Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights hosts Israeli Apartheid Week

By Michael Grondin

Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights has set up shop in MacHall to protest the military occupation of Palestine. Their display is a part of Israeli Apartheid Week, which runs from March 2–5.

Events for Israeli Apartheid week are held in 130 cities across the world every year, including 13 in Canada. The event aims to expose the struggles Palestinians face in their conflict with Israel. The SPHR has hosted the event at the University of Calgary for several years.

SPHR president Wesam Cooley said his club is trying to change the way the Israel/Palestine conflict is portrayed.

“There are systems of oppression that have been put in place by the Israeli state towards Palestinians,” Cooley said. “We want to challenge the dominant discourse which is overwhelmingly pro-Israel.”

Events for the week include film screenings, guest speakers and celebrations of Palestinian culture with food, dance and poetry.

According to SPHR vice-president public relations Prachi Mishra, the club sees Israeli policy towards Palestinians constituting a violation of human rights.

“A vast majority of Palestinians were expelled, marginalized, abused and have been forced to live under unjust military occupation, yet the world stands by,” Mishra said.

Mishra said that discussion of the issue will help change negative viewpoints as well as give Palestinians a fair representation of the struggles they face.

“These policies towards Palestinians are not only inherently flawed, but they are discriminatory and they will not help bring about peace in any way,” Mishra said. “We are trying to make the case that western media and western perceptions of the issue are very one-sided, which paints the Palestinian resistance or struggle as terrorism or as not existing at all.”

The event is being held on the first-floor of MacHall. If you feel like a debate, all students are invited to be a part of the discussion.

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