Monday, March 1, 2010

The Week of Hate

“Apartheid Week” is an annual event organized on college campuses in the United States, Canada and elsewhere by extreme anti-Israel groups.

The week-long event includes lectures and exhibits aimed at convincing students that Israel is a racist, colonial state. Participants are asked to sign a document opposing Zionism while supporting the creation of a state for Palestinian Authority Arabs. Although its organizers would like to paint this event as a legitimate form of political protest, it is nothing more than an orgy of anti-semitic hate, wrapped up in "anti-Zionist activism" meant to de-legitimize the State of Israel.

Bnei Brith Canada called this week to ban “Apartheid Week” events completely: "Today's resolution is an important first step towards what must be an outright ban of 'Israel Apartheid Week' and other similar events on campus whose raison d'etre to promote hatred, and whose activities invariably encourage harassment and intimidation of Jewish students,” Bnei Brith stated in a press release.

The organization Stand With Us took a different approach, urging students to “Use the Apartheid weeks ahead as a wonderful opportunity to teach the campus and local community about apartheid that exists today, in a majority of Middle Eastern countries where human rights abuses are commonplace... Simultaneously, encourage students and community leadership to stand up to misinformation about Israel.

Stand With Us has produced a booklet titled “Middle East Apartheid Today” to counter Apartheid Week criticism of Israel. The booklet describes the oppression of black citizens of South Africa under apartheid and compares it to the situation of women, homosexuals, religious minorities, and reformists in countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The booklet is available on the Stand With Us website.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has also put materials online to assist those interested in countering anti-Israel rhetoric. The site,, includes information on the radical nature of Apartheid Week, the double standard implicit in criticizing Jewish self-determination and not that of other national groups, and genuine oppression elsewhere in the Middle East.

The legislature of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, and major Canadian dailies have railed against the use of the term ‘apartheid” and the "Israel Apartheid Week” campaign. However, 500 Montreal artists rallied behind an anti-Zionist call to boycott Israel.

Ontario’s resolution condemned the annual anti-Israel event, which opened this week.

In the predominantly French-speaking city of Montreal, 500 artists, including several left-wing Israelis, promoted a petition supporting "Israel Apartheid Week" and backing the Arab claim of the "right of return” for millions of Arabs claming ancestry to those who fled Israel during the wars in 1948 and 1967. Ample historical evidence has shown that the Arab world encouraged most of them to leave to allow the Arab Legion to complete what it thought would be the annihilation of the Jewish State.

Writing in a column published from Vancouver to Montreal, Leonard Stern wrote that Israel Apartheid Week gives Israel the “assigned the role of Jew among the nations — singled-out, cursed and harassed….The whiff of something medieval hangs over this March ritual. This isn’t about Jews, say the organizers. It’s about Zionists. Problem is, the activist groups behind Israeli Apartheid Week are doing everything to erase the distinction.”

He pointed out that an Ottawa research group in 2008 refused to promote a lecture on African development “because Jewish students at the University of Ottawa happened to be organizing it. The event had zero connection to Israel but [the group] said it wouldn’t partner with the Jewish students’ union due to the latter’s 'relationship to apartheid Israel.'”