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Palestinian Popular Resistance: Building the BDS and Student Movement

Middle EastSocial Movements

Photo by Heri Rakotomalala

A new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up against Israel’s brutal, decades-old system of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have joined demonstrations taking place in dozens of cities across historic Palestine and in refugee camps in neighbouring Arab countries. Palestinians continue to struggle for their fundamental rights of freedom, self-determination, equality, and a right to return. As the resistance on the ground intensifies, university campuses remain central to building on the Palestinian solidarity movement. The call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) has recently made tremendous gains, in particular on university campuses and academic institutions. Both the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) recently passed BDS resolutions, with an overwhelming majority.

Presentations by:

  • Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and activist. As of Fall 2014, she is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. She has taught international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University since Spring 2009. Noura is a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya. Most recently she served as Legal Counsel for the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives. Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, Noura received a New Voices Fellowship to work as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation where she helped seed BDS campaigns nationally as well as support the cases brought against two former Israeli officials in U.S. federal courts for alleged war crimes.
  • Nada Elia is a diaspora Palestinian, born in Baghdad, Iraq, and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. Nada currently teaches Global and Gender Studies at Antioch University-Seattle, where she coordinates the Global Studies area of concentration. Nada is a member of the Organizing Committee of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and has spoken around the country about academic boycott as a means to achieve the currently non-existent academic freedom in the U.S., Israel, and Palestine.

Organized by the University of Toronto, GSU BDS Committee, in partnership with Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) UofT. For more information on the UofT Divestment campaign, and to sign the petition, please visit:

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