Israel Advocacy News March 12, 2013: The Shame of Israel Apartheid Week

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The Shame of Israel Apartheid Week

Source: Arutz Sheva, 3-12-13

The blood libel seems to have gained respectability in the halls of academia now that Israel Apartheid Week has become an annual rite on college campuses across North America….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News March 11, 2013: Israel Apartheid Week at Carleton University quieter this year, students say

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IAW at Carleton quieter this year, students say

Source: Canadian Jewish News (blog), 3-11-13

Speaking before the week’s activities, Emile Scheffel, Israel advocacy co-ordinator at Hillel Ottawa, said he wasn’t expecting IAW to be as loud as it has been in the past on campus….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News March 8, 2013: Positive activities counter “Israel Hate Week” on Illinois campuses

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Positive activities counter “Israel Hate Week” on Illinois campuses

Source: Jewish United Fund, 3-8-13

Every year campuses throughout the country, including Illinois, are confronted with an organized week of events aimed at delegitimizing Israel. Labeled “Israel Apartheid Week” and arranged by anti-Israel organizations….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News March 8, 2013: Israelis combat Apartheid Week with words

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Israelis combat Apartheid Week with words

Source: The Catholic Register, 3-8-13

A week before Israeli Apartheid Week is set to send Canadian universities into their annual turmoil over the Middle East, a group of young Israelis are storming campuses armed with a capacity for conversation….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News March 7, 2013: Jewish Harvard University Students Receive Mock Eviction Notices as Part of Israel Apartheid Week

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Jewish Harvard Students Receive Mock Eviction Notices

Jewish students at Harvard University receive mock eviction notices in light of “Israel Apartheid Week.”

Source: Arutz Sheva, 3-7-13

The campaign, organized by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee, distributed notices at the beginning of March which read, “We regret to inform you that your suite is scheduled for demolition in the next three days”, a reference to the group’s views regarding Israel’s treatment of the Arab population….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News March 7, 2013: Eviction notices in Harvard promote ‘Israel Apartheid Week’

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Eviction notices in Harvard promote ‘Israel Apartheid Week’

‘Your suite is scheduled for demolition,’ says mock notice posted on Harvard student dorms, promoting ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’; ‘Trying to silence Israeli support,’ says enraged Jewish leader

Source: Ynetnews, 3-7-13

The battle for the American student public continues, with pro-Palestinian Harvard students posting mock eviction notices on the doors of student dorms on campus, warning students their homes are scheduled for demolition.

“This may seem harsh, but this is the state of affairs in the West Bank,” say the notices posted on March 2, promoting the “Israeli Apartheid Week” organized by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee.

Rabbi Jonah Steinberg, head of the “Hillel” Jewish students organization in Harvard, said this is an all too familiar tactic: “Had the group placed its flyers on bulletin boards, there would be no violation of University policy, no warning from administrators in reply, and no big story about ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ in the campus or national news.”…READ MORE

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Israel Advocacy News March 5, 2013: Countering Israel Apartheid Week on Canadian University Campuses

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What students are talking about today (March 5th)

Source: Macleans, 3-5-13

It’s Israel Apartheid Week again and both Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the annual hate-fest on Monday. So did at least one student op-ed, in Trent University’s Arthur, whose author argues the term apartheid is inaccurate. There was also a review of a film that compares Israel and apartheid South Africa in The Concordian.

Here’s part of Jason Kenney’s statement:

“I share the concerns of other Canadians about the reckless and overheated rhetoric associated with anti-Israel activities on many Canadian university campuses, and the toxic manner in which these activities are often carried out. There is no better example than the so-called ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ (IAW). Its organizers and participants have a regrettable history of promoting and holding events in ways that disregard the security and rights of Jewish faculty and students, censor other points of view, and limit academic discourse. The disproportionate vitriol directed against the democratic State of Israel during ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ stands in stark and ironic contrast to the silence of IAW organizers on the ongoing atrocities committed by the Syrian regime against its own citizens, and on the rampant brutalities and denial of rights in non-democratic countries in the Middle East, and elsewhere in the world…. Operating under the guise of academic freedom, Israel Apartheid Week is a misleading attempt to delegitimize and demonize the only true liberal democracy in the Middle East.”

Israel Advocacy News April 19, 2012: With new class, University of California Berkley grad furthers her pro-Israel battle

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With new class, Cal grad furthers her pro-Israel battle

Source: JWeekly, 4-19-12

At her upcoming workshops, co-leader Jessica Felber will stand before Jewish high school students, work herself up into a minor rage and harp about the Zionist entity being an apartheid state.

Not that she believes it.

The longtime pro-Israel advocate simply will be offering the students a taste of what may be in store for them once they get to college and face anti-Israel campus activism.

A 2010 graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Felber remembers what it was like for her and other Jewish students to endure the annual Israel Apartheid Week, when protestors carrying toy assault weapons set up mock checkpoints on campus.

That’s one reason she has helped organize “Step Up for Israel,” a series of three one-day pro-Israel education and advocacy training programs set to take place over the next month. The first is scheduled for Sunday, April 22 at Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland.

Jessica Felber

Jessica Felber

The workshops are co-sponsored by the pro-Israel advocacy organizations StandWithUs and JerusalemOnlineU.com.

After graduating from U.C. Berkeley, Felber moved to Los Angeles last year to become the West Coast director of Jerusalem Online U. This past February, she attended the Young Zionist Leadership Conference, a large gathering held in Florida and sponsored by the World Zionist Congress.

It was through her work with Jerusalem OnlineU, a Jewish education Web portal, that Felber dreamed up the workshop to teach high school students, especially seniors bound for college, how to respond to anti-Israel hate speech.

Each four-hour workshop will split into two tracks, one for the teens and another for their parents (or any other interested adult).

Sessions in each track will include lectures, educational film screenings and hands-on advocacy training taught by StandWithUs Bay Area campus staffers Guy Herschmann and Matthew White, along with prominent local pro-Israel activists Mike Harris and Ealon Joelson. Felber will run the teen portion.

As one teaching technique, workshop leaders will mimic the anti-Israel invective college students hear routinely on campus.

“We’ll show them Occupation 101,” said Felber. “This is so they can hear the arguments from anti-Israel people. The real purpose is to motivate and inspire them to learn more and give them practice before college.”

If Felber’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she was in the news before. In the wake of a 2010 incident during Israel Apartheid Week, Felber filed suit last year against U.C. Berkeley, its president and chancellor, as well as the Associated Students of the University of California.

At the time, she was co-president of the pro-Israel campus group Tikvah, which she co-founded.

Felber alleges that a pro-Palestinian protestor intentionally rammed her with a shopping cart, causing her injury.

The lawsuit has languished in the courts, with the judge dismissing some aspects and asking Felber’s attorneys to amend the complaint. But she says the suit is still in progress, and that she’s already seen results because of her legal action.

“This year at U.C. Berkeley’s Israel Apartheid Week, there were no realistic assault weapons,” she said, “which was not the case for a decade. That had been a huge cause of fear.”

Felber said that although she is suing for monetary damages, her true motivation for the suit is “to get the universities to be aware of what’s going on on campus and try to get them to change it.”

A native of San Diego, Felber grew up attending Jewish day schools, and pro-Israel advocacy was always important to her. Even before attending her first class at Cal, she says she was prepared for pro-Palestinian demonstrations on Sproul Plaza, the heckling of Israeli guest speakers and advocacy for Israel boycotts.

It was that tense and hostile atmosphere on campus that made her want to take up the pro-Israel cause all the more.

“That’s in part what drew me [to U.C. Berkeley],” she said. “I came in fairly confident, and was willing to stand up and defend Israel from the start. But I also know how difficult it is for other people to do that.”

Israel Advocacy News March 1, 2012: ‘Israel Apartheid’ Week Reaches Brandeis University

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‘Israel Apartheid’ Week Comes to Brandeis

Fiery Pro-Palestinian Speaker Promotes ‘One-State’ Solution

One-State Speech: Last month, Boycott Israel protesters held a conference at the University of Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ came to Brandeis for the first time.

peter tobia
One-State Speech: Last month, Boycott Israel protesters held a conference at the University of Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ came to Brandeis for the first time.

Source: The Forward, 3-1-12

The protest movement known as Israeli Apartheid Week is well underway at campuses across the U.S. And this year, there’s a new college on the roster: Brandeis University.

Heated discussion over Israel is not new to the predominantly Jewish school, but this is the first time that the campus’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter has organized a series with the controversial moniker.

“In the past, we were worried about using the word ‘apartheid,’” said Noam Lekach, a Brandeis sophomore who helped plan the event. “We decided we wanted to tell the truth.”

Ali Abunimah, a rising pro-Palestinian speaker and activist, delivered the keynote speech at Israeli Apartheid Week, speaking Wednesday night to about 80 students and faculty members in a room on the Brandeis campus that was two-thirds full.

Abunimah is a proponent of the one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which calls for Jews and Palestinians to live with equal rights in a single, secular state encompassing the borders of present-day Israel and the occupied territories.

He called the two-state solution, calling for independent Israeli and Palestinian states side by side, a “political science fiction” that is proving increasingly unworkable by the day.

“The reality of a single state is one that is inexorably going to dawn on more and more people,” said Abunimah. “The only questions will be how to resolve it. Will it end in catastrophe? Or will we move toward a democratic outcome in which the status of Israeli Jews is changed from that of settlers to citizens and Palestinians from native colonized people to equal citizens as well?”

The one-state solution, which Israel advocates say will spell the end of the Jewish state, will also be discussed at the Harvard Kennedy School this weekend at a conference featuring Palestinian academics and activists. The “One State Conference” has raised the hackles of mainstream Jewish groups, with the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman writing in a letter to Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust: “This conference links Harvard and the Kennedy School with a discredited concept having a singular outcome: the elimination of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.”…READ MORE

Israel Advocacy Op-ed March 1, 2012: Dore Gold: Now playing on a campus near you Israel Apartheid Week ignorance, lack of regard for facts

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Now playing on a campus near you: ignorance, lack of regard for facts

Source: JWeekly, 3-1-12

Anti-Israel hatred on campus crests each year during an event called “Israel Apartheid Week.”

With its ominous name and programs that thrive on ignorance and blind disregard for the facts, tens of thousands of college students are urged to rise up against Israel — painfully evoking the types of racist characterizations of the Jewish people that defined attitudes once heard in Europe in the middle of the last century.

This year’s display of anti-Israel fervor is currently occurring on or near campuses around the United States and Europe. In Berkeley, there were two main events this week, and three more next week. Starting Monday, March 5, IAW will also crank up in Canada, the Arab world and South Africa.

These campus initiatives were incubated in 2001 at the first Durban Conference, proclaiming “no apartheid South Africa in the 20th century and no apartheid Israel in the 21st.” This battle cry sparked the BDS movement calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions to punish Israel, and it all evolved into an invective-loaded campaign that found a degree of favor on campuses coast to coast, not to mention among some labor unions, churches, media and cultural institutions.

But it is based on a lie.

Typically, those hurling these charges against Israel hope that their audiences are ignorant of the facts. In apartheid South Africa, blacks were not allowed to use white hospitals, they could not attend white universities and they could not participate in the South African parliament.

Visit Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem today, or any other hospital or health facility in Israel, and see Jewish and Arab doctors caring for Jewish and Arab patients. Witness for yourself at Hebrew University or any institution of higher learning as Jewish and Arab professors teach students of different backgrounds. Go to the Knesset, and observe the debates involving both Jewish and Arab parliamentarians.

Given this reality, Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge on the South African Supreme Court, wrote in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 2011: “The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”…

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter  activities such as Israel Apartheid Week   images/courtesy of jerusalemonlineu.com

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter activities such as Israel Apartheid Week images/courtesy of jerusalemonlineu.com

No nation has fought racism more consistently than the Jewish people, whether through the anti-apartheid activists in the South African Jewish community or through those American Jews who joined the civil rights movement. When Israeli medical teams rushed to international disaster zones in Turkey (1999), Kosovo (1999), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2008) and Haiti (2010), helping the afflicted regardless of their race or creed, they were driven by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam….READ MOR