity Centers in Palestinian Refugee Camps
Palestinian Youth Network-all branches
General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) -Chile
General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) -Colombia
General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) -France
General Union for Palestinian Youth
Palestinian Federation -Chile
Palestinian Federation- Argentine
US Palestinian Communities Network (USPCN)
Palestinian Community of Catalonia
And the following youth groups:
Center for Argentinean – Palestinian Friendship- Rosario/Argentina
Arab Youth for Palestine Valdivia/ Chile
Arab Youth for Valparaiso – Via Del Mar/Chile
Arab Youth of Concepcion – Concepcion /Chile
The youth group of the Evan Lutheran Church – Beit Sahour
Sheppard‘s Scouts Troup – Beit Sahour
The Papal Scout Troop – Beit Jala
Student Council of the Evangelical Lutheran School – Beit Sahour
Student Council of the Evangelical Lutheran School – Ramallah
Student Council of the Friends Boys School – Ramallah
Student Council of the Arab Evangelical Episcopal School – Ramallah
Student Council of St. Joseph‘s School – Ramallah
Jafra Palestinian Youth Center-Al-Yarmouk Refugee Camp
Joint Advocacy Initiative – The East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine