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In Last Monologue, Israeli Comedy Show Host Implores Israelis to Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid – Haaretz

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Assaf Harel’s scathing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral.

An Israeli comedy show host’s searing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral on social media, raking in over 5,000 shares in the two days since it was posted on the show’s Facebook page on Monday.

In the video, Assaf Harel of “Good Night With Asaf Harel” castigates Israelis for ignoring the occupation and claims that Israel is an apartheid state.

“Good Night,” which was aired by Channel 10, was one of Israel’s most controversial shows onmainstreamtelevision in recent years. In one instance, the show was fined after Harel ridiculed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for exploiting his brother’s death for political gain.

The episode was “Good Night’s” last, as the show was not renewed for another season due to poor ratings, even though the show has gained a strong following on social media.

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In Last Monologue, Israeli Comedy Show Host Implores Israelis to Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid – Haaretz

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Losing the will to fight Israeli Apartheid Week – +972 Magazine

Its getting harder and harder for liberal Zionists to reconcile an Israel that legitimizes settler land theft with the values they have been raised to believe the Jewish state stands for.

By Ben Reiff

Israel Apartheid Week at the University of Texas, Austin. (Monad68/CC/Flickr)

Ive been dreading Israel ApartheidWeek since I arrived at university in London a supposed hot-spot for Israel-Palestine tension on campuses. My understanding of what happens each year during Apartheid Week has always been a scene of hate-fueled anti-Israel, pro-BDS, free Palestine-chanting protesters, often facing off with equally hate-fueled anti-Palestine, pro-Israel, Hatikvah singing counter-protesters.

As a Jew and an anti-occupation Zionist, as someone who sympathizes with some elements of both of these protest groups while being repulsed by others, and as someone who wishes for nothing more than to see a Palestinian state standing peacefully beside the State of Israel, this puts me somewhere bang in the middle.

Special Coverage: The Israel-Apartheid Debate

Or rather it did, until one Monday earlier this month: February 6, 2017. For liberal Zionists, the passage of the Regularization Law. retroactively legalizing the theft of privately owned Palestinian land by Jewish settlers, is at best a slap in the face. At worst, it is a fatal stab in the back to the core values supposedly immortalized in Israels Declaration of Independence.

Owing to increasingly extremist policies being propagated by increasingly right-wing governments, it has become more and more difficult to reconcile our Zionism with our support for Palestinian aspirations in recent years.

With enormous measures of empathy and nuance, balancing those two things has nevertheless appeared to remain achievable. Im no longer confident this is the case.

In the days following the passing of the law, President Reuven Rivlin himself warned that it will cause Israel to be seen as anapartheidstate, which it is not. But liberal Zionists have been saying this for years. Each additional aggressive, indefensible policy emboldens those labeling Israel anapartheidstate, while ostracizing those calling for the avoidance of unilateral peace-hindering steps by either side.

I still wont be supporting Israel ApartheidWeek. I think it creates a perception that Israel is a homogeneous population of occupiers, which is unquestionably false. There are Israelis voting for leftist parties that unequivocally oppose occupation, and Israelis actively boycotting settlement products. There are Israelis choosing conscientious objection and prison over army service.

Look beyond the national-religious right, and youll see the work of organizations like BTselem and Machsom Watch who are documenting and bearing witness to IDF human rights violations. Look at Breaking the Silence who are giving testimonies of their own experiences serving in the occupied territories. Look at Rabbis for Human Rights who are accompanying Palestinian farmers to prevent unlawful harassment by IDF soldiers. And look at Yesh Din who are fighting the very land laws the Israeli government is seeking to extend.

But I will not be supporting the counter-protests either. The Regularization Bill demonstrates how staggeringly powerful the extreme right has become in the Knesset, which is dangerous not only for the Palestinians but also for Israel itself. Israel has long been heading down a path with which increasingly few in the diaspora are comfortable, and the fact remains that Israel cannot survive without international Jewish support. In favor of the support of radical expansionists, the Israeli government is pushing away the very foundations of its existence.

What would it take, I wonder, for liberal Zionists to have no choice but to join theApartheidWeek protests themselves? I fear that the answer will become evident sooner rather than later.

Ben Reiff is a student at the London School of Economics, and a member of the Reform Zionist youth movement, Netzer.

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From Auschwitz to Israeli Apartheid Week – Jewish News (blog)

How is it possible? How is it possible to go from Auschwitz in 1945 to Israeli Apartheid week in 2017? In just 72 years, Jews are once again being told that they are a people of robbers, are part of aconspiracyto control the government, and Israelis are being boycotted in an attempt to economically damage them.

In fact, this blog does not need to be more than a few sentences long. Its simple the ICC definition states that apartheid consists of inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression. Yet in Israel, incitement to racism is a criminal offence. Therefore by definition Israel is not an apartheid state. Ever.

I dont need to talk about the countless other facts and examples of the freedom that Israeli Arabs experience. I dont need to tell you that Israeli Arabs experience more freedom in Israel than they do in any other Arab country, all of which are equal to Jewish Israelis. LGBT and womens rights in Israel are light years ahead of any other country in the Middle East. Israeli Arabs hold seats in Israeli Parliament, again a fact that shows that Israel is not apartheid by definition.

Surprised? Dont be. A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth gets itsshoeson. Thankfully, I have myshoeson.

Last week I travelled around Poland in both an emotional and physical sense. Every person in our group came away with their own thoughts and feelings, and I will not attempt to speak for everyone in the group, but will share some of my own thoughts.

A theme I noticed appear several times during the timeline of the Holocaust was the dehumanisation of the Jewish people. It instantly reminded me of several newsheadlineswhich attempted to do the same.

In fact, throughout the trip I saw history repeating itself in todays society. Boycotts of Jewish businesses? Tick. Anti-Semitism coming from political officials?Tick. Anti-Semitic tropes being used to show how Jews are evil?Tick.

As a Jewish student on campus in the UK, the trip to Poland, followed by the start of Israeli apartheid week really hit home. I would perhaps go as far as to say that certain aspects of the Holocaust have not been left behind. Accusations of running the media and the banks, still ring through the student body in my experience on campus anyway.

One day I stood in Auschwitz-Birkenau learning about how Jews were persecuted, dehumanised and murdered. The next I was listening to someone elaborately deny the fact that Hamas sending tens of thousands of rockets into peoples back gardens in Israel is somewhat inconvenient to people living there. Or the fact that since 2015 the364terror attacks committed in Israel are any issue at all. Israelis have already been dehumanised in this individuals mind.

