12 January 2015
The 11th annual international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will be held in South Africa between the 2nd-8th March 2015. IAW is an annual international series of events (including rallies, lectures, cultural performances, music shows, films and workshops) that raises awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies against indigenous Palestinians. Previously the IAW campaign in South Africa was endorsed by over 65 South African organisations including South Africa’s ruling party the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s largest trade union confederation the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), SA’s largest student organization the South African Students Congress, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC). Organizers are expecting the number of organizations, churches, unions and others groups endorsing and participating in IAW to hit the 100 mark this year.
The largest ever IAW campaign in South Africa took place in 2014 with community members, students, government ministers, politicians, trade unionists and others across the country all joining the week long awareness raising campaign. One of the highlights of IAW 2014 was a free IAW Palestine solidarity concert held in the spirit of the “Free Mandela Concerts of the 1980s” at Wits University with musicians Simphiwe Dana and Thandisa Mazwai. (For more information about IAW 2014:www.bdssouthafrica.com/2011/02/israeli-apartheid-week-2014-media.html)
IAW 2015 is gearing to be bigger and even more successful than last year, with various organisations, communities, schools and campuses endorsing the campaign. A record 45 South African cities and towns joined by 25 university campuses have already indicated their intention to host IAW 2015 events.
IAW South Africa organisers are proud to announce that Palestinian human rights activist and spoken word artist Rafeef Ziadah will tour South Africa as part of IAW 2015. Ziadah is an active member of the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement and in particular working on the growing cultural boycott of Israel. Rafeef has received international acclaim for her heart wrenching spoken-word poetry, which includes “We Teach Life, Sir” (click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKucPh9xHtM) and “Shades of Anger” (click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2vFJE93LTI)
IAW 2015 follows Israel’s assault on the besieged Palestinian Gaza Strip where over 2000 Palestinians were killed including over 500 children. IAW 2015 will be held across South Africa in remembrance of the over 500 children killed during the recent Israeli bombardment of Gaza. The poster and artwork for the week reflect this theme of children affected by Israeli Apartheid and brutality (see attachment for official Israeli Apartheid Week poster for South Africa).
For media interviews with the IAW South Africa Team, please contact:
Kwara Kekana, National Spokesperson of IAW South Africa Team: 074 054 3826
Basheera Surty, National Convenor of IAW South Africa Team: 082 556 0241
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