Jewish, Zionist Students Speak Out Over Divisive ‘Apartheid Week’ Campaign Targeting Israel
Jewish and Zionist students who recently faced heightened levels of anti-Zionist campus activism during the provocatively-named “Israeli Apartheid Week” have spoken out against its divisive nature, and in many cases confronted it with their own programming.
First launched by the Arab Students’ Collective at the University of Toronto in 2005, IAW has since expanded to dozens of campuses internationally with the aim of promoting the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which rejects the existence of a Jewish nation-state in the Levant. Jewish student groups have frequently accused BDS advocates and IAW specifically of engendering a hostile atmosphere on their campuses, including by presenting a hard-line and one-sided narrative of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict that rejects Zionist perspectives, and sometimes resorts to using antisemitic tropes.
With the help of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), whose membership reportedly includes five different US designated terrorist organizations, IAW officially launched in North America and Europe on March 18, though some anti-Zionist groups launched their programming weeks earlier or later. Various university campuses hosted lectures, panels, and film screenings under the week’s umbrella, as well as large “apartheid wall” displays that mimic the West Bank security barrier the Israeli government constructed in response to suicide bombings and other Palestinian terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada. As in past years, many of these displays featured maps that depict the entirety of Israel as Palestinian territory, often alongside other controversial content– including, for instance, an image of a Palestinian woman carrying a rifle and wearing a belt of bullets across her chest, as seen on a mock wall erected this month by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Florida State University....