How do we stop this? How do we stop the lies and hate from spreading through society like wildfire?

We must do more to stand up to that which we see as lies. We have an obligation to help each other, to call out anti-Semitism wherever it manifests. Make no mistake, anti-Israel activities do not affect our brothers and sisters in Israel in any way when compared to how it affects us here in the UK. Jewish students do not feel safe on some campuses in the UK due to despicable anti-Israel activities. Therefore, in my mind if Jewish students do not feel safe then this is clearly anti-Semitism, whether it be explicit or not.

There are campaigns,Bridges not Boycottsorganised by UJS, Israel Party and Information weeks, or even a Falafel for Facts campaign I have started in Liverpool. These are the first stage of combatting the lies and misconceptions surrounding Israel, because they are not going anywhere.

You probably disagree with me. Anti-Semitism isnt a problem in the UK, Ive never experienced it so it cant be such an issue, these people are all talk and no action, etc. etc.

Luckily for you youre in the majority, much of Polish Jewry would have also agreed with you. They made up 10% of the Polish population in 1939, yet they now make up less than 0.01%

We cant ignore anti-Semitism and must stand up and make our voices heard. I will carry the message of the Holocaust with me onto campus and beyond. I will make sure the world never forgets, never repeats and never stands by as anti-Semitism rises.

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From Auschwitz to Israeli Apartheid Week – Jewish News (blog)

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Campaigners Step Up Actions Against Israeli ‘Apartheid State’ – Sputnik International

Europe

20:05 27.02.2017 Get short URL

The ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)’ movement a Palestinian-led movement forfreedom, justice and equality is pushing forpressure tobe put onIsrael tocomply withinternational law. It believes that Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating againstPalestinian citizens ofIsrael and denying Palestinian refugees the right toreturn totheir homes.

It follows the visit, February 20-24, ofa cross-party delegation ofmembers ofthe European Parliament (MEPs) which severely criticized Israel overits recent decision tobuild 3,000 new settler homes inthe West Bank and toretroactively legalise thousands ofillegal settlements.

Following the decision, the Israeli Defense Ministry said ina statement that construction approvals are “part ofa return tonormal life inJudea and Samaria, aswell asconduct which provides real solutions tohousing and living needs.”

According to a briefing onthe issue bythe campaign group War onWant, there is “overwhelming evidence” that the system instituted bythe Israeli government againstthe Palestinian people meets the UN definition of ‘apartheid.’

In effect, the group say, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory constitute one territorial unit underfull Israeli control. As of2015, ofthe total population ofpeople that live inIsrael and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, around6.6 million are Jewish Israelis and about6.4 million are Palestinians.

“Under Israeli law, and inpractice, Jewish Israelis and Palestinians are treated differently inalmost every aspect oflife including freedom ofmovement, family, housing, education, employment and other basic human rights. Dozens ofIsraeli laws and policies institutionalise this prevailing system ofracial discrimination and domination,” the briefing states.

AFP 2016/ JAAFAR ASHTIYEH

“Segregation is carried outby implementing separate legal regimes forJewish Israelis and Palestinians living inthe same area. For example, Jewish Israeli settlers living inthe illegal Israeli settlements inthe occupied West Bank are governed byIsraeli civil law, while Palestinians also living inthe occupied West Bank are governed byIsraeli military law.”

Pressure fromEU

The EU has stepped uppressure onthe Israeli Government inrecent weeks. In its latest briefing onthe situation, the office ofthe High Representative ofthe Union forForeign Affairs and Security Policy said the two-state solution is in “great danger.”

“We still believe inwhat the Middle East Quartet wrote last summer, that the two-state solution is ingreat danger, and urgent action is needed tostop and reverse the current trends. The Quartet identified three major threats againstthe viability ofthe two states,” Ian Borg, President-in-Office ofthe Council told the European Parliament.

“First, continued settlement expansion, demolitions and the denial ofPalestinian development. Second, violence and incitement toviolence which inflict terrible suffering and deepen the mistrust betweenthe communities, and third, the dire situation inGaza, the continued militant activity and the lack ofPalestinian unity. It is very clear that the situation is not improving and onsome issues it is deteriorating,” he said.

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Campaigners Step Up Actions Against Israeli ‘Apartheid State’ – Sputnik International

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An Arab member of Israel’s parliament argues Trump is wrong about the two-state solution – Vox

Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump appeared to toss aside decades of US foreign policy by saying Washington was no longer wedded to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian who heads the third-largest coalition in the Israeli parliament, has a very blunt response: Doing so would lead to Israel becoming an apartheid state.

I want to be clear, Odeh said during a wide-ranging interview with Vox late last week. A single state today [would be] an apartheid state. The effect of talking about one state at the moment is only legitimizing the settlements.

There is currently no mechanism, he added, that could build one democratic state.

Odeh, a secular Muslim who speaks several languages fluently, is the head of a coalition of Arab political parties known as the Joint List, which captured 13 seats in the 120-seat parliament in Israels 2015 election.

Odeh publicly questions how he fits in the Zionist narrative and fully embraces his life in Israel, and all the complications those dueling ideas imply. The 42-year-old represents both the promise and the challenges of practicing democracy in Israel.

He often underscores that he recognizes the Jewish right to self-determination, but stresses the importance of expanding the rights of both Palestinians in the West Bank and Israeli Arabs. He is also a firm believer in the need to create a Palestinian state.

In a long, flattering profile of him in the New Yorker last January, Odeh told David Remnick that when he first walked into the Knesset, where the walls are lined with photos of Israels founders, I felt as if I were choking. Last year he got himself into a bit of hot water when he asked to move a scheduled meeting with the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations when he discovered it would be held in the same space at the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, which promotes aliyah, Jewish immigration to Israel. It was widely reported he refused to meet with these Jewish leaders, rather than the slightly more complicated issue of the location. The meeting was scuttled.

Odeh isnt just concerned with the occupation of the West Bank. He is keenly conscious of discrimination against the Arab minority in Israel. He himself was recently hit by a foam-tipped bullet at a protest against the demolition of an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev desert, in southern Israel, one of 36 such villages that have existed for decades off the grid, without government-provided water or electricity. The injury was still visible when we spoke, a healed gash on the side of his head.

