Archive for the ‘Israel Apartheid’ Category

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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‘Bridges not Boycotts’ campaign to counter Israel Apartheid Week – Jewish News

Jewish students are countering the Israel boycott movement in universities by offering free falafel for anyone who wants to ask a question about Israel and hear the honest answer.

Their Bridges not Boycotts initiative, which runs from this week until 3 March, will feature events on 15 campuses around the country and will hear from Israeli activists and diplomats, and even a spokesman for Syrian rebels.

Playing to their collective strength, the students are focusing on food, offering shakshuka-making masterclasses and a falafel for a fact, for genuinely inquiring minds.

The campaign, which will include cultural events such as concerts featuring Israeli acts, is timed to counter Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), which is due to take place later this month.

Among the speakers for the Bridges not Boycotts campaign is Issam Zeitoun, a spokesperson of the Free Syrian Army. Zeitoun was born near the Golan Heights, minutes from the Israeli border, and served as a go-between in the recent fighting. He is due to speak about how Arab states and Israel can cooperate to resolve regional conflicts.

READ MORE: UJS Campaigns Officer writes about Bridges Not Boycotts in the Jewish News.

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‘Bridges not Boycotts’ campaign to counter Israel Apartheid Week – Jewish News

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Bridges not Boycotts to counter Israel Apartheid Week – Jewish News (blog)

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Australians against supporting Israel’s apartheid: Activist – Press TV

Sixty prominent Australian figures have signed a statement voicing strong opposition to an upcoming visit by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the country. The statement slammed Netanyahus policies toward Palestinians as provocative, intimidating and oppressive.

An author and peace activist believes Netanyahu is a war criminal,adding that there is no justification for his actions as prime minister.

You cannot justify the racial apartheid that Israel participates in. That is why the UN recently had another resolution against Israel, against them building settlements and which we should call them what they really are, racial colonies protected by a standing army. Israel annexes territory. They have built a giant apartheid wall across their border and taken more land from Palestinians and they are annexing East Jerusalem and then they routinely bomb Gaza back into the Stone Age, Ryan Dawson told Press TV in an interview on Sunday.

He noted that the publics awareness of the crimes committed by Israel is growing in large part due to freedom of the media on the Internet.

The activist also maintained that people are aware of the Israel lobbys strength and how much it bribes and pays politicians.

He further stated that the people of Australia are sick and tired of apartheid, adding that they do not want their money to be spent on supporting Israels wars.

The public is outraged that Australia would contribute to something [similar to] their own sort of past [and similar to what they did to] their Aborigines. They do not want to continue that pattern by supporting the Israelis apartheid over Palestinians and African migrants, he said.

Aboriginal Australians have long been subjected to genocide, forced permanent removal, dispossession, racial discriminationand destruction of their land.

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Demolishing the Spurious, Libelous Claim That Israel Is an Apartheid State – Algemeiner

Benjamin Pogrund was born in South Africa. As a journalist, he fought the apartheid regime, most notably through his work forThe Rand Daily Mail. When the government closed the paperdown and exiled him, Benjaminmoved to London, where he joinedThe IndependentandTheSundayTimes. In his latest book,Drawing Fire: Investigating the Accusations of Apartheid in Israel, he completely demolishes the spurious, not to say libelous, claim that Israel is an apartheid state.

I became an opponent ofapartheid when my father took me with him to South Africa in 1955, on one of his lecture tours. While he was busy, I was placed in the charge of some lovely Jewish ladies who turned out to be radical adversariesof the system. They tookme around the country,making sure I saw the evils of the system first hand. Asa student, I joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement, eventually risingto become honorary president of the Scottish arm of the movement.

In 1985, I was approached by the then-chief rabbi of South Africa Bernard Casper, to consider succeeding him. I spent a month in Johannesburg to explorethe possibilities, and familiarizemyself with the inside story of South Africa to see whether there was anything I could do, if I took the position, to mitigate or even combat the apartheid government. It was through Benjamins good offices that I met many of the African National Congressand Congress of South African TradeUnionsunderground leadership not an easy feat.Only Benjamins reputation and the enormous respect they had for him got me through. They all advised me not to move to South Africa, telling me that if I wouldtake a stand, Id be put on the next plane out of the country. They said thesituation was hopeless, and a bloodbath was imminent. Of course, fortunately, things worked out differently, due overwhelmingly to the greatness of Nelson Mandela and the realism of President de Klerk. And the late Rabbi Cyril Harris, who tookon Rabbi Caspers role, did an excellent job shepherding the Jewish community through the transition.

