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Tags: pro-israel | palestinian | apartheid | narrative | college students

US College Students Launch 'Palestinian Apartheid Week' Pro-Israel Campaign

an israeli flag
(David Silverman/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 June 2022 09:33 AM EDT

Pro-Israel students in America and Europe launched a new initiative to fight back against the anti-Israel, "apartheid" narrative that has become prevalent on college campuses.

In a bid to counter Israeli Apartheid Week, which this year took place between March 21-28 in the United States and Canada, pro-Israel college activists are running a new campaign: "Palestinian Apartheid Week."

The grass-roots initiative aims to "turn the tables," according to students at Stanford University in California.

"College campuses are not a very friendly place for people who are Israeli or Jewish," Stanford MBA student Jonathan Rozenberg told i24 News.

"It's not just during Israeli Apartheid Week that college campuses are so hostile toward Israel. But it is sort of the climax," he continued. "They throw around the word 'apartheid' to bully anyone who walks around with a kippa or who openly supports Israel. It's pretty nasty."

Israeli Apartheid Week, which is run by the organization that goes by the same name (IAW), is an annual series of lectures and rallies at universities that began in Toronto in 2005. This past year, at least 90 IAW events were held, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The major driver of these events was Students for Justice in Palestine.

According to IAW, its aim is to "educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system."

The anti-Israel narrative calls for political isolation and the delegitimization of the State of Israel over its policies on Palestinians.

College activist: time to turn the tables

While a recent survey by the Pew Research Center has shown that a majority of Americans, 84%, don't know much about the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and 95% don't support the movement – the picture is different among younger Americans. Eight percent of adults aged 18-29 said they are pro-BDS. They are almost twice as likely as other age groups to support BDS.

"For the longest time, all [pro-Israeli] students would do is fight the claims. But by even acknowledging the premise, you've lost the debate," Rozenberg explained. "The idea is to turn the tables, and put the spotlight where it really belongs, which is Palestinian apartheid."

One of the methods to convey the Israeli narrative, according to Rozenberg, is by letting students walk by tents labeled as "safe spaces," representing bomb shelters used in Israel during missile attacks from Gaza.

"Students walk by and go, 'Wow that paints a different picture.' That is the reaction we are looking for," Rozenberg said.

Chalk over hate

A separate pro-Israel community initiative took place in Dallas over the weekend, where a public art display called "Chalk Over Hate" aimed to raise awareness against anti-Semitism and hate speech.

The weekend event was sponsored by Artists 4 Israel and brought together 34 organizations to express their outcry over a recent uptick in anti-Semitic incidents.

Among the participants was one Christian group, the nonprofit organization Passages, which organizes trips to Israel for Christian American students and encourages advocacy for Jewish communities when they return home.

The tour brings practicing Christian college and graduate students from across the United States to connect with their biblical roots and with the modern State of Israel. Since 2016, thousands of students have taken part in the highly subsidized trip, which has been called a "Christian version" of "Birthright Israel."

"It was empowering to utilize such a simple, yet creative outlet to connect further with Jewish community members," said Passages Associate Director of Advocacy Darion Ouliguian.

This article originally appeared on ALL ISRAEL NEWS and is reposted with permission.


Pro-Israel students in America and Europe launched a new initiative to fight back against the anti-Israel, "apartheid" narrative that has become prevalent on college campuses.
pro-israel, palestinian, apartheid, narrative, college students
Monday, 13 June 2022 09:33 AM
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