Odeh is married to Nardin Asleh, an OB-GYN. They have three children. His wifes youngest brother was killed by Israeli security forces during a protest in October 2000, following then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharons visit to the Temple Mount. His name was Asel Asleh, and he was shot wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of Seeds of Peace, an organization he had participated in that was created to build bridges between Jewish and Arab teenagers. He was 17.

Witnesses said Asleh was demonstrating peacefully. When asked about his brother-in-law, Odehs handlers told me he did not like to talk about the incident, which remains a source of great trauma to the family.

In his conversation with Vox, Odeh spoke about the two-state solution, Netanyahu, the complexity of life as a Palestinian and Israeli citizen, and his belief that equality and a shared future is not only possible, but essential.

Odeh spoke in Hebrew, with translation to English by one of his staffers. What follows are portions of our conversation. It was conducted primarily in person, and followed up over email. It has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

In a joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Donald Trump, Trump said he would be open to either a two-state or a one-state solution. What do you think about one state versus two states?

When Trump speaks, its impossible to know if he is serious or if it is something he just spontaneously thought of on the spur of the moment, especially since the people around him quickly after that said no, the policy of the United States is still the two-state solution.

And let’s be honest: All the presidents before Trump also said they want a two-state solution, but they didn’t do enough to promote or really work toward this solution.

I want to be clear: A single state today [would be] an apartheid state.

The effect of talking about one state at the moment is only legitimizing the settlements. At the moment, we dont have any means of building one democratic state. I think the Palestinian people have struggled for many years. They have now reached the point that almost the entire world is supportive of the two-state solution. We saw that in UN Resolution 2334. [Passed in December, this condemned settlements. The Obama administration abstained from the vote.]

But it is also very important to note that more than half of the Israeli population is also in favor of the two-state solution.

This is not the moment to discard the two-state solution.

Can you tell me your initial reaction to the press conference?

I felt that Netanyahu is more comfortable with Trump than he is in the Knesset. He felt very much at home. Over the last couple of decades, the American administrations didn’t do enough to bring about the two-state solution, and American financial support to the Israeli military has even made peace more difficult to achieve. When I saw the press conference, I thought that it is now clearer than ever that the peace process will need to involve other members of the international community it cannot be brokered by America alone. Of course, the response of people in Israel to the rise of Trump, including the proposal to annex Palestinian territory, should worry anyone who wants to see a peaceful future.

To be honest, the thing I was most worried about from the Trump and Netanyahu meeting is the feeling of closeness between these two leaders. Both of them came into power through inciting against minorities. And both of them have continued, after their elections, a policy of hatred and incitement and fear.

Now I can better understand why the Israeli right and Netanyahu were celebrating when Trump won.

Can you elaborate on that?

They have many shared values and mutual ideas.

The Israeli right understood that Trumps election seemed to give them the okay to start annexing parts of the West Bank.

You’ve told me that Netanyahu discriminates against Arabs, and have used the phrase “apartheid-like policy.” Is that the right word to apply to a democracy like Israel? Do you really see it as a direct parallel with South Africa?

I am an Arab in Knesset, so I cannot say there is apartheid inside Israel. I can say there is racism and discrimination in hospitals, in Knesset, in the courts, in schools, in all walks of life. But not apartheid.

But in the field of [housing and land policy], there is an apartheid policy.

[Here Odeh cited a series of statistics later confirmed by Adalah, the Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel, including the number of Jewish towns built (about 600) and for Arabs almost zero since the state began, the problem of severe overcrowding in Arab towns, and the issue of unrecognized villages in the Negev desert. ]

You didn’t go to former Prime Minister Shimon Peress funeral. And you said that you asked some 300 people for advice in making that choice. What were the points you were weighing?

Peres, for tens of years, was a part of the Nakba [the Arabic word for catastrophe and the way Palestinians describe the creation of the state of Israel]. He played a part in the military rule over us.

I am not only a man of history. I accept that people change. But, in the last ten years Peres supported three horrible wars that took so many lives in Gaza. And yet, in truth, there were two very important points [in favor of attending]. One is of course [Peres role in the] Oslo peace accords.

Then his funeral was the 30th of September. And the day after that, we had the memorials of the victims of the October events. In [October] 2000, 13 Arab citizens of Israel were killed. One was the youngest brother of my wife. And Peres was a minister in this government. So, you know, on the balance it was very close, but in the end I chose not to be a part of the funeral.

Peress funeral wasn’t just a private event of mourning for a person. It was a national event where collective memory is being shaped. And it was a part of the way a nation shapes its symbols and citizenship, and I am not a part of all that. You wouldn’t find anything of me in any of the state of Israel symbols. So in a way, this decision was also to push back at this hegemony.

It seems like American Jews have been eager to hear from you. Do you feel its easier here than in Israel to be heard by the Jewish community?

We can see that the Jewish people here are not under the spell of the racism and incitement of the Israeli government. And there is no doubt that there are democratic values here that are more inherent than what you see in Israel.

Israel is going quite rapidly in a bad direction.

I think one of the moments of moral clarity [in the United States] was when the Jewish community here supported the struggle of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights struggle.

Martin Luther King Jr. was perceived, in his days, as a radical. Today they understand he was an asset to the entire United States. This is why I think it is easier for people here to understand that our struggle for equality and democracy is an asset to all the citizens of Israel, and not only for us.

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An Arab member of Israel’s parliament argues Trump is wrong about the two-state solution – Vox

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Israel Apartheid Week causes turmoil on campuses – The Jewish … – Jewish Chronicle


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Israel Apartheid Week causes turmoil on campuses – The Jewish …
Jewish Chronicle
Concerns for the welfare of Jewish students at campuses across the UK and in Ireland were mounting this week following new claims of antisemitism and …

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Israel Apartheid Week causes turmoil on campuses – The Jewish … – Jewish Chronicle

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Advocacy Groups in UK Gear Up ‘Proactively’ to Counter Upcoming … – Algemeiner

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Friday February 24, 2017 – Israel Hayom


Israel Hayom
Friday February 24, 2017
Israel Hayom
The demographic threat also has a conceptual facet to it, taken from the history of South Africa: apartheid. They assume that no one knows South Africa's political history. White people in South Africa made up 10-20% of the population. In Israel's case
Evo's Bolivia Slams Israel's Trump-Style 'Apartheid Wall'teleSUR English
Trump's Mexico Wall Compared To Israel West Bank 'Apartheid' Barrier By Bolivian PoliticianInternational Business Times
Palestinian Society builds wall on Sidgwick Site in protest against IsraelVarsity Online
Jewish News (blog) –The Sydney Morning Herald –Ahram Online
all 524 news articles »

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Friday February 24, 2017 – Israel Hayom

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Israel’s first Arab newscaster presents at SDSU – Daily Aztec

Will Fritz, Senior Staff Writer February 21, 2017

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Lucy Aharish, Israels first Arab newscaster, came to San Diego State on Feb. 7 to share her personal views and experiences as an Arab-Israeli.

