Conference Focuses on Expanding Boycott of Israeli Goods

In collaboration with the Birzeit University student council, the Association of Democratic Youth Development "Shabab" held on September 23, 2014 a conference on strengthening the boycott against Israel that was well-attended.

The conference released a statement calling for the boycott of Israel and rejecting normalization, emphasizing the legitimate right to resist the Israeli occupation by all methods that are guaranteed by international conventions. Moreover, the statement called upon all youth movements and student councils around the world to support the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law.

Participants recommended the strengthening of the Palestinian economy and ending its dependence on the occupation economy, while protecting the national economy in the midst of unequal and unfair economic competition with the occupier.

Ali Taher from the Birzeit Employees Union opened the conference recalling the vital role played by late former university president Gabi Baramki in applying academic boycott at Birzeit University, while emphasizing the university's commitment to all forms of anti-normalization.

On behalf of the student council and student movement, student Alaa’ Karajah said that the council has significantly contributed to clearing the campus from all Israeli goods and called for strengthening the boycott as a way of life.

The opening session was concluded by Shabab’s board director Maher Amer, who addressed popular resistance as a way of achieving Palestinian rights and shortening the life of the occupation. He said he hoped that the conference will come out with real steps towards the formation of student and youth committees that work on promoting the boycott culture.

The first session focused on popular boycott and its real life application, particularly after Gaza’s resistance, whereas the director general of the Palestinian Youth Union Muharram al-Barghouti talked about the breakthrough in the boycott campaign during the war on Gaza. Abdel-Rahman Abu Nahl spoke via Skype from Gaza about the academic boycott campaign launched by Palestinian students, and many other follow-up interventions.

The second session addressed the integration of institutional and popular boycott, in which the director general of the Union of Food Industries Nasr Atyani talked about the union’s role in promoting the boycott. Then Chamber of Commerce president Khalil Rizk spoke about the role of the federation of chambers of commerce, industry and agriculture in spreading the boycott culture all over the Palestinian territories.

The third session was devoted to an open discussion about interventions, followed by suggestions and recommendations.