February 20, 2017 5:53 pm

Benjamin and his family subsequently moved to Israel, where he joined my late brother, Mickey, in setting up the Centre for Social Concern at Yakar, in Jerusalem, to try to bring Israelis and Palestinians together.

Unlike most people, Benjaminpersonallyknows and has experienced apartheid. Hence, he is better able than most to deal with the charges that Israel is an apartheid state. He can say,categorically, that applying the term apartheid to Israel is simply ignorance, if not malice. To call Israel genocidal when its Arab population has doubled is a joke. Even the population of the Palestinian territories has mushroomed. Which means that Israelis must be the most incompetent genocidists ever!

In his balanced, detailed and honest book, Benjamincompletely demolishes the comparison by presentingentirely objective facts. Under apartheid, no black South African was allowed to vote or take up residence in white areas. In contrast, Israeli Arabs sit in the Knesset, the Supreme Court and hold senior positions never, ever accorded to blacks in South Africa under the old regime. The areas beyond the Green Linecurrently occupied by Israel are, indeed, in a state of limbo awaiting a final peace settlement, but only the Palestinians arelooking forthe area to be occupied by only one race. The Afrikaaner whites never intended to give any sovereignty to blacks, regardless of any settlement of differences. Theirs was an ideology of racial superiority, not an unfortunate political accommodation awaiting a peace treaty, in which peace was being pursued in principal, if not always in reality. This book is an excellent overview of the present struggle between two competing claims. It is possibly the fairest book on the market for a balanced, objective viewpoint of this conflict.

It is all the more important because, in examining the charges, Benjaminpulls no punches in criticizing Israel as it functions within the Green Line, and inthe occupied West Bank and Gaza. He has no patience for extremism on either side. He points out Israels mistakes, failures and shortcomings without trying in any way to disguise or minimize them. This book is an important source of facts and arguments that will help anyone on the frontline defending Israel against the lies, half-truths and mendacious libels that one hears all the time and in almost every sector of the media, the glitterati, the NGOs, the charities and academia. That polemicists and politicians lie is, of course, a given. But that people professing honesty, objectivity and ethics lieillustrates the prejudice and hypocrisy that stalks the world we live in, and actually prevents and postpones any chance of a settlement.

This is the issue. Sadly, no matter what Benjamin, or anyone else for that matter, writes, it will make absolutely no difference. Ideological blindness is played out on university campuses where professors leaningsbecome the only points of view acceptable if one intendsto pass exams or gain promotions. There,aggressive, bullying student cadres look to disrupt and silence any other perspectives. All this, at a time when most of the nations who berate Israel as a colonial interloper and aggressor are themselves the most corrupt offenders against human rights and civilized behavior on earth.

Israel will survive. But the awful side effect of exaggerated and prejudiced anti-Israel propaganda is that it further empowers right-wing refusal to compromise. It reinforces a siege mentality, imperviousness to self-analysis. One despairs of a solution when exceptional, fair and experienced people like Benjamin will simply not be listened to, because they will be dismissed as tools of colonialism, regardless of their record. At the same time, he will be dismissed by the Israeli Right as being too liberal. Such is the mad, mad world we live in. It is only by encountering good, honest people like Benjamin Pogrund that we can retain some faith in humanity and its prospects.

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Demolishing the Spurious, Libelous Claim That Israel Is an Apartheid State – Algemeiner

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NFL’s Cameron Jordan During Trip to Holy Land Spars on Twitter With Follower Accusing Him of ‘Doing PR for Israeli … – Algemeiner

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Cameron Jordan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

An NFL star currently on a week-long tour of Israelbatted away criticism from a social media user on Saturday who accused the player of doing PR for the Jewish states apartheid system.

PR? Im goin on a trip for the spiritual and historical layout of a country Ive always wanted to go to. Im learning more,New Orleans Saintsdefensive end Cameron Jordan shot back.

Cameron one of five out of an original group of 11 NFL players scheduled to take the Feb. 13-20 trip who did notsuccumb to pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movementand cancel his participation alsoposted positive reviews of the country, along with photos of fun-filledactivities and visits to Christian sites.

The trip was sponsored byIsraels Tourism Ministry.

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Jewish Student Leader at UK University: Defeat of BDS Motion Due to Efforts of Broad Campus Coaltion – Algemeiner

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Photo: City, University of London.

