Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
San Francisco, January 10, 2009
The week of March 1, university campuses all over the US and Canada are going to witness what is called "Israeli Apartheid Week". This will be a week chock full of Israel-bashing put on by local campus Muslim Student Associations aided by their allies on the radical left-professors, radical left students and "community members" with time on their hands to join any event that bashes "The Establishment."
So, if you study in a university where these events will take place, what can you expect to see and hear? Well, to begin with, you will witness a sea of Palestinian flags. There will be an occasional Hamas flag as well as an occasional Hezbollah flag (the organization that was implicated in the Marine barracks bombing in the
1980s in Lebanon that killed over 200 of our Marines.
You will hear the usual chants, "Free free Palestine" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free", the latter of which, if analyzed, means all of present-day Israel will be eliminated and the Jews driven out or killed. You will see posters decrying the "genocide" that Israel is carrying out against innocent Palestinian men, women and children. You will see pictures of civilians killed in recent military action in Gaza. Of course, nothing will be said about the fact that Hamas and Hezbollah deliberately set up their operations in mosques, schools, hospitals and other civilian centers in order to maximize their own civilian casualties for public relations effect.
And there will be speakers galore-all dedicated to the end of Israel as a nation. Who will these speakers be? First, there will be radical Islamic imams, many of whom are on the lecture circuit spreading their message of hate. Not only against Israel, mind you, but against America as well. There surely will be people like Amir Abdel Malik Ali, an Oakland imam who goes from campus to campus in California calling for the destruction of Israel, glorifying suicide bombings and railing against "Zionist Jews". There will also be Mohammed al-Asi, an American-born imam who calls Jews, "low-life ghetto-dwellers" and warns young Jewish students that they face the wrath of the Muslim world because of their support for Israel.
There will also be radical leftist professors like Norman Finklestein and Ward Churchill, who not only hate Israel, but hate their own country as well. There will be a host of Arab professors who hold teaching jobs at American universities, spreading their propaganda in the classroom.
And as always, they will drag in Jewish figures (like Finklestein) who oppose Israel thinking that it adds credibility to their cause.
On many campuses, you will see a mock wall set up to represent the wall Israel built (quite successfully) to keep out suicide bombers who were blowing up buses and pizza parlors in Israeli cities. This will be their symbol of Israeli "Apartheid", a term made popular by our misguided ex-president Jimmy Carter. You will see photos of dead civilians on that wall, quotes from Martin Luther King and others.
Virtually everything you hear said will be negative-anti-Israel, anti-American and occasionally anti-Semitic. You will hear George Bush called an "idiot". You will hear black members of Bush's administration called "Uncle Toms". Of course, most of the speakers have learned to disguise their anti-Semtism by using the adjective "Zionist" when referring to Jews. Example:
Amir Abdel Malik Ali at UC-Irvine: "Rupert Murdoch is a Zionist Jew." No anti-Semitism there, right?
Possibly, you will see a group of Jewish students bravely carrying Israeli flags and warning listeners that hate speech is being spoken. They may or may not be the only Jewish counter-protesters you will see. At UCI, they occasionally (but not always) turn out to carry out a silent and lawful counter-protest. Some of them simply choose not to get involved for a variety of reasons.
Lately, however, we are seeing a more disturbing trend in the wake of the Gaza fighting. In many of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations held in Europe, America and Canada, we heard things like, "Long Live Hitler", Hitler rest in peace" (Los Angeles), "Go back to the ovens", "You need a bigger oven" (Ft Lauderdale), and "Jewish child, you are gonna F---ing die" (Toronto).
In Europe, in cities like London, Paris and Malmo, the protests turned into violent riots. In many European cities, Jews are afraid to venture out of doors-reminiscent of the 1930s in Germany.
Even in North America, the protests are becoming uglier. There have been violent incidents at UC Berkeley and San Jose State where just recently a talk by an Israeli diplomat was disrupted to the point where he had to leave the stage. Also just recently, a group of Jewish students at York University in Toronto were chased by a pro-Palestinian mob into the campus Hillel building where they remained barricaded until police could escort them out. At my campus (UC-Irvine)there has been a string of ugly incidents in recent years in which Jewish students have been insulted, intimidated, harassed and occasionally physically assaulted with impunity. Last month at a meeting on campus with Anteaters for Israel, Jewish students were asked if they felt intimidated on campus. About half of them, almost all females, raised their hands.
This is a situation that exists on many campuses all over the US and Canada where thuggish Muslim Student Associations have their way with no repercussions. Why is that, you ask. How can this be tolerated? It is tolerated for a variety of reasons. First of all, there is a paucity of decent faculty-even Jewish faculty-who are willing to speak out, condemn and demand that university administrators crack down on hate speech and intimidation toward a particular group (Jewish). Indeed, many university teachers, especially in the Humanities, are openly supportive of the Arab side and participate in their events.
Another problem is that university administrators-in many cases, intimidated by their own faculty, refuse to get involved. To them, it is all free speech (which is considered sancrosanct). They insist that the university must remain "content neutral" whatever that means. So they stand back, say nothing, hide under their desks and allow their campus to be run by thugs. When Jewish students go to administrators and complain about the intimidating environment they are exposed to, they are considered "hysterical Jews", told that it is free speech and all part of the education process-or simply ignored.
Another thing to remember is that the mainstream media is not reporting these events. It goes against their liberal agenda, and they, like the universities are deathly afraid of offending the Muslim community and possibly being sued by that "watchdog" of human rights, CAIR-always looking for someone to sue for "discriminating against Muslims". As a result, one must go onto the Internet to even know these things are happening unless one accidentally finds themselves in the middle of a street demonstration.
What we are witnessing in our own country is a resurgence in anti-Jewish sentiment as a result of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, fueled by radical elements within the Muslim community, aided by their left-wing allies on the radical left and enabled by pusillanimous university administrators.
So if you happen to be present at one of these protests, take careful note of what is said and done. Note which side defames not only Israel, but America as well. If there are anti-Semitic expressions or acts of intimidation or violence against Jewish students, speak out. At this point, I don't know if there will be events at UC-Irvine. If there are, I will observe as much of it as I am able, note what is said, probably confront a speaker or two and report it on my blog. The public has to know what is going on.
Regardless of what one thinks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to allow that conflict to bring about a resurgence in anti-Semitism against our fellow Jewish citizens on our shores is unthinkable and unacceptable. We all know where that kind of sentiment can take us. It is up to us who are aware to spread the news to the American public that may not be aware of what is happening. It is time for many in the Jewish community to stand up and defend themselves and demand that those in authority to do the right thing. And it is time for the millions of decent Muslims in America to stand up to those who are doing so much to discredit Islam and say "Enough", we love our adopted country, which has given us so much, and we refuse to engage in hatred toward our fellow Americans who happen to be Jewish.
I hope everyone will follow the events of the coming week.