Israeli Aparthied Week showcases Middle East conflict

By GHADEER ALARADI, Guest Writer

The Students for Justice in Palestine created this mini representation of the wall built by the Israeli government.
The Students for Justice in Palestine created this mini representation of the wall built by the Israeli government.

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a weeklong campaign titled “Israeli Apartheid Week” from Monday, March 10 to March 13.

 The agenda for the week included a film screening about Gaza, a teach- in about the overall conflict, a conversation with other student organizations on how to support each other, and a tabling event to collect signatures urging the University to sell off its stock in companies that profit off of human rights abuses.

 “The apartheid analogy refers to policies that separate religious and ethnic groups, embodied in the Israeli separation wall, segregated roads, and segregated bus lines,” said Amanda, the president of SJP.

 “Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an international series of events that seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign,” said Dana, the vice president of SJP.

 The importance of events like these, said Amanda, is because “The first step towards change in any situation is raising awareness and informing people about the issues.”

 “The purpose is to open the students’ eyes about what is happening overseas, something the media turns a blind eye to. We want the campaign to gain momentum, and we want to show students that they can do something to help,” said Dana.

 On the response they received, Amanda explained that they have not received a negative response so far. With controversial topics like the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, there is always going to be people that disagree, but SJP does not like to focus on arguments/debates rather than getting the facts out there.

The organization also painted the rock outside of the University Center to gain attention about the conflict.
The organization also painted the rock outside of the University Center to gain attention about the conflict.

 Amanda explained that the Palestine/Israel conflict affects us all, whether we know it or not. “As American citizens, we participate with our tax dollars in supporting the Israeli government even as it violates UN resolutions and international law. We give Israel $3 billion a year in military aid” but she said, “We can try to offset that involuntary support by boycotting products made in illegal Israeli settlements, or companies that profit off of human rights violations.”

 As Palestinian-Americans that are part of SJP who do activist work in the States, the conflict affects them more directly. “One member of SJP was denied entry into Palestine,” said Amanda, and “others have been there and experienced life under the Israeli occupation firsthand.”

 The week’s events were geared towards the campus community, but SJP often works with other human rights organizations that are off campus to expand the message to the general community.

 SJP will be hosting another event with ASU on Tuesday, March 18th, which will be cosponsored by two faith-based organizations, Jewish Voice for Peace and Friends of Sabeel; and they will bring in a well-known speaker, Ali Abunimah.

  • ugotitwrong

    Now lets see: No Jews will be allowed to live in a Palestinian State; none can be citizens of Jordan; none can live in Gaza; none in Saudi Arabia; only @ 50 left in Syria (in 1947 there were 17,000); in fact, in the entire Arab M.E. there are only about 5,000 Jews left – 854,000 have been forced to leave, given no chance to stay.

    The Quo’ran makes all Jews 2nd class citizens (Christians, too – see the Shurias entitled “Repentance” as a starter).

    Arab Muslims serve in Israels court system as judges and lawyers; they hold seats in the Kinesset; vote; get medical treatment in hospitals where the person in the next bed is likely to be a Jew; openly practice their religion; etc. In fact, there are @ 1.6 million of them living in Israel under a democratic government in which they take part. No where else in the M.E. do Arabs live in a democratic state! (Please do not talk about Egypt or Turkey – look what has and is happening in those countries).

    Aparthied means to separate people “within” one country. This is not Israel. The West Bank is not part of Israel (from 1948 to 1967 it was under Jordanian military control). It is under a military set of rules and not under a civilian set of rules and Israel has been trying to give it back to a stable Muslim entity which does not seek to destroy Israel. All Israel wants is for the P.A. to do that which the armistice calls for: ’67 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps. Israel is willing to give up some of its settlements, keep some, swap land in Israel which is almost 100% Arab, (even willing to have the Jews who live in the settlements to be swapped stay as citizens of the P.A., should they so chose); etc. In 1967 Israel offered to return almost everything if the Arab would just agree to recognize Israel; in the Camp David Accords, Israel offered Arafat 97.5% of what he asked for; other similar types of offers have been made before. All the Arab has said is “NO”. They want it all. Abbas said recently (within the past 2 weeks) “… we will not give up one brick, one stone, we will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State…”. In essence, he wants it all: no land swaps (contrary to the Armistice), no security for Israel and NO JEWS.

    The Muslim has not only ethnically cleansed all of their lands of Jews, they have done so under a threat of genocide. Move or die.

    Is Israel perfect? NO. But still 1.6 million Muslims live peacefully and democratically in Israel; most of those in the P.A. live under a dictatorship (how long has it been since the term of Abbas ended; no new elections).

    Rally all you want to over a subject you little understand, listen to speeches from folks whose religion allows them to lie if it serves the advancement of Islam (that’s in the Quo’ran, too) and do not understand the “trip” words (like Apartheid) should you so chose. That is up to you.

    But think for a moment (Christian or Jew): “.. will I be a first class citizen in an Arab land?…” In Egypt and in parts of Syria now under rebel control you may not repair much less build a new church, pray loudly enough so that you can be heard by folks who happen to be passing by, etc. You must disappear. The Coptic in Egypt is afraid; the Christian in Islamic controlled areas of Syria now live under the dhimmini rules; Muslims are killing Christians in untold numbers in Africa and in Indonesia (the largest Muslim country in the world (by population)).

    Stop listening to slogans. Read what is really happening and stop listening just to the U.N. The U.N. Commission on Human Rights in the West Bank has the following rule built into the system: look only to what Israel might be doing to the Arab; do not investigate the reasons why (perhaps Israel discovered the identity of the teenager who threw the rock or Molotov cocktail at the non-offending Israeli checkpoint guard); do not investigate what the P.A. is doing to its own people; do not report on anything which might prove favorable to Israel.

    Why is this this all so one-sided? Well we are talking about the one Jewish majority country, aren’t we, and you know, its “those people”. If I was wrong then why the circumscribed rules? Why no balance in any investigation or report? Why is it that the P.A. is never wrong, only Israel?

    For the Islamist: “Christian, you are next.” Gosh, you can’t even visit Mecca. It is all one Mosque. But Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Mary, Joseph (her husband) and Christ could. They were all Muslims, you know. That’s in the Quo’ran as well.

    Not all Muslims are bad folks. Gosh, some have even been my friends, friends of my children, been guests in my home and I in theirs, clients of mine and even doctors of mine. They are willing to live with me as an equal and in “Peace” (not the Islamic kind of “peace”, but the peace that you and I, as westerners, define the word – Islamic “peace” is totally different – read “Repentance” and you get the idea). They are not the ones of whom I speak. I speak of those who want me dead or, at best, a second class citizen in their land with no rights at all.

    No Jews as citizens of the future Palestinian State! Really? And they talk about Apartheid!