Astudent government motion to boycott Israel wastabledthis week at a British university, due to the efforts of a broad campus coalition, thehead of the schools Jewish Society (JSoc) toldThe Algemeineron Friday.

Michal Belovski, president of City, University of London JSoc was referring to what he called alarge contingent of both Jewish and non-Jewish students who banded together to defeat the resolution, a version of which was passed in November and subsequently rejected by the schools Board of Trustees.

Since then, according to Belovski, the motion was reworded in an attempt to enable it to be brought before the student union (CUSU) once again.

February 19, 2017 8:09 am

But we were ready this second time around, with more Jews and allies willing to vote against it, she said. The proposer realized, as soon as we walked into the meeting, that not only would the motion not pass, but we would put up a good fight first so she pulled it before it wasdebated or voted on.

The original proposal called on the CUSU to raise awareness of Palestinian issuesof BDS around campus and commit resources:

BDS is now a vibrant global movement[that has] a major impact and is effectively challenging international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism.

Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestine and discriminating against Palestinian citizens and denying Palestine refugees the right to return to their home.

The amendedversion, which was obtained byThe Algemeiner, used more politically neutral language, stating, in part:

[BDS] is a tactic inspired from the South African anti-apartheid movement. A United Nations human rights investigator has likened Israelis occupation of Palestinian terrorize to apartheid South Africa and says should be serious consideration over bringing the occupation to the international court of justice [sic].

BDS is aimed at the Israeli state as a political entity and is responding to a call from Palestinian civil society, Palestinian citizens of Israel and the diaspora. It is a short term strategy to encourage Israel to respond to international calls and comply with international law.

According to Belovski, while many UK universitieshave passed BDS resolutions, the lack of support for the motion at the second meeting showed me that the students at City welcome everyone and arent interested in divisive campaigns.

The defeat of the City boycottmotion came the same week that a similar proposal at Northern Irelands Ulster University calling on the student union to divest from companies complicit in Israelsbrutal military occupation of the Palestinian territories failed, while aproposal to implement new policies to combat antisemitism and memorialize the Holocaust passed.

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Greenwald on Trump-Netanyahu Meeting & How Israel Is Turning into an Apartheid-Like State – Democracy Now!

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: On Wednesday, President Donald Trump ended a long-standing U.S. commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying he had no preference for either a one-state or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trumps comment came during a news conference at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So Im looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. Im very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestiniansif Israel and the Palestinians are happy, Im happy with the one they like the best. As far as the embassy moving to Jerusalem, Id love to see that happen. Were looking at it very, very strongly. Were looking at it with great care. Great care, believe me. And well see what happens. OK?

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So thats President Trump speaking yesterday at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Glenn, could you respond to that and what the significance is of Trump suggesting a significant, massive change to many, many years of a U.S. policy on this?

GLENN GREENWALD: So, I guess I question, first of all, the extent to which it really is such a massive change in U.S. policy. It is, of course, a huge departure rhetorically from what the U.S. government has said for decades, which is that their policy is there ought to be a two-state solution. The reality, though, as any honest person involved in this conflict or who watches it admits, is that the two-state solution has been dying, and, in fact, probably dead for many years. Its just that nobody wants to admit it. If you look at a map, its almost impossible to see where a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank can be created, given the growth of settlements under Prime Minister Netanyahu, growth which, by the way, the United States not only didnt stop, but abetted by shoveling Israel with money, with weapons, with all kinds of diplomatic support, as they were expanding those settlements. Yes, they objected occasionally, in rhetoric, but, in action, never did.

And so, I think the two-state solution is something that were all eager not to give up on, because the alternatives are both so bad. But the reality is that in Israel there is an erosion of support for the two-state solution. There are high-level members of PresidentPrime Minister Netanyahus Cabinet, high ministers, who explicitly oppose it. The reality is that because of the course Israel has taken, the only two options that are realand its essentially what Donald Trump, in his own kind of stumbling, inept, ignorant way, was getting at, was the only two options are: have Israel become an apartheid state, where a minority of Jews have political rights and control a country in which a majority of citizens have no political rights, exactly like was true of apartheid South Africa, or have one state in which all citizens have political rights, in which case Israel would no longer exist as a Jewish state. Neither of those options are good ones, but that is the course that Israel is taking. And what Trump is saying is, essentially, if the Israelis and Palestinians want a certain solution, we, the United States, are not going to prevent them from doing that.

