Israel Apartheid Week – victories and defeats

Anti anti-apartheid posters

Pro-Israel anti anti-apartheid posters on UK campus

The annual Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) – which should be renamed Israel Apartheid Month because there’s too much hate to fit into just one week – has been taking place across campuses worldwide, and spilling over into “regular” BDS against Israeli owned or connected shops.

First the bad news: this anti-Israel, even antisemitic, activity has taken place in several campuses in the United States and throughout Europe. As Ynet reports:

The Israel Apartheid Week, a pro-Palestinian international campaign which includes films, lectures, demonstrations and calls for a boycott of Israel, commenced in US campuses on Sunday. The anti-Israel event was initiated in Europe eight years ago. This year’s event will last six days in the US and then move to Canada.

There is some good news within the article though. It appears that Israel and Diaspora Jewish communities have learned the lessons of the past and have begun to combat and counteract these revolting displays of bigotry:

Contrary to alarming headlines in local media, US students are not as troubled by Apartheid Week events as it would seem. A survey among American students reveals that 80% are in fact not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The survey also indicates that 15% students are pro-Israeli compared with only 5% of students who are pro-Palestinian.

In fact, many students regard Apartheid Week with its rallies and “checkpoints” as mainly annoying. Out of roughly 4,000 campuses in the US, almost all do not have an anti-Israel atmosphere. Only a few dozen campuses hold a prominent debate on the issue.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry assists some 10 Jewish and non-Jewish organizations in their efforts to promote a pro-Israel discourse in these campuses. One of them is the the David Project, which was founded in Boston in 2002 during the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The organization aims to promote the idea that Israel plays the part of “David,” of the David and Goliath story, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In England the usual suspects have been having a grand old time in their vilification of Israel, as Richard Millett courageously reports from lions’ den (or dens). First he reports from UCL where Rafeef Ziada, who now teaches at the notoriously anti-Israel SOAS, praised the terrorist group Islamic Jihad at the opening session of IAW.

He continued on to Middlesex University (situated in the Jewish area of North West London) where Ken O’Keefe, loud-mouthed abusive participant in the Gaza flotilla, compared Jews to Nazis.

However, there is at least one bright spot emanating from France, where the University of Paris 8, formerly part of the Sorbonne, simply closed the campus for a few days in order to avoid having IAW take place on its campus.

The University of Paris 8, formerly a part of the Sorbonne, has decided to cancel a conference that was scheduled to be held by a pro-Palestinian group at the establishment on Monday.

The group, Collectif Palestine Paris 8, initially received permission from the university’s president, Pascal Binczak, to hold the event titled “Israel: an apartheid state?” The authorization was withdrawn due to the concern that the event’s “highly polemic nature” could trigger “disturbances to the public order,” the school said in a statement released Sunday.

Binczak published an article in the French newspaper “Le Monde” explaining his decision. He described some anti-Semitic incidents on campus, such as graffiti and signs linking the Jewish Star of David to a Nazi swastika. He further wrote that the group leaders were taking advantage of academic freedom.

Israel Matzav has some more on this:

Israel Radio is reporting that the Sorbonne’s President has forbidden Israel apartheid week from taking place on its campus, and that prohibition has the backing of the French courts. However, the pro-‘Palestinian’ ‘activists’ have said that they will hold the event by force. As a result, the university’s President has ordered the university closed on Monday and Tuesday to prevent the event from taking place. In response to charges by the ‘activists’ that not allowing the event will impair ‘academic freedom,’ the university has said that there is no academic freedom at an event where the other side cannot respond.

I salute the Professor’s integrity and courage. He is an example to all academic institutions worldwide.

Via Elder of Ziyon we can also read an excellent article from the National Post about “the return of the Apartheid Week Cult”.

The Elder has produced an excellent series of “Apartheid” cartoons and photoshops which are worth a look and are an extremely useful tool for anyone involved in anti-IAW activity.

In a related issue, a Canadian store owned by an Israeli which was the subject of a vicious boycott attempt has won a victory against the BDS activists, when their boycott backfired:

The story of Shani Bar-Oz, a Canada-based Israeli facing venomous protests outside her Vancouver soap products store, elicited a huge wave of support and generated new business, the shop owner old Ynet.

“I received a huge embrace and plenty of support,” Bar-Oz said, after an article about her plight appeared on Ynet. In the story, the store owner, who insists on selling Israeli products, shared her fears of contending with anti-Israel protesters targeting her business and shouting anti-Semitic slogans.

However, it now appears that the boycott campaign against Bar-Oz has backfired, with new orders pouring in as result of the story.

“There were Israelis who came into the store and said they saw the article and want to support and help me; I expressed my heartfelt thanks to them,” she said. “People won’t stop calling and ordering products on the phone and online, and this is truly touching and making me stronger.”

“I’m now preparing for the boycotts of ‘Apartheid Week,’ but at least I understand that there are so many supporters behind me,” she said. “I feel that I’m not forgetting where I came from and helping my homeland.”

