“Frequently during Israeli Apartheid Week and BDS campaigns, Jewish students are singled out, harassed, intimidated and even assaulted, regardless of their feelings on Israel. Jewish students report feeling afraid to display their Jewish Star necklaces, wear their Jewish sorority or fraternity letters, or walk to Hillel for Shabbat dinner during these heightened weeks.” This is unconscionable in itself, and even worse given the official sanction that craven university officials all over the country give to this behavior.
“‘Apartheid Week’ really does threaten Israel, some experts warn,” by Matt Lebovic, Times of Israel, March 18, 2016:
BOSTON — For more than a decade, “Israeli Apartheid Week” has appeared at dozens of campuses worldwide, as the Jewish state’s detractors take center-stage to condemn the “settler-colonial project” where “apartheid policies over the Palestinian people” amount to “ethnic cleansing,” according to IAW’s mission statement.
In the assessment of some Israel supporters, loud elements of the pro-Israel community have made mountains out of molehills with their reaction to IAW, the annual Israel-bashing fest of Students for Justice in Palestine. In the words of an anonymous “Northeast Hillel director” quoted by JTA this week, “Apartheid Week” and other SJP activities amount to “kind of a big nothing.
“Many pro-Israel activists say their most successful strategy is simply to ignore it,” said Nadya Drukker, Brooklyn College’s Hillel director, in the article.
But on another part of the pro-Israel PR spectrum, some activists vehemently oppose an “ignore it” strategy, and are ringing alarms about the growth of campus anti-Semitism catalyzed by SJP’s supposedly “big nothing” activities — notably including the group’s quest to eliminate Jews from student government, aided by partners like Palestine Legal.
“Israeli Apartheid Week is a tremendous source of anti-Semitic expression and incitement of hatred for the Jewish state and Jews generally,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, cofounder and director of the Israel advocacy AMCHA Initiative.
As SJP’s most publicized anti-Israel fest, IAW icons include the ugly gray apartheid wall, usually covered in “facts” to demonize Israel; mock Israeli military “check-points” set up to “simulate” the daily lives of Palestinians, and ubiquitous calls to “de-normalize” relations with Israel and implement BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against the Jewish state. (IAW is held in various countries worldwide between February and April; in the US this year, it is largely taking place between March 27 and April 3.)
Since its creation in 2005 by Arab students in Toronto, rolling “Apartheid Weeks” have taken place on North American campuses during the spring semester, with funding and guidance from the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace. For Jewish college students who visibly identify as such, the annual hate-fest can be a dreaded ordeal.
“Frequently during Israeli Apartheid Week and BDS campaigns, Jewish students are singled out, harassed, intimidated and even assaulted, regardless of their feelings on Israel,” Rossman-Benjamin told The Times of Israel in an interview. “Jewish students report feeling afraid to display their Jewish Star necklaces, wear their Jewish sorority or fraternity letters, or walk to Hillel for Shabbat dinner during these heightened weeks,” she said.
Last week, AMCHA released study findings that correlate BDS activities and anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses. From swastikas spray-painted onto the porches of Jewish fraternities, to students being punched at pro-Israel gatherings, the study called BDS a key driver of anti-Semitic incidents at dozens of universities. On some campuses, faculty and administrators actively support SJP and the BDS movement, adding fuel — and badly needed legitimacy — to anti-Israel fires….