The first time I heard the combination of the words “Israel” and “apartheid” together was a year ago. I had just started writing the Israelife blog at jewishjournal.com, and I was at the beginning of my learning process regarding how different people worldwide view Israel.
Imagine a college student being subjected to verbal abuse, being spat at, and being the focus of harassment because of their gender, religion, national origin, race or simply because of their political beliefs?
Jewish students at the London School of Economics and members of the university's Palestinian Society clashed during an Israel Apartheid Week protest. The Palestinian Society protesters created a mock checkpoint Monday outside a campus building, stopping students by asking for identification and reportedly harassing Jewish students.
While five Israeli Jews were being murdered in Itamar last week, something else was being murdered on college campuses across America: Israel’s name.
It is that “most wonderful time of the year,” as pro-Israel professionals say with tongues firmly in cheek, when Israel Apartheid Week appears in cities around the world, including on many campuses. The annual hate-fest has spread internationally from its beginnings seven years ago in Toronto. In many important respects, Israel Apartheid Week on U.S. campuses is little more than a branding campaign. Anti-Israel events that otherwise might occur around this time of year latch on to the IAW label and therefore are included. They differ little in substance than events that could occur under a different label at another time.