On Campus, J Street Now Middle Of The Road
The New York Jewish Week
Tue Nov 27 2018
Every year for one week during the spring semester, during what is derisively called Israeli Apartheid Week, the main walkway on Columbia University’s campus is transformed into a battleground. On one side, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace — two groups harshly critical of Israel, and sometimes even of its right to exist — erect a mock apartheid wall. On the other, Students Supporting Israel, a conservative pro-Israel group, sets up a counter-demonstration, its members derisively donning keffiyehs — the symbol of Palestinian identity, but in the blue and white of the Israeli flag — for what it refers to as “Hebrew Liberation Week.”
As students walk between the two groups, as happened last year, they are confronted by yet another group, J Street U, trying to stake out its own less combative and more skeptical turf.
“We actually spent a day in the middle of the two displays on College Walk talking about and handing out fliers about things that both SJP and SSI had done that we considered a bit egregious,” said Abby White, a senior at Columbia University and a past president of J Street U....