With Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) drawing to a close in cities around the United States, here is a sampling of what took place on college campuses and elsewhere this past week:
- Brandeis University: Ali Abunimah delivered a talk in which he discussed his support for a one-state solution and described Israel as a “sectarian government.” Abunimah was quoted saying: “The claim that Israel should be a Jewish state can be asserted, not defended—not legally, politically or ethically…Israel has reached a moral, political and ethical dead-end. The notion that Israel can be both Jewish and democratic violates the rights of Palestinians, which is fine if you don’t see Palestinians as humans, but, if you do, it is wrong.” He also offensively compared the Holocaust to the “Nakba,” a term Palestinians use to describe the 1948 War of Independence and the establishment of the state of Israel. He said, “We must condemn Nakba denial as strongly as we must condemn Holocaust denial.”
- George Washington University: Members of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter tried to disrupt an event organized by GW’s pro-Israel organization MEOR. The event hosted a former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier, Sergeant Benjamin Anthony.
- Columbia University: Members of SJP staged a “house demolition act” that was intended to mimic Israel’s demolition of illegal Palestinian homes. One of the activists argued that these demolitions are made possible by U.S. tax dollars and Columbia University’s investments, which fund “special Caterpillar bulldozers for Israel to demolish Palestinian homes.”
- New York City: Approximately 100 members of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) gathered in the lobby of the LGBT Center to protest the Center’s decision not to host events related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [In March 2011, the Center had decided not to host an IAW event.] Protesters held signs that read “Stop Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid” and “End Israeli Apartheid,” and accused the center of “succumbing to the outspoken in power” and “betray[ing] its historic mission.” After an hour indoors, the protest moved outside to the sidewalk.