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University students commit to sweeping boycotts

April 28, 2010 4:37 P.M. (Updated: April 29, 2010 7:50 P.M.)
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 Bloc-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

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