The talk was hosted by the SDSU chapters of Students Supporting Israel, Christians United for Israel and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Aharish has covered a number of military operations in Israel, including Operation Protective Edge in 2014. She was selected to light a torch during Israels 67th Independence Day in 2015.

Aharish started her talk by describing a recent trip to Greece for a documentary about the Syrian refugee crisis.

I can definitely tell you that I was in a place where there is no God, she said.

She described the refugee crisis as a holocaust, though said she understood the weight and importance of the word holocaust, and drew a distinction between a holocaust and the Holocaust.

Its a holocaust that is happening in 2017 and we are not doing anything about, Aharish said. Its happening in front of our eyes and we are not doing anything to prevent it. And in the same week where I see a person telling me the story that he lost his four children and his wife in one bombing, I hear the president of the United States banning Muslims from seven countries where they are suffering from terror or suffering from wars.

As the talk continued, Aharish told personal stories about her life as a Muslim citizen of Israel.

She said as a minority in her hometown of Dimona, Israel, she was bullied by some of her classmates from a young age.

Before her first day of school, Aharish said her mother sat her down to make her promise to always be proud of the fact that youre Arab, that youre Muslim and that youre Israeli.

Aharish said, being five years old, she could not understand the meaning of this talk.

So, she said, on her first day of school she announced to the whole class exactly what her mother said that she was Arab, Muslim, Israeli and proud.

And on the fourth day, I started getting beaten up, Aharish said.

It took a long time for her to be able to comprehend why this was happening, she said.

I used to say that kids are mean, that kids are bad, Aharish said. Kids are not mean. We are educating kids to be mean. We are educating kids to hate. There is no such thing as a kid who is born and says to himself, oh, I hate Palestinians. Or there is no such thing as a Palestinian kid that is born and says to himself, oh, I hate Jews. It doesnt work like that.

But this did not cause her to disassociate herself with her identity as an Israeli.

Rather, she made it her mission to excel.

I participated in every single thing in school, she said. And I was the best in every single thing in school.

She related a story of a trip she took as a child with her family in 1987 to the Gaza Strip. During this trip, she said her familys car, which bore Israeli license plates, was attacked with two Molotov cocktails.

For a long time after that day, I hated Palestinians, Aharish said.

She said her extended family grew concerned with what they saw as hatred of her own identity.

As she grew older, however, she said she learned the conflict between Israel and Palestine is much more complicated.

The day after a terror attack, I hated going to school, Aharish said. I hated going to school because I knew what Im about to see and hear. And I used to beg my parents not to go to school a day after a terror attack. And I remember my parents coming and telling me if you wont be able to face the world now, you wont be able to face the world in the future.

She said she would often come to school to find her friends advocating for killing Arabs.

And these were my best friends, she said. And then they looked at me and they remembered, so they said: Well, Lucy, we dont mean you. You and your parents are OK.

She said she did not reconcile her feelings about Palestinians until, as an 18-year-old college student, a Palestinian co-worker took her for a drive to a wall separating the West Bank from Israel.

And then I understood that I had no idea, she said. Who are these Palestinians? I understood that I have no idea what is happening on the other side.

Aharish said she has encountered frequent racism throughout her life and career, and that one employer was hesitant to hire her because of her Arab background, at least until she threatened to publicly complain about this discrimination in the press.

Aharish later discussed the possible solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She said a one-state solution would be difficult for those who want a majority-Jewish state.

The Arabs are more politically motivated, especially after 50 years of occupation, Aharish said. They will go to the polls, and the next prime minister will be an Arab prime minister, a Palestinian prime minister. But if you want to be Jewish, then you are going to be an apartheid country.

She said at the moment, she does not believe she can call what is occurring in Israel apartheid.

Its a country who is occupying another people, yes, Aharish said. I cannot say that its an apartheid country, because theres a huge difference between what happened in the apartheid and whats happening in the West Bank.

Gal Winrebe, agent to Israel for SDSU Hillel, said he wanted to bring Aharish to campus for a long time because to him she is an example of a way to be a civil critic.

Shes a symbol of a person who can criticize something without completely destroying it, erasing it, or taking the right of it to exist, Winrebe said.

She says yes theres a lot of complexity, theres a lot of problems, but theres no problem that cannot be solved.

Winrebe said after a number of students took a fact finders trip to Israel and Palestine, the students were interested into bringing a balanced conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to campus, and that he believed Aharish was the answer to that.

Students Supporting Israel member Lauren Gutin, who participated in planning Aharishs visit to campus, said she was an amazing speaker.

I was honestly mesmerized the whole time, Gutin said. And I thought that her opinion, based on her background, is very valid and very knowledgeable.

Gutin said she does not think Aharishs visit changed any of her pre-existing views, but was valuable nonetheless.

Some questions that I might have had about the conflict, she helped to maybe answer them, Gutin said. Not completely of course, but (she) helped me to be more knowledgeable on everything that I already know and to help form my opinion as an individual.

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Israel’s first Arab newscaster presents at SDSU – Daily Aztec

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In Last Monologue, Israeli Comedy Show Host Implores Israelis to Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid – Haaretz

Home > Israel News WATCH Assaf Harel’s scathing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral. An Israeli comedy show host’s searing indictment of Israeli society has gone viral on social media, raking in over 5,000 shares in the two days since it was posted on the show’s Facebook page on Monday. In the video, Assaf Harel of “Good Night With Asaf Harel” castigates Israelis for ignoring the occupation and claims that Israel is an apartheid state. “Good Night,” which was aired by Channel 10, was one of Israel’s most controversial shows onmainstreamtelevision in recent years. In one instance, the show was fined after Harel ridiculed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for exploiting his brother’s death for political gain. The episode was “Good Night’s” last, as the show was not renewed for another season due to poor ratings, even though the show has gained a strong following on social media. Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter.