What is really worrying is that Donald Trump is empowering some of the worst extremists in the world when it comes to Israeli policy. His son-in-law, whos in charge of it, is a supporter of some of the hardest-core settlements in the West Bank. And Congress is taking up this week his nomination of a hardcore pro-settlement lunatic to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Just this morning, five ambassadors, former ambassadors to Israel, of both parties, came out and opposed him on the grounds that hes essentially insane. And so, I do think theres a dangerous tilting toward extremists in Israel on the part of the Trump administration. But the two-state solution has really only existed in rhetoric for a long time. And on some level, a lot of supporters of Palestinian rights think its actually a good thing to finally have that candid admission that a two-state solution is not really possible anymore because of Israeli behavior.

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War on Want events for Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 | War … – War on Want (press release)

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international series of events that seeks to raise awareness of Israels settler-colonial project and Apartheid system* over the Palestinian people and to build support for the growingBoycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

These Israeli Apartheid Week events bring together veteran activists from the anti-apartheid struggle, Black Lives Matter and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in dialogue to mark our collective resistance at the current moment; to learn from each other and build our movements stronger.

War on Want is proud to be co-sponsoring two events for Israeli Apartheid Week:

Israeli Apartheid Week 2017: London opening plenary

Chair:

Dr Karma Nabulsi – A Professor of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University, and Fellow in Politics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Speakers:

Aja Monet – A contemporary poet, lyricist and activist of Cuban-Jamaican descent from Brooklyn, New York. A volunteer with Dream Defenders, part of the broader Movement for Black Lives.

Farid Esack – A veteran anti-apartheid activist and Professor in the Study of Islam and Head of the Department of Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

Sponsored by War on Want, Palestine BDS National Committee (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement), the NUS Black Student Campaign, SOAS Palestine society and KCL Action Palestine.

Sounds of Resistance (concert)

As part of the Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 this night will bring together an innovative and original selection of artists from Morocco, NY and London. From the astute power of rap and spoken word to the mesmerising effect of Darija Arabic poetry, we invite you to unite, listen and celebrate the sounds of resistance.

Hosted by the acclaimed spoken word artist Rafeef Ziadah, this night is a testimony to unity, solidarity and political consciousness.

N3rdistan | Morocco Standing at the border of oriental-beat and urban electronic music, N3rdistan electrifies a timeless poetry that bridges generation gaps, playfully stirring debate about the changing face of oppression.

Aja-Monet | NYC Aja Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet originally from East NY, Brooklyn. At 19 years old, she was the youngest to ever win the Grand Slam Champion title of the Lower East side’s legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Caf in 2007. Her work is classically surrealist, engaging hip hop, soul, and literary audiences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Prg-Tfb0Vl8

Rafeef Ziadah | Palestine Rafeef uses language to narrate, inspire and pull apart stereotypes. Her poems We Teach Life, Sir and Shades of Anger went viral online within days of their release. Her new album, released in November 2015, features an exciting blend of poetry and music with original compositions from Phil Monsour.

Sponsored by MARSM UK, War on Want, with SOAS Palestine Society and Movement for Justice

*There is overwhelming evidence that the system instituted by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people is correctly described as a system of Apartheid. We have detailed some of this evidence, including the legal definition of Apartheid. We encourage you to read about what Apartheid means and why it has prompted Palestinian civil society to call for boycotts and divestment from companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s violations of international law, and trade and military sanctions on Israel, similar to those imposed on Apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s.

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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

‘Bridges not Boycotts’ campaign to counter Israel Apartheid Week – Jewish News

Jewish students are countering the Israel boycott movement in universities by offering free falafel for anyone who wants to ask a question about Israel and hear the honest answer. Their Bridges not Boycotts initiative, which runs from this week until 3 March, will feature events on 15 campuses around the country and will hear from Israeli activists and diplomats, and even a spokesman for Syrian rebels. Playing to their collective strength, the students are focusing on food, offering shakshuka-making masterclasses and a falafel for a fact, for genuinely inquiring minds. The campaign, which will include cultural events such as concerts featuring Israeli acts, is timed to counter Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), which is due to take place later this month. Among the speakers for the Bridges not Boycotts campaign is Issam Zeitoun, a spokesperson of the Free Syrian Army. Zeitoun was born near the Golan Heights, minutes from the Israeli border, and served as a go-between in the recent fighting. He is due to speak about how Arab states and Israel can cooperate to resolve regional conflicts. READ MORE: UJS Campaigns Officer writes about Bridges Not Boycotts in the Jewish News.

