The last few weeks have seen Israeli Apartheid Weeks (IAWs) take place across university campuses all over the world. In the UK alone events happened on over 30 campuses, as part of a global campaign to raise awareness to the apartheid reality in Palestine/Israel and to mobilise support for the growing Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS).
Opposition and repression of these events came from above at the institutional and governmental levels. In an email sent to Nicola Dandrige, chief executive of Universities UK, Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, warns against Israeli apartheid events and calls them anti-Semitic. Several events were cancelled by the administrations including at the University of Exeter and the University of Central Lancashire.
Whilst Israeli Apartheid Week has been occurring annually since 2005 and Palestinians and their allies have been calling the situation in Palestine/Israel apartheid long before that, the international community has yet to catch up. In recent years there have been insinuations by various political figures that Israel is moving in the direction of apartheid, including most infamously by John Kerry in 2014 who consequently had to apologise for using the word in the context of Israel. Former president Jimmy Carter called outright the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) as apartheid and even published a book on it.