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Losing the will to fight Israeli Apartheid Week – +972 Magazine

Its getting harder and harder for liberal Zionists to reconcile an Israel that legitimizes settler land theft with the values they have been raised to believe the Jewish state stands for. By Ben Reiff Israel Apartheid Week at the University of Texas, Austin. (Monad68/CC/Flickr) Ive been dreading Israel ApartheidWeek since I arrived at university in London a supposed hot-spot for Israel-Palestine tension on campuses. My understanding of what happens each year during Apartheid Week has always been a scene of hate-fueled anti-Israel, pro-BDS, free Palestine-chanting protesters, often facing off with equally hate-fueled anti-Palestine, pro-Israel, Hatikvah singing counter-protesters. As a Jew and an anti-occupation Zionist, as someone who sympathizes with some elements of both of these protest groups while being repulsed by others, and as someone who wishes for nothing more than to see a Palestinian state standing peacefully beside the State of Israel, this puts me somewhere bang in the middle. Special Coverage: The Israel-Apartheid Debate Or rather it did, until one Monday earlier this month: February 6, 2017. For liberal Zionists, the passage of the Regularization Law. retroactively legalizing the theft of privately owned Palestinian land by Jewish settlers, is at best a slap in the face. At worst, it is a fatal stab in the back to the core values supposedly immortalized in Israels Declaration of Independence. Owing to increasingly extremist policies being propagated by increasingly right-wing governments, it has become more and more difficult to reconcile our Zionism with our support for Palestinian aspirations in recent years. With enormous measures of empathy and nuance, balancing those two things has nevertheless appeared to remain achievable. Im no longer confident this is the case. In the days following the passing of the law, President Reuven Rivlin himself warned that it will cause Israel to be seen as anapartheidstate, which it is not. But liberal Zionists have been saying this for years. Each additional aggressive, indefensible policy emboldens those labeling Israel anapartheidstate, while ostracizing those calling for the avoidance of unilateral peace-hindering steps by either side. I still wont be supporting Israel ApartheidWeek. I think it creates a perception that Israel is a homogeneous population of occupiers, which is unquestionably false. There are Israelis voting for leftist parties that unequivocally oppose occupation, and Israelis actively boycotting settlement products. There are Israelis choosing conscientious objection and prison over army service. Look beyond the national-religious right, and youll see the work of organizations like BTselem and Machsom Watch who are documenting and bearing witness to IDF human rights violations. Look at Breaking the Silence who are giving testimonies of their own experiences serving in the occupied territories. Look at Rabbis for Human Rights who are accompanying Palestinian farmers to prevent unlawful harassment by IDF soldiers. And look at Yesh Din who are fighting the very land laws the Israeli government is seeking to extend. But I will not be supporting the counter-protests either. The Regularization Bill demonstrates how staggeringly powerful the extreme right has become in the Knesset, which is dangerous not only for the Palestinians but also for Israel itself. Israel has long been heading down a path with which increasingly few in the diaspora are comfortable, and the fact remains that Israel cannot survive without international Jewish support. In favor of the support of radical expansionists, the Israeli government is pushing away the very foundations of its existence. What would it take, I wonder, for liberal Zionists to have no choice but to join theApartheidWeek protests themselves? I fear that the answer will become evident sooner rather than later. Ben Reiff is a student at the London School of Economics, and a member of the Reform Zionist youth movement, Netzer. For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine’s Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week’s events. Sign up here.

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March 2, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

From Auschwitz to Israeli Apartheid Week – Jewish News (blog)

How is it possible? How is it possible to go from Auschwitz in 1945 to Israeli Apartheid week in 2017? In just 72 years, Jews are once again being told that they are a people of robbers, are part of aconspiracyto control the government, and Israelis are being boycotted in an attempt to economically damage them. In fact, this blog does not need to be more than a few sentences long. Its simple the ICC definition states that apartheid consists of inhumane acts committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression. Yet in Israel, incitement to racism is a criminal offence. Therefore by definition Israel is not an apartheid state. Ever. I dont need to talk about the countless other facts and examples of the freedom that Israeli Arabs experience. I dont need to tell you that Israeli Arabs experience more freedom in Israel than they do in any other Arab country, all of which are equal to Jewish Israelis. LGBT and womens rights in Israel are light years ahead of any other country in the Middle East. Israeli Arabs hold seats in Israeli Parliament, again a fact that shows that Israel is not apartheid by definition. Surprised? Dont be. A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth gets itsshoeson. Thankfully, I have myshoeson. Last week I travelled around Poland in both an emotional and physical sense. Every person in our group came away with their own thoughts and feelings, and I will not attempt to speak for everyone in the group, but will share some of my own thoughts. A theme I noticed appear several times during the timeline of the Holocaust was the dehumanisation of the Jewish people. It instantly reminded me of several newsheadlineswhich attempted to do the same. In fact, throughout the trip I saw history repeating itself in todays society. Boycotts of Jewish businesses? Tick. Anti-Semitism coming from political officials?Tick. Anti-Semitic tropes being used to show how Jews are evil?Tick. As a Jewish student on campus in the UK, the trip to Poland, followed by the start of Israeli apartheid week really hit home. I would perhaps go as far as to say that certain aspects of the Holocaust have not been left behind. Accusations of running the media and the banks, still ring through the student body in my experience on campus anyway. One day I stood in Auschwitz-Birkenau learning about how Jews were persecuted, dehumanised and murdered. The next I was listening to someone elaborately deny the fact that Hamas sending tens of thousands of rockets into peoples back gardens in Israel is somewhat inconvenient to people living there. Or the fact that since 2015 the364terror attacks committed in Israel are any issue at all. Israelis have already been dehumanised in this individuals mind. How do we stop this? How do we stop the lies and hate from spreading through society like wildfire? We must do more to stand up to that which we see as lies. We have an obligation to help each other, to call out anti-Semitism wherever it manifests. Make no mistake, anti-Israel activities do not affect our brothers and sisters in Israel in any way when compared to how it affects us here in the UK. Jewish students do not feel safe on some campuses in the UK due to despicable anti-Israel activities. Therefore, in my mind if Jewish students do not feel safe then this is clearly anti-Semitism, whether it be explicit or not. There are campaigns,Bridges not Boycottsorganised by UJS, Israel Party and Information weeks, or even a Falafel for Facts campaign I have started in Liverpool. These are the first stage of combatting the lies and misconceptions surrounding Israel, because they are not going anywhere. You probably disagree with me. Anti-Semitism isnt a problem in the UK, Ive never experienced it so it cant be such an issue, these people are all talk and no action, etc. etc. Luckily for you youre in the majority, much of Polish Jewry would have also agreed with you. They made up 10% of the Polish population in 1939, yet they now make up less than 0.01% We cant ignore anti-Semitism and must stand up and make our voices heard. I will carry the message of the Holocaust with me onto campus and beyond. I will make sure the world never forgets, never repeats and never stands by as anti-Semitism rises.

