Since its inception in 2005, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) has become one of the most well-known and virulent anti-Israel programs. In dozens of cities around the world each year, anti-Israel activists plan a weeklong series of events, usually in March, that are marked by allegations that Israel has become an "apartheid state" and that the Israeli government oppresses Palestinians in a manner akin to the repression of the Black majority in apartheid South Africa. Speakers at these events contend that Israeli policy regarding Palestinians and Arab citizens of Israel are predicated on racism and discrimination rather than legitimate security concerns.
In recent years, IAW programs have served as a platform for strategizing about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel because of the success of BDS efforts in dismantling the apartheid system in South Africa. Anti-Israel activists often call for various boycotts on Israel, including on Israeli academic and cultural institutions or on companies that do business with Israel, as part of the "action plan" to carry out following IAW.
There have also been several instances where more extreme messages, including expressions of anti-Semitism and support for terrorist groups that target Israeli civilians, including Hamas and Hezbollah, have been propagated during IAW programs.
A version of this report was published in March 2009.