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March 5, 2012 2

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.

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February 29, 2012 2

Mock “Apartheid” Wall Kicks off Palestine Awareness Week at UCLA

Mon­day, Feb­ru­ary 27, marked the start of Pales­tine Aware­ness Week at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia — Los Ange­les. The week­long event, timed to coin­cide with the Israeli Apartheid Week is spon­sored by the university’s chap­ter of Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP), the pri­mary orga­nizer of anti-Israel activ­ity on campus.

A large out­door “apartheid wall” con­tain­ing extreme anti-Israel imagery and text has been erected at the university’s cen­tral pub­lic gath­er­ing space, Bruin Plaza.Texts on the pan­els include accu­sa­tions that Israel is an apartheid state that per­se­cutes and deprives Pales­tini­ans of their fun­da­men­tal rights.

“Apartheid Wall” at UCLA

There are also Holo­caust analo­gies com­par­ing the Nazi ghet­tos of Europe with con­di­tions fac­ing Pales­tini­ans in Gaza. Com­par­isons to the Holo­caust are dis­played under the ban­ner of “Never Again? His­tory Repeats Itself.” The pan­els also fea­ture sta­tis­tics and “facts” por­tray­ing a skewed and inac­cu­rate image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The “apartheid wall” has also been dis­played at a pub­lic area across the Stu­dent Activ­i­ties Cen­ter in Wil­son Plaza in order to more broadly reach the stu­dent public.

In addi­tion to the “apartheid wall,” SJP mem­bers gath­ered Tues­day evening to denounce Israel with dele­git­imiz­ing slo­gans like “Israel is a ter­ror­ist state.” Other events sched­uled for Pales­tine Aware­ness Week include a one-state solu­tion lec­ture by UCLA pro­fes­sor Sari Madi­son and a panel on Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS).

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February 28, 2012 0

Gilad Atzmon on U.S. Tour

Gilad Atz­mon, an anti-Semite whose record and activ­ity has pre­vi­ously been reported on this blog here and here, is cur­rently tour­ing the United States to pro­mote his new book, “The Wan­der­ing Who?” The book is an explo­ration of Jew­ish iden­tity pol­i­tics (a topic fre­quently used by Atz­mon to pro­mote his anti-Semitic views) and the “tribal” aspects of Jew­ish discourse.

Fol­low­ing his first tour-related appear­ance in the U.S., a visit to the Islamic Cul­tural Cen­ter in down­town Oak­land last Sat­ur­day, Atz­mon is sched­uled to stop in seven states and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia between now and March 16.Some of Atzmon’s appear­ances will take place on uni­ver­sity cam­puses, includ­ing the Uni­ver­sity of La Verne in Cal­i­for­nia, Uni­ver­sity of Col­orado, Boul­der (which is an Israeli Apartheid Weekevent) and the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin, Madi­son. A fourth cam­pus stop at North­east­ern Illi­nois Uni­ver­sity is being spon­sored by sev­eral uni­ver­sity departments.

In numer­ous posts on his Twit­ter feed crit­i­ciz­ing the Jew­ish com­mu­nity (and ADL) for label­ing him an anti-Semite, Atz­mon defends his posi­tions and notes that he is just opposed to “Jew­ish supremacy.”

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