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March 1, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Campaigners Step Up Actions Against Israeli ‘Apartheid State’ – Sputnik International

Europe 20:05 27.02.2017 Get short URL The ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)’ movement a Palestinian-led movement forfreedom, justice and equality is pushing forpressure tobe put onIsrael tocomply withinternational law. It believes that Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating againstPalestinian citizens ofIsrael and denying Palestinian refugees the right toreturn totheir homes. It follows the visit, February 20-24, ofa cross-party delegation ofmembers ofthe European Parliament (MEPs) which severely criticized Israel overits recent decision tobuild 3,000 new settler homes inthe West Bank and toretroactively legalise thousands ofillegal settlements. Following the decision, the Israeli Defense Ministry said ina statement that construction approvals are “part ofa return tonormal life inJudea and Samaria, aswell asconduct which provides real solutions tohousing and living needs.” According to a briefing onthe issue bythe campaign group War onWant, there is “overwhelming evidence” that the system instituted bythe Israeli government againstthe Palestinian people meets the UN definition of ‘apartheid.’ In effect, the group say, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory constitute one territorial unit underfull Israeli control. As of2015, ofthe total population ofpeople that live inIsrael and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, around6.6 million are Jewish Israelis and about6.4 million are Palestinians. “Under Israeli law, and inpractice, Jewish Israelis and Palestinians are treated differently inalmost every aspect oflife including freedom ofmovement, family, housing, education, employment and other basic human rights. Dozens ofIsraeli laws and policies institutionalise this prevailing system ofracial discrimination and domination,” the briefing states. AFP 2016/ JAAFAR ASHTIYEH “Segregation is carried outby implementing separate legal regimes forJewish Israelis and Palestinians living inthe same area. For example, Jewish Israeli settlers living inthe illegal Israeli settlements inthe occupied West Bank are governed byIsraeli civil law, while Palestinians also living inthe occupied West Bank are governed byIsraeli military law.” Pressure fromEU The EU has stepped uppressure onthe Israeli Government inrecent weeks. In its latest briefing onthe situation, the office ofthe High Representative ofthe Union forForeign Affairs and Security Policy said the two-state solution is in “great danger.” “We still believe inwhat the Middle East Quartet wrote last summer, that the two-state solution is ingreat danger, and urgent action is needed tostop and reverse the current trends. The Quartet identified three major threats againstthe viability ofthe two states,” Ian Borg, President-in-Office ofthe Council told the European Parliament. “First, continued settlement expansion, demolitions and the denial ofPalestinian development. Second, violence and incitement toviolence which inflict terrible suffering and deepen the mistrust betweenthe communities, and third, the dire situation inGaza, the continued militant activity and the lack ofPalestinian unity. It is very clear that the situation is not improving and onsome issues it is deteriorating,” he said.

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February 28, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

An Arab member of Israel’s parliament argues Trump is wrong about the two-state solution – Vox

Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump appeared to toss aside decades of US foreign policy by saying Washington was no longer wedded to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian who heads the third-largest coalition in the Israeli parliament, has a very blunt response: Doing so would lead to Israel becoming an apartheid state. I want to be clear, Odeh said during a wide-ranging interview with Vox late last week. A single state today [would be] an apartheid state. The effect of talking about one state at the moment is only legitimizing the settlements. There is currently no mechanism, he added, that could build one democratic state. Odeh, a secular Muslim who speaks several languages fluently, is the head of a coalition of Arab political parties known as the Joint List, which captured 13 seats in the 120-seat parliament in Israels 2015 election. Odeh publicly questions how he fits in the Zionist narrative and fully embraces his life in Israel, and all the complications those dueling ideas imply. The 42-year-old represents both the promise and the challenges of practicing democracy in Israel. He often underscores that he recognizes the Jewish right to self-determination, but stresses the importance of expanding the rights of both Palestinians in the West Bank and Israeli Arabs. He is also a firm believer in the need to create a Palestinian state. In a long, flattering profile of him in the New Yorker last January, Odeh told David Remnick that when he first walked into the Knesset, where the walls are lined with photos of Israels founders, I felt as if I were choking. Last year he got himself into a bit of hot water when he asked to move a scheduled meeting with the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations when he discovered it would be held in the same space at the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, which promotes aliyah, Jewish immigration to Israel. It was widely reported he refused to meet with these Jewish leaders, rather than the slightly more complicated issue of the location. The meeting was scuttled. Odeh isnt just concerned with the occupation of the West Bank. He is keenly conscious of discrimination against the Arab minority in Israel. He himself was recently hit by a foam-tipped bullet at a protest against the demolition of an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev desert, in southern Israel, one of 36 such villages that have existed for decades off the grid, without government-provided water or electricity. The injury was still visible when we spoke, a healed gash on the side of his head. Odeh is married to Nardin Asleh, an OB-GYN. They have three children. His wifes youngest brother was killed by Israeli security forces during a protest in October 2000, following then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharons visit to the Temple Mount. His name was Asel Asleh, and he was shot wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the logo of Seeds of Peace, an organization he had participated in that was created to build bridges between Jewish and Arab teenagers. He was 17. Witnesses said Asleh was demonstrating peacefully. When asked about his brother-in-law, Odehs handlers told me he did not like to talk about the incident, which remains a source of great trauma to the family. In his conversation with Vox, Odeh spoke about the two-state solution, Netanyahu, the complexity of life as a Palestinian and Israeli citizen, and his belief that equality and a shared future is not only possible, but essential. Odeh spoke in Hebrew, with translation to English by one of his staffers. What follows are portions of our conversation. It was conducted primarily in person, and followed up over email. It has been lightly edited for length and clarity. In a joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Donald Trump, Trump said he would be open to either a two-state or a one-state solution. What do you think about one state versus two states? When Trump speaks, its impossible to know if he is serious or if it is something he just spontaneously thought of on the spur of the moment, especially since the people around him quickly after that said no, the policy of the United States is still the two-state solution. And let’s be honest: All the presidents before Trump also said they want a two-state solution, but they didn’t do enough to promote or really work toward this solution. I want to be clear: A single state today [would be] an apartheid state. The effect of talking about one state at the moment is only legitimizing the settlements. At the moment, we dont have any means of building one democratic state. I think the Palestinian people have struggled for many years. They have now reached the point that almost the entire world is supportive of the two-state solution. We saw that in UN Resolution 2334. [Passed in December, this condemned settlements. The Obama administration abstained from the vote.] But it is also very important to note that more than half of the Israeli population is also in favor of the two-state solution. This is not the moment to discard the two-state solution. Can you tell me your initial reaction to the press conference? I felt that Netanyahu is more comfortable with Trump than he is in the Knesset. He felt very much at home. Over the last couple of decades, the American administrations didn’t do enough to bring about the two-state solution, and American financial support to the Israeli military has even made peace more difficult to achieve. When I saw the press conference, I thought that it is now clearer than ever that the peace process will need to involve other members of the international community it cannot be brokered by America alone. Of course, the response of people in Israel to the rise of Trump, including the proposal to annex Palestinian territory, should worry anyone who wants to see a peaceful future. To be honest, the thing I was most worried about from the Trump and Netanyahu meeting is the feeling of closeness between these two leaders. Both of them came into power through inciting against minorities. And both of them have continued, after their elections, a policy of hatred and incitement and fear. Now I can better understand why the Israeli right and Netanyahu were celebrating when Trump won. Can you elaborate on that? They have many shared values and mutual ideas. The Israeli right understood that Trumps election seemed to give them the okay to start annexing parts of the West Bank. You’ve told me that Netanyahu discriminates against Arabs, and have used the phrase “apartheid-like policy.” Is that the right word to apply to a democracy like Israel? Do you really see it as a direct parallel with South Africa? I am an Arab in Knesset, so I cannot say there is apartheid inside Israel. I can say there is racism and discrimination in hospitals, in Knesset, in the courts, in schools, in all walks of life. But not apartheid. But in the field of [housing and land policy], there is an apartheid policy. [Here Odeh cited a series of statistics later confirmed by Adalah, the Legal Center for Minority Rights in Israel, including the number of Jewish towns built (about 600) and for Arabs almost zero since the state began, the problem of severe overcrowding in Arab towns, and the issue of unrecognized villages in the Negev desert. ] You didn’t go to former Prime Minister Shimon Peress funeral. And you said that you asked some 300 people for advice in making that choice. What were the points you were weighing? Peres, for tens of years, was a part of the Nakba [the Arabic word for catastrophe and the way Palestinians describe the creation of the state of Israel]. He played a part in the military rule over us. I am not only a man of history. I accept that people change. But, in the last ten years Peres supported three horrible wars that took so many lives in Gaza. And yet, in truth, there were two very important points [in favor of attending]. One is of course [Peres role in the] Oslo peace accords. Then his funeral was the 30th of September. And the day after that, we had the memorials of the victims of the October events. In [October] 2000, 13 Arab citizens of Israel were killed. One was the youngest brother of my wife. And Peres was a minister in this government. So, you know, on the balance it was very close, but in the end I chose not to be a part of the funeral. Peress funeral wasn’t just a private event of mourning for a person. It was a national event where collective memory is being shaped. And it was a part of the way a nation shapes its symbols and citizenship, and I am not a part of all that. You wouldn’t find anything of me in any of the state of Israel symbols. So in a way, this decision was also to push back at this hegemony. It seems like American Jews have been eager to hear from you. Do you feel its easier here than in Israel to be heard by the Jewish community? We can see that the Jewish people here are not under the spell of the racism and incitement of the Israeli government. And there is no doubt that there are democratic values here that are more inherent than what you see in Israel. Israel is going quite rapidly in a bad direction. I think one of the moments of moral clarity [in the United States] was when the Jewish community here supported the struggle of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights struggle. Martin Luther King Jr. was perceived, in his days, as a radical. Today they understand he was an asset to the entire United States. This is why I think it is easier for people here to understand that our struggle for equality and democracy is an asset to all the citizens of Israel, and not only for us.

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February 26, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Israel Apartheid Week causes turmoil on campuses – The Jewish … – Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Chronicle Israel Apartheid Week causes turmoil on campuses – The Jewish … Jewish Chronicle Concerns for the welfare of Jewish students at campuses across the UK and in Ireland were mounting this week following new claims of antisemitism and … and more »

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February 25, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Advocacy Groups in UK Gear Up ‘Proactively’ to Counter Upcoming … – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “Advocacy Groups in UK Gear Up Proactively to Counter Upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week Events Across British Campuses” to a friend Israeli Apartheid Week, which takes place on campuses across the world. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. A member of a leading Israel advocacy group toldThe Algemeinerthat anew educational training program will help studentscounter the upcoming spate of UK campus eventsaimed at delegitimizing the Jewish state. Tamir Oren,Stand With Us (SWU) UKs director of public affairs said that, in the run-up to Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), students across Britain were selected toparticipate in sessions on different topics, such as Israeli history, international law and geopolitics, to arm them with knowledge. Of this, Oren said: February 24, 2017 11:15 am It has been amazing to witness these students grow and become moreconfident in advocating for Israel, no matter how strenuous and frightening it may be. IAW used to be a week during whichJewish and pro-Israel were unable to effectively present Israels case. However, this time our training, educational materials and support to students across the country is making adifference and turning the tide on justice and truth. For Oren, the safetyof students on campus during this time of year remainsparamount. IAW creates tensions on campus that enable anti-Israel students to feel they are able to harass andintimidate our students, he said. Another group that has turnedits focus toIAWis the UKbranch of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), whose campus director, Aviva Slomich, said the organizationis taking aproactive approachto exposing the insidious falsehoods espoused by those who host the events. The umbrella groups the Board of Deputies of British Jewry (BOD)and Union ofJewish Students (UJS)have launched a joint national campaign called #BridgesNotBoycotts, which aims to guide students on howto effectively strategize against IAW and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)movement as a whole. A spokesperson for UJS saidthat stallswill be set up on campuses, offering educational resources and pathways to peace to counter the toxic narrative of anti-Israel extremists. Marie Van der Zyl, vice president of BOD, said in a statement, Instead of further entrenching division and conflict, we are proposing ways in which students can support peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, building rather than destroying bridges between them as BDS seeks to do. Antisemitic activityreportedlyrosedramatically on UK campuses last year, with assaults on Jewish students and faculty nearly doubling from 2015.

