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Welcome to Israel Apartheid Week By: Gregory Gethard
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 06, 2009

What’s more popular on American college campuses these days?

A) Beer pong

B) Billabong T-shirts

C) Anti-Israel protests

All across the country, students are banding together to protest the “injustices” Israel has put upon the Palestinian people. Recently, a group of students at New York University took over a campus food court to voice their displeasure with many of the school’s policies. One of their demands was to force NYU to give 13 scholarships per year to college students from the Gaza Strip. Another was to send supplies NYU did not need to a Gaza college.

At this time of year, students traditionally look forward to Spring Break, a chance to kick back, relax and have fun before the dark days of adulthood approach. But another group of students, most likely sandal-wearing philosophy majors, are gearing up for a different kind of festivity. This is, of course, Israeli Apartheid Week.

Said Nick Juliano, one of the organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week at Atlanta’s Emery University:

The week’s purpose is not to raise awareness. This term is abused in academia. The week, on our campus and across the world, will inform and challenge an existing injustice by building support for the international effort to challenge the Israeli state to allow for equal opportunities for Arabs under occupation and in the diaspora alongside Jews.

While hardship no doubt exists among the Palestinian population (thanks to their leaders whose priority is to bleed their own people), any person knowledgeable of the Middle East completely understands that there is another side to the issue. Did any of these students participate in any food court protests to challenge the dictatorial Hamas rulers of Gaza to stop firing missiles into Israel’s sovereign territory? Have they ever linked arms across the quad in support of Israelis who suffered injuries in a Tel Aviv nightclub bombing? During this summer’s Olympic games, did they mark up any banners in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Games?

Also, have these students ever considered what would happen if Palestinian students blockaded the frozen yogurt stand to show their support with Americans? In the NYU protest, campus security simply walked over a cafeteria table barricade and leisurely herded the students to end the takeover. In Gaza, I’m fairly certain the takeover would end when masked Hamas members fired rapid fire machine gun ammunition into the ceiling of a family member’s house.

Another point to bring up here is the nauseating labeling of the Israeli/Palestinian situation as “apartheid.” Apartheid-era South Africa and modern day Israel could not be more different. South Africa’s apartheid policies were based upon a theory of racial supremacy. There, millions of blacks were oppressed and herded into Soweto by a cruel, dictatorial regime. Palestine is the result of Islamist-fueled violence that has attacked a productive democracy. South Africa was pressured to fold and join the modern world because of the outrage of the international community. Israel faces pressures from the international community, but they mostly stem from the daily threats of annihilation from Iran’s mullahs and their armed Hezbollah proxies.

So, what’s the real motivation behind the pro-Palestine protests? Most might assume it’s a combination of misguided liberal tomfoolery with a healthy dash of anti-Semitism. And they’d be right. For example, this following quote was taken from the official website of TakeBackNYU:

The chairman of the investment committee on NYU’s board of trustees, Michael Steinhardt, is an avid supporter of pro-zionist causes that condone and perpetuate Israeli violence and oppression.

Steinhardt, of course, is a legendary investor. As per his duties at NYU, Steinhardt has helped expand the school’s endowment, which is used to benefit the university in a myriad of ways. He’s also the chairman of The Steinhardt Foundation of Jewish Life, an organization which looks to protect Jewish identity in American life.

Somehow, this translates to “he’s a baby-murderer” in the minds of far-left students.

But, in addition to the traditional lefty college kid motivations, this is clearly a way for these students to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane. These are the kids who grew up in a media controlled by the baby boomers, a generation who have penned the self-centered narrative that they “made a difference.”

So, they’re looking to do the same. But, hopefully, they’ll fail in their anti-Israeli mission.

Gregory Gethard is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer.

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