END ISRAELI APARTHEID!
Sunday September 16th 2007 @ 1 pm
Vancouver Art Gallery
On September 16th, 1982 the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila were occupied and invaded under the direction of the Israeli military. For three days, unarmed Palestinian refugees were raped, slaughtered and buried in mass graves by Lebanese Phalangist militias acting under the orders of the Israeli military. Over 2,000 people were killed, the vast majority hom were women, children and the elderly, in one of the most brutal massacres in recent history.
Sabra and Shatila takes its place in a long history of crimes against the Palestinian people that began with the ethnic cleansing of 800,000 refugees from Palestine in 1948, and continues with the massacres in Gaza today. The refugees of Sabra and Shatila, who were forcefully expelled from their homes in 1948, remain in the camps to this day, denied their inaliable right to return to the homes from which they were expelled.
Join us to mark the 25 year anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, and to call for an end to Israeli colonization and occupation.
End Israeli apartheid!
Organized by the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, a military operation that aimed to crush the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that was then largely based in the refugee camps of Lebanon. Over 18,000 people were killed in the summer of 1982, including those massacred at Shabra and Shatila.
The scale and brutality of the massacre came as no surprise to Israeli military officers, who had been training the Phalangist militias for the previous six years. Two weeks before the massacre, the army newspaper wrote: “A seior Israeli officer heard the following from the lips of a Phalagist: the question we are putting to ourselves is – how to begin, by raping or killing? You have no idea the slaughter that will befall the Palestinians, civilians or terrorists, who remain in the city… The sword and the gun of the Christian fighters will pursue them everywhere and exterminate them once and for all.”
An Israeli government commission determined that then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for Israel’s role in the Sabra and Shatila massacre, which included securing military control of the camp; facilitating the access of Lebanese militias; preventing Palestinian refugees from fleeing the massacre by sealing all exits to the camps with military checkpoints; and illuminating the night sky with a continuous serious of flares as the killings continued.
Israel did not retreat from Lebanon until 2000, with the exception of the Shebaa Farms of south Lebanon, which remain occupied to this day.
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS
Despite the facade of “peace negotiations”, Israel continues to entrench a system of apartheid in Palestine characterized by densely-populated ghettos encircled by concrete walls, sniper towers and military checkpoints. In many areas, Palestinians are prohibited from owning land, obtaining building permits, or travelling on highways based purely on their race. According to South African law professor John Dugard, the special rapporteur for the United Nations on the human rights in the Palestinian territories, the apartheid regime in Palestine is “worse than the one that existed in South Africa.”
In 2005, 170 grassroots organizations in Palestinian joined in a call for an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel.
Since then, the campaign has continued to gain momentum across the globe, with a wide variety of initiatives undetaken in academic, religious, medical, labour, cultural and grassroots organizations.
For information about getting involved in this campaign locally in Vancouver, please contact the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign at boycottapartheid[at]gmail.com