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February 24, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Friday February 24, 2017 – Israel Hayom

Israel Hayom Friday February 24, 2017 Israel Hayom The demographic threat also has a conceptual facet to it, taken from the history of South Africa: apartheid . They assume that no one knows South Africa's political history. White people in South Africa made up 10-20% of the population. In Israel's case … Evo's Bolivia Slams Israel's Trump-Style ' Apartheid Wall' teleSUR English Trump's Mexico Wall Compared To Israel West Bank ' Apartheid ' Barrier By Bolivian Politician International Business Times Palestinian Society builds wall on Sidgwick Site in protest against Israel Varsity Online Jewish News (blog)  – The Sydney Morning Herald  – Ahram Online all 524 news articles »

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February 24, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Israel’s first Arab newscaster presents at SDSU – Daily Aztec

Will Fritz, Senior Staff Writer February 21, 2017 Share on Facebook Share via Email Lucy Aharish, Israels first Arab newscaster, came to San Diego State on Feb. 7 to share her personal views and experiences as an Arab-Israeli. The talk was hosted by the SDSU chapters of Students Supporting Israel, Christians United for Israel and the Society of Professional Journalists. Aharish has covered a number of military operations in Israel, including Operation Protective Edge in 2014. She was selected to light a torch during Israels 67th Independence Day in 2015. Aharish started her talk by describing a recent trip to Greece for a documentary about the Syrian refugee crisis. I can definitely tell you that I was in a place where there is no God, she said. She described the refugee crisis as a holocaust, though said she understood the weight and importance of the word holocaust, and drew a distinction between a holocaust and the Holocaust. Its a holocaust that is happening in 2017 and we are not doing anything about, Aharish said. Its happening in front of our eyes and we are not doing anything to prevent it. And in the same week where I see a person telling me the story that he lost his four children and his wife in one bombing, I hear the president of the United States banning Muslims from seven countries where they are suffering from terror or suffering from wars. As the talk continued, Aharish told personal stories about her life as a Muslim citizen of Israel. She said as a minority in her hometown of Dimona, Israel, she was bullied by some of her classmates from a young age. Before her first day of school, Aharish said her mother sat her down to make her promise to always be proud of the fact that youre Arab, that youre Muslim and that youre Israeli. Aharish said, being five years old, she could not understand the meaning of this talk. So, she said, on her first day of school she announced to the whole class exactly what her mother said that she was Arab, Muslim, Israeli and proud. And on the fourth day, I started getting beaten up, Aharish said. It took a long time for her to be able to comprehend why this was happening, she said. I used to say that kids are mean, that kids are bad, Aharish said. Kids are not mean. We are educating kids to be mean. We are educating kids to hate. There is no such thing as a kid who is born and says to himself, oh, I hate Palestinians. Or there is no such thing as a Palestinian kid that is born and says to himself, oh, I hate Jews. It doesnt work like that. But this did not cause her to disassociate herself with her identity as an Israeli. Rather, she made it her mission to excel. I participated in every single thing in school, she said. And I was the best in every single thing in school. She related a story of a trip she took as a child with her family in 1987 to the Gaza Strip. During this trip, she said her familys car, which bore Israeli license plates, was attacked with two Molotov cocktails. For a long time after that day, I hated Palestinians, Aharish said. She said her extended family grew concerned with what they saw as hatred of her own identity. As she grew older, however, she said she learned the conflict between Israel and Palestine is much more complicated. The day after a terror attack, I hated going to school, Aharish said. I hated going to school because I knew what Im about to see and hear. And I used to beg my parents not to go to school a day after a terror attack. And I remember my parents coming and telling me if you wont be able to face the world now, you wont be able to face the world in the future. She said she would often come to school to find her friends advocating for killing Arabs. And these were my best friends, she said. And then they looked at me and they remembered, so they said: Well, Lucy, we dont mean you. You and your parents are OK. She said she did not reconcile her feelings about Palestinians until, as an 18-year-old college student, a Palestinian co-worker took her for a drive to a wall separating the West Bank from Israel. And then I understood that I had no idea, she said. Who are these Palestinians? I understood that I have no idea what is happening on the other side. Aharish said she has encountered frequent racism throughout her life and career, and that one employer was hesitant to hire her because of her Arab background, at least until she threatened to publicly complain about this discrimination in the press. Aharish later discussed the possible solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She said a one-state solution would be difficult for those who want a majority-Jewish state. The Arabs are more politically motivated, especially after 50 years of occupation, Aharish said. They will go to the polls, and the next prime minister will be an Arab prime minister, a Palestinian prime minister. But if you want to be Jewish, then you are going to be an apartheid country. She said at the moment, she does not believe she can call what is occurring in Israel apartheid. Its a country who is occupying another people, yes, Aharish said. I cannot say that its an apartheid country, because theres a huge difference between what happened in the apartheid and whats happening in the West Bank. Gal Winrebe, agent to Israel for SDSU Hillel, said he wanted to bring Aharish to campus for a long time because to him she is an example of a way to be a civil critic. Shes a symbol of a person who can criticize something without completely destroying it, erasing it, or taking the right of it to exist, Winrebe said. She says yes theres a lot of complexity, theres a lot of problems, but theres no problem that cannot be solved. Winrebe said after a number of students took a fact finders trip to Israel and Palestine, the students were interested into bringing a balanced conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to campus, and that he believed Aharish was the answer to that. Students Supporting Israel member Lauren Gutin, who participated in planning Aharishs visit to campus, said she was an amazing speaker. I was honestly mesmerized the whole time, Gutin said. And I thought that her opinion, based on her background, is very valid and very knowledgeable. Gutin said she does not think Aharishs visit changed any of her pre-existing views, but was valuable nonetheless. Some questions that I might have had about the conflict, she helped to maybe answer them, Gutin said. Not completely of course, but (she) helped me to be more knowledgeable on everything that I already know and to help form my opinion as an individual.

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February 21, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed


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