brandeis university » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘brandeis university’
March 29, 2012

Israeli Knesset Members Shouted Down by Brandeis Students

Anti-Israel activists, including members of Brandeis University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), interrupted a presentation by five Israeli Knesset members, including an Israeli-Arab MK, on Monday.
After the event began, the students stood up and revealed t-shirts with the word “apartheid” written in Hebrew and began shouting, “Israel is an apartheid state” and “The Knesset is an apartheid parliament.” They were subsequently removed from the event, which was taking place at a local synagogue in Newton, Massachusetts. 
The event, titled “A Discussion on Israel and the Diaspora,” was co-sponsored by Brandeis University and the Ruderman Family Foundation in an effort to strengthen the relationship between Israeli government officials and the American Jewish community. 

The disruption is notable for two reasons. The first is that Brandeis SJP described the action on its blog as a signal that Israeli Knesset members are “not welcome by students at Brandeis University.” It is, however, fairly certain that many Brandeis students do welcome Israeli politicians, and that only an infinitesimal percentage of students engage in and support these disruptive tactics. For some reason, it seems that the protesters believe their interests (a minority view) should trump those of the majority.
The second point to note is that the individuals involved promoted their disruption as a “mic check” and labeled the action as “Occupy the Knesset!” This language evokes (and refers to tactics used by) the Occupy Wall Street movement and other Occupy protests that took place around the U.S. last summer. Anti-Israel groups have consistently tried to seize on the momentum of the popular social protest movement and apply its tactics to anti-Israel efforts.

Tags: , , , ,

March 5, 2012

A Round-Up of Israeli Apartheid Week Events

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,