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February 20, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Bridges not Boycotts to counter Israel Apartheid Week – Jewish News (blog)

Every year Jewish students lead conversations on campus about promoting balanced discussions and nuanced debate on the difficult topic of Israel and Palestine. These conversations often take place amidst a concerted campaign of division, hatred and delegitimisation that can occur within student discussions. Jewish students can be found on all parts of the political spectrum when it comes to Israel and the debate that exists internally, on topics from technological advancements and medical achievements to her treatment of minorities and the peace process, is just as fierce as the external one. But the diversity of opinion amongst Jewish students doesnt negate the work they do when they unite to reject the politics of division and hate against Israel and this has been best exemplified by the vast majority of Jewish students who work tirelessly to combat BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel). However, in student politics it is no longer enough to just show why BDS is detrimental to the peace process through its emboldening extremists on both sides and its effects on Israeli and Palestinian workers. It is no longer enough to just show why BDS imports a very serious and complex international issue onto UK campuses, divides peers, alienates Jewish students and creates an atmosphere that can and has fuelled anti-Semitism. It is no longer enough to show why BDS refuses to acknowledge historical realities and place the blame solely on Israels settlement expansion, forgetting Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism. The student movement has a proud history of standing up for causes around the world, using the potential in young people to create change on a local, national and international level. Because of this, students today who are leading efforts to support refugees and organise against far-right politics in the US and elsewhere should not shy away from trying to support a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. That is why this year, Jewish students together with many allies around the country will be calling on their fellow students to build Bridges not Boycotts. This two-week campaign will see stalls on campus providing resources on Pathways to Peace, highlighting key organisations that provide practical alternatives to BDS and educating on key anniversaries in the history of Israel and Palestine. 2017 is a year full of anniversaries so Bridges not Boycotts will be providing information about the first World Zionist Congress in 1897, the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the UN Partition Plan in 1947 and The Six Day War in 1967. A number of speaker events will also be hosted across the country for all students to be able to engage in discussing the conflict and the surrounding issues. These discussions will also take place online, with students showing their beliefs in finding Pathways to Peace and rejecting the aggressive and hateful nature of BDS and Israel Apartheid Week. To get involved in Bridges not Boycotts, check out Union of Jewish Students onFacebookandTwitterand follow #BridgesNotBoycotts across social media.

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Australians against supporting Israel’s apartheid: Activist – Press TV

Sixty prominent Australian figures have signed a statement voicing strong opposition to an upcoming visit by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the country. The statement slammed Netanyahus policies toward Palestinians as provocative, intimidating and oppressive. An author and peace activist believes Netanyahu is a war criminal,adding that there is no justification for his actions as prime minister. You cannot justify the racial apartheid that Israel participates in. That is why the UN recently had another resolution against Israel, against them building settlements and which we should call them what they really are, racial colonies protected by a standing army. Israel annexes territory. They have built a giant apartheid wall across their border and taken more land from Palestinians and they are annexing East Jerusalem and then they routinely bomb Gaza back into the Stone Age, Ryan Dawson told Press TV in an interview on Sunday. He noted that the publics awareness of the crimes committed by Israel is growing in large part due to freedom of the media on the Internet. The activist also maintained that people are aware of the Israel lobbys strength and how much it bribes and pays politicians. He further stated that the people of Australia are sick and tired of apartheid, adding that they do not want their money to be spent on supporting Israels wars. The public is outraged that Australia would contribute to something [similar to] their own sort of past [and similar to what they did to] their Aborigines. They do not want to continue that pattern by supporting the Israelis apartheid over Palestinians and African migrants, he said. Aboriginal Australians have long been subjected to genocide, forced permanent removal, dispossession, racial discriminationand destruction of their land.

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Demolishing the Spurious, Libelous Claim That Israel Is an Apartheid State – Algemeiner

