by Gary Fouse
(Hat tip to Donald Douglas of American Power)
This coming March 1-7, many US campuses will again be treated to an anti-Israel week of events and speakers under the banner "Israel-Apartheid Week". It is now been an annual event for the past five years and has regularly come to the University of California at Irvine. It is an alliance between Muslim Student Associations, leftist activists, leftist professors and radical Islamic elements. You can visit Israel Apartheid Week.org to view their agenda. Let me tell you what to expect if your local campus is involved.
The campus will see a succession of speakers whose main thesis is that Israel is a racist, genocidal, apartheid state that wants to kill the Palestinians. Israel will be compared to the Nazis. There will be no criticism of the terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas and Hizbollah, rather these two groups will be presented as heroes standing up for their people. They will scoff at any mention of the rockets that Hamas shoots into southern Israel, which launched the Gaza war last year.
The speakers will dismiss any consideration of a two-state solution. What they want is a one-state solution with majority Palestinians in charge. Of course that would have to involve the so-called "Right of Return" of Palestinians who left Israel in 1948-49-plus their descendants. What these people really want is the removal of Jews from the Holy Land. They will probably try to avoid saying that explicitly, but that is what they want.
Aside from Israel, America will be condemned over and over for its support of the Jewish state including "all those weapons we have given them to drop on Palestinian children." Of course, with Obama in office, many of these folks are taking a "wait and see" attitude, but they will naturally call George W. Bush every name in the book. If you listen to these speakers, you will come away with the impression (correctly) that they don't much care for America.
You will also hear reference after reference to "Zionists", which is code language for Jews. Most speakers have learned that if you put the adjective "Zionist" in front of the word "Jew", you can't be accused of being anti-Semitic. Sometimes, the speaker will forget and attack Jews per se. There are many anti-Semitic elements to be found within this movement. When speaking to US audiences, they usually try to conceal it, but make no mistake. It is there.
And who will these speakers be? They will be a combination of leftist activists who have found an issue to fit in with their radical agenda. That is the pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel/anti-US agenda. You will see groups like "Student-Worker Alliance" and "Students for Peace and Justice" on the fringes. There will probably be an imam or two who will give a fire-breathing speech against Israel. The most significant aspect, which you will witness, is the alliance between the radical left and radical Islamists. The Palestinian issue is an excuse that they both use.
You will also see the usual collection of leftist professors, who have also jumped into this with both feet. There will probably be a "Middle East seminar" that will advertise itself as impartial-until the moment they start speaking. Many of these professors/panelists will come from other universities, often they are faculty from various Middle Eastern studies departments, which are generally snake nests of anti-Israel agitation.
Don't be surprised if one or more of the speakers are Jewish themselves. There are plenty of these characters out there. They delight in being used by the Palestinian lobby to attack Israel. It is their way of expressing their personal rebellion. One of the most notable is the discredited former DePaul University professor Norman Finklestein, a bitter man who can't speak for ten seconds without attacking someone in vile terms. He now makes his living as an "independent scholar", whatever that is, going from campus to campus with his message of hate. As I understand it, he is already booked to take his road show to Emory University in March.
Now what if you decide to attend some of these events? First of all, the lecture hall will probably be filled by the campus Muslim Student Association and folks "from the community" who are all on the same page. Listen and observe what happens if you or someone else takes an opposing point of view. Talk about being the skunk at the garden party! (I know from experience.) I go to as many of these hate fests as I can, and try to challenge the speakers with questions.
I should also point out that this week is always a difficult week for Jewish students on campus. Many Jewish students on campuses around North America (I am including Canada) feel intimidated and reluctant to express their Jewish identity. Many who have spoken out in favor of Israel have been insulted, intimidated, and sometimes even physically attacked. This has happened more than once at UC-Irvine. One pro-Israel Jewish student had her camera shoved in her face by a Muslim student. (They don't like being filmed.) Another Jewish girl who was filming an event was followed back to her car by a group of Muslim males and accosted as she tried to leave. Both she and a citizen witness had their cars surrounded as the males took down their license numbers and VIN numbers. Campus police did nothing. As for the university, everything is free speech. No harm, no foul.
So what should be our responsibility? We can't stop these events from happening. It is protected free speech. Nor should we disrupt or engage in unruly behavior as that would only put us on the same level as our adversaries. Neverheless, we have our right of free speech as well. We can express our support of Israel and America and show that we stand against anti-Semitism. We can show all the students witnessing these events who the good guys are.
My suggestion is turn out, observe, listen and during the Q&A, ask your questions and express your point of view. This is still America. If you defend the right of Israel to exist and defend itself from terrorism, turn out and make your view known in a responsible manner. If you don't like hearing America attacked and defamed, stand up and defend America from the radicals. If an anti-Semitic remark is made by a speaker, point that out. Do not engage on attacks on Islam as a religion nor attack Muslims as a people. That makes us guilty of the same offense we are objecting to. If you are subject to intimidation or physically accosted, notify the campus police and insist on filing a report. If they or the university fails to take action, report that fact publicly. Finally, spread the word on what you observed through e-mails, blogs, Facebook or however you correspond. This is a story the news media ignores. Consequently, much of the public is not aware of what is going on within our universities. They need to know.