Palestinian non-violent leader calls for boycotts

The following is from a speech by farmer Sharif Omar of Jayyous in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a long-time leader of the Palestinian non-violent movement and member of Qalqilya District’s Land Defense Committee. This speech was given at a May 21 rally at Trafalgar Square in London.


My friends, how can the United Kingdom help us to achieve our just requirements? We know well that the international community imposed boycotts against South Africa with sanctions until the people there won their freedom and rights. We the Palestinians have the right to expect the same commitment and effort and to dream of having the same results. So your government is invited to lead the international community in serious and complete boycott with sanctions against Israel.

On this point, we appreciate the brave example of the boycott agreed by the British university teachers’ union against Israeli universities, not because we are against an exchange of culture and knowledge but because we want these well educated staff to raise their voice loudly inviting their government and army people to end the occupation and to condemn all its crimes. So we send solutions to British university staff and leaders and we ask all the honest and decent people in the world to support them, hoping that other universities worldwide will follow.

Brothers and sisters: if any Palestinian academic doesn’t respect this brave first step of British universities he must be a collaborator and not work to end the occupation but to give long life to it and I doubt if he dare to go inside any Palestinian refugee camp either in or outside Palestine.

Comrades, so as not to allow Israel to deprive us of our lands, and to change us into beggars or refugees, let’s work together to end the occupation, let us work together to establish our independent state so as to give all generations who were born during the occupation period the opportunity to know what is the real meaning of life without occupation, without checkpoints, barriers, curfews, military zones, closed areas, assassinations, prisons and all the crimes of occupation. We want to have one language with honest Israelis, to build a just peace, a good neighbourhood with mutual respect and equality and to have later, one state with full rights for all citizens there. Enough of occupation, enough humiliation. Free, free Palestine.

Thank you.

See Omar’s full text.

For more on Jayyous, see WW4 Report #105 and the most recent report from the ground, Barring Life: Letter from Jayyous, West Bank in Left Hook.

See articles by Sharif Omar in USA Today, and on the Electronic Intifada

Articles on the academic boycott.

See our last post on the boycott.