Benjamin Pogrund was born in South Africa. As a journalist, he fought the apartheid regime, most notably through his work forThe Rand Daily Mail. When the government closed the paperdown and exiled him, Benjaminmoved to London, where he joinedThe IndependentandTheSundayTimes. In his latest book,Drawing Fire: Investigating the Accusations of Apartheid in Israel, he completely demolishes the spurious, not to say libelous, claim that Israel is an apartheid state. I became an opponent ofapartheid when my father took me with him to South Africa in 1955, on one of his lecture tours. While he was busy, I was placed in the charge of some lovely Jewish ladies who turned out to be radical adversariesof the system. They tookme around the country,making sure I saw the evils of the system first hand. Asa student, I joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement, eventually risingto become honorary president of the Scottish arm of the movement. In 1985, I was approached by the then-chief rabbi of South Africa Bernard Casper, to consider succeeding him. I spent a month in Johannesburg to explorethe possibilities, and familiarizemyself with the inside story of South Africa to see whether there was anything I could do, if I took the position, to mitigate or even combat the apartheid government. It was through Benjamins good offices that I met many of the African National Congressand Congress of South African TradeUnionsunderground leadership not an easy feat.Only Benjamins reputation and the enormous respect they had for him got me through. They all advised me not to move to South Africa, telling me that if I wouldtake a stand, Id be put on the next plane out of the country. They said thesituation was hopeless, and a bloodbath was imminent. Of course, fortunately, things worked out differently, due overwhelmingly to the greatness of Nelson Mandela and the realism of President de Klerk. And the late Rabbi Cyril Harris, who tookon Rabbi Caspers role, did an excellent job shepherding the Jewish community through the transition. February 20, 2017 5:53 pm Benjamin and his family subsequently moved to Israel, where he joined my late brother, Mickey, in setting up the Centre for Social Concern at Yakar, in Jerusalem, to try to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. Unlike most people, Benjaminpersonallyknows and has experienced apartheid. Hence, he is better able than most to deal with the charges that Israel is an apartheid state. He can say,categorically, that applying the term apartheid to Israel is simply ignorance, if not malice. To call Israel genocidal when its Arab population has doubled is a joke. Even the population of the Palestinian territories has mushroomed. Which means that Israelis must be the most incompetent genocidists ever! In his balanced, detailed and honest book, Benjamincompletely demolishes the comparison by presentingentirely objective facts. Under apartheid, no black South African was allowed to vote or take up residence in white areas. In contrast, Israeli Arabs sit in the Knesset, the Supreme Court and hold senior positions never, ever accorded to blacks in South Africa under the old regime. The areas beyond the Green Linecurrently occupied by Israel are, indeed, in a state of limbo awaiting a final peace settlement, but only the Palestinians arelooking forthe area to be occupied by only one race. The Afrikaaner whites never intended to give any sovereignty to blacks, regardless of any settlement of differences. Theirs was an ideology of racial superiority, not an unfortunate political accommodation awaiting a peace treaty, in which peace was being pursued in principal, if not always in reality. This book is an excellent overview of the present struggle between two competing claims. It is possibly the fairest book on the market for a balanced, objective viewpoint of this conflict. It is all the more important because, in examining the charges, Benjaminpulls no punches in criticizing Israel as it functions within the Green Line, and inthe occupied West Bank and Gaza. He has no patience for extremism on either side. He points out Israels mistakes, failures and shortcomings without trying in any way to disguise or minimize them. This book is an important source of facts and arguments that will help anyone on the frontline defending Israel against the lies, half-truths and mendacious libels that one hears all the time and in almost every sector of the media, the glitterati, the NGOs, the charities and academia. That polemicists and politicians lie is, of course, a given. But that people professing honesty, objectivity and ethics lieillustrates the prejudice and hypocrisy that stalks the world we live in, and actually prevents and postpones any chance of a settlement. This is the issue. Sadly, no matter what Benjamin, or anyone else for that matter, writes, it will make absolutely no difference. Ideological blindness is played out on university campuses where professors leaningsbecome the only points of view acceptable if one intendsto pass exams or gain promotions. There,aggressive, bullying student cadres look to disrupt and silence any other perspectives. All this, at a time when most of the nations who berate Israel as a colonial interloper and aggressor are themselves the most corrupt offenders against human rights and civilized behavior on earth. Israel will survive. But the awful side effect of exaggerated and prejudiced anti-Israel propaganda is that it further empowers right-wing refusal to compromise. It reinforces a siege mentality, imperviousness to self-analysis. One despairs of a solution when exceptional, fair and experienced people like Benjamin will simply not be listened to, because they will be dismissed as tools of colonialism, regardless of their record. At the same time, he will be dismissed by the Israeli Right as being too liberal. Such is the mad, mad world we live in. It is only by encountering good, honest people like Benjamin Pogrund that we can retain some faith in humanity and its prospects.

