Israel Apartheid Week Boycott Middle East
A demonstrator displays a sign reading "Boycott Israel, racist state" outside the Belgian foreign affairs building  in BrusselsReuters

The 10th annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is being celebrated in 87 cities across the world. But what is it? IBTimes UK details the nuts and bolts of the occasion below.


UK and US: 24 February - 2 March
Europe: 1 March - 8 March
Canada: 3 March - 11 March
Palestine: 8 March – 15 March
South Africa: 10 March - 16 March
Brazil: 24 March - 28 March


Israeli Apartheid Week began in Toronto, Canada in 2005.

IAW now takes place on prestigious university campuses such as Oxford, Cambridge and LSE in the UK and Harvard in the United States, as well as in 80 cities around the world.


It is a series of university lectures, events and protests, held in various cities across the world, about the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Occupied Territories.


According to the IAW organisation: "The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement."


Israeli speakers such as professors Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim.

Respected authors Noam Chomsky and Ben White.

Palestinian student societies, such as Harvard University's Palestine Solidarity Committee and LSE's Palestine Society who caused controversy by building a mock "Israeli Apartheid Wall" in 2012.

What does IAW mean?

Author, freelance journalist and activist Ben White tweeted IBTimes UK what Israeli Apartheid Week meant to him in 140 characters.

Ben White Israeli Apartheid Week


The organisers of the week have said that the events held during IAW have "played an important role in raising awareness and disseminating information about Zionism, the Palestinian liberation struggle and its similarities with the indigenous sovereignty struggle in North America and the South African anti-Apartheid movement."

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has gained significant traction in recent months, with international companies boycotting construction projects in Israel and foreign banks rejecting money from Israeli banks. The IAW serves as an extension of the BDS movement.

The Israeli Defence?

British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) believe that the week represents an "apartheid smear" and a lie that "damages the peace process".

A new publication released by BICOM details how Israel is not an apartheid state but offers "every citizen equal rights under the law".

It claims that Israeli Apartheid Week is an "anti-Semitic anti-Zionist campaign" and that Israel is "not a theocracy (rule by clerics) or a state exclusively for Jews, but a democracy".

In 2012, the Public Diplomacy Ministry of Israel sent the "Faces of Israel" mission to countries which host IAW; it comprised of 100 Israelis including "settlers, Arabs, artists, experts in national security, homosexuals, and immigrants from Ethiopia" in order to defend Israel against the week.


In 2008 Alan Baker, Israel's ambassador to Canada, criticised Israeli Apartheid Week when he called it "crude propagandism, pure hypocrisy and cynical manipulation of the student body."

In 2013, the University of Manitoba Students' Union (UMSU) in Winnipeg, Canada, became the first student government to ban Students Against Israeli Apartheid group from using student union spaces due to evidence that the group violated student union policies by "undermining the dignity and self-esteem of students on campus".



List of events:

Twitter: @apartheidweek

BICOM 'Apartheid Smear' Pamphlet