Why the Palestinian flag is hanging from my office window.

The Guild of Students has a proud history of standing against Apartheid & Racism, in 1968-69, Mike Terry, the then Guild President ran a massive campaign of international solidarity with black south Africans. He then went on to lead the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AA) for nearly two decades. When Enoch Powel tried to enter Campus after his “rivers of blood” speech, he was driven off by angry students and academics. That was the Guild in its heyday.

I hope that this flag will start a healthy debate on issue of Israeli Apartheid

Today “apartheid” is an official term defined legally in international law as crime “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.” Apartheid does not exist in Israel as it did in South Africa; however “Israeli apartheid” is, despite being distinct, very real.

Racial Segregation and oppression very much exist in modern day Israel: there are many laws that separate groups based on “religion” and “race”.  Palestinians are banned from using much infrastructure especially in the West bank, which is given over to the exclusive use of Israeli settlers. Furthermore, much segregation is codified in Israeli law for example- the rights of residence and citizenship, allows full residency rights to anyone who claims  Jewish identity but refuses the right of return to Palestinians and their descendants who were expelled from their towns and villages in 1948.

This week at UoB, the Students for Justice in Palestine Society are holding an “Israeli Apartheid Week” to raise awareness of the issues that many Palestinians face on a daily basis. Please go to the sessions taking place on campus, details of which can be found here:

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One Response to Why the Palestinian flag is hanging from my office window.

  1. Pingback: When push comes to shove | Vice President Education & Access

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