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February 20, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

NFL’s Cameron Jordan During Trip to Holy Land Spars on Twitter With Follower Accusing Him of ‘Doing PR for Israeli … – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “NFLs Cameron Jordan During Trip to Holy Land Rebuffs Twitter Follower Accusing Him of Doing PR for Israeli Apartheid” to a friend Cameron Jordan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. An NFL star currently on a week-long tour of Israelbatted away criticism from a social media user on Saturday who accused the player of doing PR for the Jewish states apartheid system. PR? Im goin on a trip for the spiritual and historical layout of a country Ive always wanted to go to. Im learning more,New Orleans Saintsdefensive end Cameron Jordan shot back. Cameron one of five out of an original group of 11 NFL players scheduled to take the Feb. 13-20 trip who did notsuccumb to pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movementand cancel his participation alsoposted positive reviews of the country, along with photos of fun-filledactivities and visits to Christian sites. The trip was sponsored byIsraels Tourism Ministry.

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Jewish Student Leader at UK University: Defeat of BDS Motion Due to Efforts of Broad Campus Coaltion – Algemeiner

Email a copy of “Jewish Student Leader at UK University: Defeat of BDS Motion Due to Efforts of Broad Campus Coaltion” to a friend Photo: City, University of London. Astudent government motion to boycott Israel wastabledthis week at a British university, due to the efforts of a broad campus coalition, thehead of the schools Jewish Society (JSoc) toldThe Algemeineron Friday. Michal Belovski, president of City, University of London JSoc was referring to what he called alarge contingent of both Jewish and non-Jewish students who banded together to defeat the resolution, a version of which was passed in November and subsequently rejected by the schools Board of Trustees. Since then, according to Belovski, the motion was reworded in an attempt to enable it to be brought before the student union (CUSU) once again. February 19, 2017 8:09 am But we were ready this second time around, with more Jews and allies willing to vote against it, she said. The proposer realized, as soon as we walked into the meeting, that not only would the motion not pass, but we would put up a good fight first so she pulled it before it wasdebated or voted on. The original proposal called on the CUSU to raise awareness of Palestinian issuesof BDS around campus and commit resources: BDS is now a vibrant global movement[that has] a major impact and is effectively challenging international support for Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism. Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestine and discriminating against Palestinian citizens and denying Palestine refugees the right to return to their home. The amendedversion, which was obtained byThe Algemeiner, used more politically neutral language, stating, in part: [BDS] is a tactic inspired from the South African anti-apartheid movement. A United Nations human rights investigator has likened Israelis occupation of Palestinian terrorize to apartheid South Africa and says should be serious consideration over bringing the occupation to the international court of justice [sic]. BDS is aimed at the Israeli state as a political entity and is responding to a call from Palestinian civil society, Palestinian citizens of Israel and the diaspora. It is a short term strategy to encourage Israel to respond to international calls and comply with international law. According to Belovski, while many UK universitieshave passed BDS resolutions, the lack of support for the motion at the second meeting showed me that the students at City welcome everyone and arent interested in divisive campaigns. The defeat of the City boycottmotion came the same week that a similar proposal at Northern Irelands Ulster University calling on the student union to divest from companies complicit in Israelsbrutal military occupation of the Palestinian territories failed, while aproposal to implement new policies to combat antisemitism and memorialize the Holocaust passed.

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February 19, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

Greenwald on Trump-Netanyahu Meeting & How Israel Is Turning into an Apartheid-Like State – Democracy Now!