Kol hakavod to Bar On and all the activists who took part in this campaign and in the other anti-IAW campaigns. If we all band together and stay strong we can beat the bigots.

This entry was posted in Academia, Antisemitism, Boycotts and BDS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Israel Apartheid Week – victories and defeats

  1. reality says:

    isn’t it hightime we start a “stop the terrorist Hamas /hizbollah /Islamic jihad groups all over the enlightened European & USA universities? or a “Do you want terrorism in your backyard to continue “week? Wonder what the reactions would be? probabaly lynchings & shootings & burning like only the “peaceful” arabs know how

    • anneinpt says:

      Well, the David Project, Stand With Us and similar projects are indeed counteracting the IAW activity. Not in quite as colourful a way as you suggest but still… 🙂

  2. Brian Goldfarb says:

    It’s not all bad news, even in the US. There’s a site called “Divest This” which spends its time reporting on the efforts to roll back the BDS movement. As far as Penn U.’s Israel Apartheid week campaign is concerned, the site reports an abject failure to attract any real attention. `the report is here:

    The whole site is worth reading, especially when you need a pick-up on these issues!

    • anneinpt says:

      I’d forgotten about Divest This. Thanks for reminding me (and all of us) Brian. Certainly the BDS activity nowadays smacks of desperation. The violent revolutions with the unwanted outcome of stronger Islamist parties have overtaken the BDS-ers and the average onlooker has become much more cynical.

  3. Rob Harris says:

    Some BDS thuggery greeted Nonie Darwish as well. It seems she is especially targeted for attack because she is a Muslim apostate.

  4. Roxymuzak says:

    Seems that the tide is changing – forget the idots on international left. They’re basket cases, jihadists without a cause. Could be the advent of adulthood me thinks.

  5. Pingback: Jihad Jenny Tonge resigns from Lib-Dems after antisemitic outburst | Anne's Opinions

  6. Andrea says:

    From my little everyday perspective I have witnessed one of these boycott operations hypocrisy. My job involves almost all Middle East and North Africa countries including Kheddafi’s Lybia, all Emitates in addition feudal Saudi Arabia and Islamic Iran as well ( well, before 2009 more or less).
    Most of my activities concern engineering and construction involving civil and industrial structures – among these dams, quays, railways and refinery. Take now railways in mind – we always have worked with Arabian governments laying rails in green field most of the time but sometimes small or medium urban centers. Of course we worked on expropriated fields – all measure taken in accordance with local laws and practices, let’s say expropriation for public interest. Result was that we never experienced any political boycott from any organizations caused by alleged small Arab farmer’s deprivation of rights.
    Now there is an important realization of high speed train railways between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and same companies I worked with in Middle east have a lot of bad press elsewhere and various city councils have already put them under threat of contracts cancellation. It seem in fact that railways will pass through fields located in Beit Iksa e Beit Sourik.
    I do not exactly details of legal aspects of this issue – it seems that recourse in front of Supreme Court is pending – yet It is peculiar that this affaire comes up only when you work in Israel. In other nations there is not any way of recourse in front of any court when you are expropriated but nobody in Europe complain…..

    • anneinpt says:

      Andrea, once again thank you for your comment and for a fascinating insight into the workings of industrial projects in Arab countries.

      It is peculiar that this affaire comes up only when you work in Israel. In other nations there is not any way of recourse in front of any court when you are expropriated but nobody in Europe complain…..

      Bingo! You’ve hit the nail on the head when you describe the absolute hypocrisy of the anti-Israel boycotters. It’s not only a matter of whether green fields or farmland have been expropriated. In Israel’s case the boycotters are protesting the fact that Israel is building a train line through “occupied” territory – even though the territory’s status is disputed, or even legally Israeli, and even though the trains will serve the Palestinians as well as the Israelis, and land-owners are compensated for any expropriation.

      The hypocrisy cries out to the heavens.

      • Areil says:

        Its not disputed the land is stolen and the theft is illegal under international law
        Palestinians aren’t allowed to you main roads and trains
        They are not compensated they are just murdered as they sleep, their houses demolished they children killed and their land stolen

        • anneinpt says:

          Utter nonsense. There is no land in Israel that is stolen – unless we are talking of Jewish land that was stolen by the Arabs; and that of course is plentiful.

          As for the Palestinians not being allowed on our main roads and trains, well that is such an out-and-out lie that if I knew your real name and address I would sue you for slander. You have obviously never set foot anywhere near Israel and are only parroting propaganda that you receive from bigoted outlets. You have never seen the Palestinians crowding our roads, our towns, schools, hospitals and universities. I don’t actually know why I’m bothering to answer such a bigot as you.

          And as for children being murdered as they sleep – your deception, lies, distortions and blatant propaganda are simply breathtaking. After all who was murdered in their sleep? The Fogel family. Killed by your Palestinian friends. Whose houses have been demolished? The settlers of Gush Katif and the Shomron. Whose land has been stolen? The Jews of Jerusalem.

          So go away and stay away you antisemitic bigot. You are a disgrace to humanity.

Comments are closed.