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. NERMEEN SHAIKH: On Wednesday, President Donald Trump ended a long-standing U.S. commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state, saying he had no preference for either a one-state or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trumps comment came during a news conference at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So Im looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. Im very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestiniansif Israel and the Palestinians are happy, Im happy with the one they like the best. As far as the embassy moving to Jerusalem, Id love to see that happen. Were looking at it very, very strongly. Were looking at it with great care. Great care, believe me. And well see what happens. OK? NERMEEN SHAIKH: So thats President Trump speaking yesterday at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Glenn, could you respond to that and what the significance is of Trump suggesting a significant, massive change to many, many years of a U.S. policy on this? GLENN GREENWALD: So, I guess I question, first of all, the extent to which it really is such a massive change in U.S. policy. It is, of course, a huge departure rhetorically from what the U.S. government has said for decades, which is that their policy is there ought to be a two-state solution. The reality, though, as any honest person involved in this conflict or who watches it admits, is that the two-state solution has been dying, and, in fact, probably dead for many years. Its just that nobody wants to admit it. If you look at a map, its almost impossible to see where a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank can be created, given the growth of settlements under Prime Minister Netanyahu, growth which, by the way, the United States not only didnt stop, but abetted by shoveling Israel with money, with weapons, with all kinds of diplomatic support, as they were expanding those settlements. Yes, they objected occasionally, in rhetoric, but, in action, never did. And so, I think the two-state solution is something that were all eager not to give up on, because the alternatives are both so bad. But the reality is that in Israel there is an erosion of support for the two-state solution. There are high-level members of PresidentPrime Minister Netanyahus Cabinet, high ministers, who explicitly oppose it. The reality is that because of the course Israel has taken, the only two options that are realand its essentially what Donald Trump, in his own kind of stumbling, inept, ignorant way, was getting at, was the only two options are: have Israel become an apartheid state, where a minority of Jews have political rights and control a country in which a majority of citizens have no political rights, exactly like was true of apartheid South Africa, or have one state in which all citizens have political rights, in which case Israel would no longer exist as a Jewish state. Neither of those options are good ones, but that is the course that Israel is taking. And what Trump is saying is, essentially, if the Israelis and Palestinians want a certain solution, we, the United States, are not going to prevent them from doing that. What is really worrying is that Donald Trump is empowering some of the worst extremists in the world when it comes to Israeli policy. His son-in-law, whos in charge of it, is a supporter of some of the hardest-core settlements in the West Bank. And Congress is taking up this week his nomination of a hardcore pro-settlement lunatic to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel. Just this morning, five ambassadors, former ambassadors to Israel, of both parties, came out and opposed him on the grounds that hes essentially insane. And so, I do think theres a dangerous tilting toward extremists in Israel on the part of the Trump administration. But the two-state solution has really only existed in rhetoric for a long time. And on some level, a lot of supporters of Palestinian rights think its actually a good thing to finally have that candid admission that a two-state solution is not really possible anymore because of Israeli behavior.

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February 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed

War on Want events for Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 | War … – War on Want (press release)

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international series of events that seeks to raise awareness of Israels settler-colonial project and Apartheid system* over the Palestinian people and to build support for the growingBoycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. These Israeli Apartheid Week events bring together veteran activists from the anti-apartheid struggle, Black Lives Matter and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in dialogue to mark our collective resistance at the current moment; to learn from each other and build our movements stronger. War on Want is proud to be co-sponsoring two events for Israeli Apartheid Week: Israeli Apartheid Week 2017: London opening plenary Chair: Dr Karma Nabulsi – A Professor of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University, and Fellow in Politics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. Speakers: Aja Monet – A contemporary poet, lyricist and activist of Cuban-Jamaican descent from Brooklyn, New York. A volunteer with Dream Defenders, part of the broader Movement for Black Lives. Farid Esack – A veteran anti-apartheid activist and Professor in the Study of Islam and Head of the Department of Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Sponsored by War on Want, Palestine BDS National Committee (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement), the NUS Black Student Campaign, SOAS Palestine society and KCL Action Palestine. Sounds of Resistance (concert) As part of the Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 this night will bring together an innovative and original selection of artists from Morocco, NY and London. From the astute power of rap and spoken word to the mesmerising effect of Darija Arabic poetry, we invite you to unite, listen and celebrate the sounds of resistance. Hosted by the acclaimed spoken word artist Rafeef Ziadah, this night is a testimony to unity, solidarity and political consciousness. N3rdistan | Morocco Standing at the border of oriental-beat and urban electronic music, N3rdistan electrifies a timeless poetry that bridges generation gaps, playfully stirring debate about the changing face of oppression. Aja-Monet | NYC Aja Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet originally from East NY, Brooklyn. At 19 years old, she was the youngest to ever win the Grand Slam Champion title of the Lower East side’s legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Caf in 2007. Her work is classically surrealist, engaging hip hop, soul, and literary audiences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Prg-Tfb0Vl8 Rafeef Ziadah | Palestine Rafeef uses language to narrate, inspire and pull apart stereotypes. Her poems We Teach Life, Sir and Shades of Anger went viral online within days of their release. Her new album, released in November 2015, features an exciting blend of poetry and music with original compositions from Phil Monsour. Sponsored by MARSM UK, War on Want, with SOAS Palestine Society and Movement for Justice *There is overwhelming evidence that the system instituted by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people is correctly described as a system of Apartheid. We have detailed some of this evidence, including the legal definition of Apartheid. We encourage you to read about what Apartheid means and why it has prompted Palestinian civil society to call for boycotts and divestment from companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s violations of international law, and trade and military sanctions on Israel, similar to those imposed on Apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s.

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February 18, 2017   Posted in: Israel Apartheid  Comments Closed


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