Thursday, February 25, 2010

Israel Peace and Diversity week meets Israel Apartheid Week at UC Berkeley

From the Side of Sweetness and Light:

Monday 3/1
11:00a-2:00p Human Rights in Israel (Sproul Plaza)

7:30p Captain Avner: LGBT in the Israeli military (room TBA)

Tuesday 3/2
11:00a-2:00p Obstacles to Peace (Sather Gate)

7:00p Sgt. Benjamin Anthony: Experiences in the IDF (101 Morgan)

Wednesday 3/3
12:00-1:00p Peace Rally (Sproul Plaza)

Friday 3/5
11:00a-2:00p Path to Peace (Sproul Plaza)

From the Side of Darkness and Terror

Monday, March 1st:
INTRO TO APARTHEID - A discussion of the term Apartheid, similarities and differences between South Africa and Israel/Palestine, and what past struggles can teach us.
Joanna Manqueros, activist against South African Apartheid;
Room 105, Boalt Hall School of Law
7 pm

Tuesday, March 2nd:
TO SHOOT AN ELEPHANT - Come watch a film made by international eyewitnesses present in the Gaza strip during Operation Cast Lead.
Room 2060, Valley Life Sciences Building
7 pm

Wednesday, March 3rd:
DEBATING BOYCOTT DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS - What is the state of the international BDS movement for Palestine? Why is BDS important and what can you do?
Omar Barghouti, Student at Tel Aviv Unniversity and Co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Room 105, Boalt Hall School of Law
6:30 pm

Friday, March 5th:
CULTURAL CELEBRATION / FUNDRAISER- A night of Arabic music, dance, food and poetry:
Location: MLK Multi-Cultural Center, Inside the ASUC building
7 pm

Monday, March 8th:
PALESTINIAN NON- VIOLENT RESISTANCE & INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY- A presentation of community-led movements against Israeli policies in the Wesk Bank.
Lubna Masarwa
Room 105, Boalt Hall School of Law - Bancroft between College & Piedmont
6:30 pm

And of course there will be the ubiquitous "direct actions" set up on campus to annoy the students- checkpoints and walls,and soldiers, oh my!

The best response to the lies and demonization came last year from Israel Vice Consul, Ishmael Khaldi, a Bedouin Arab.

So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology:

You are part of the problem, not part of the solution: If you are really idealistic and committed to a better world, stop with the false rhetoric. We need moderate people to come together in good faith to help find the path to relieve the human suffering on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Vilification and false labeling is a blind alley that is unjust and takes us nowhere.

You deny Israel the fundamental right of every society to defend itself: You condemn Israel for building a security barrier to protect its citizens from suicide bombers and for striking at buildings from which missiles are launched at its cities - but you never offer an alternative. Aren't you practicing yourself a deep form of racism by denying an entire society the right to defend itself?

Your criticism is willfully hypocritical: Do Israel's Arab citizens suffer from disadvantage? You better believe it. Do African Americans 10 minutes from the Berkeley campus suffer from disadvantage - you better believe it, too. So should we launch a Berkeley Apartheid Week, or should we seek real ways to better our societies and make opportunity more available.

You are betraying the moderate Muslims and Jews who are working to achieve peace: Your radicalism is undermining the forces for peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. We are working hard to move toward a peace agreement that recognizes the legitimate rights of both Israel and the Palestinian people, and you are tearing down by falsely vilifying one side.


Anonymous said...

MPPs unite to condemn “odious” Israeli Apartheid Week

Robert Benzie

In a rare show of unanimity, Ontario MPPs of all political stripes have banded together to condemn “Israeli Apartheid Week.”

Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman (Thornhill) tabled the motion Thursday to denounce the sixth annual provocative campus event that kicks off next week at universities and colleges in 35 cities around the world.

“Resolutions in the Ontario Legislature send a message. They are about moral suasion,” said Shurman, adding “it is close to hate speech” to liken democratic Israel to apartheid-era South Africa.

“I want the name changed, it’s just wrong,” he said, emphasizing that “respectful” debate about the Middle East is much more constructive than slinging slurs.

“Israeli Apartheid Week is not a dialogue, it’s a monologue and it is an imposition of a view by the name itself—the name is hateful, it is odious,” he said, adding it is also offensive to the millions of black South Africans oppressed by a racist white regime until the early 1990s.

New Democratic MPP Cheri DiNovo (Parkdale-High Park) said while the motion, which passed with a unanimous voice vote at 4 p.m., was “symbolic,” it sent a signal that parliamentarians want to promote positive debate.

“What we need to build peace … are not inflammatory words like ‘apartheid,’ particularly used inappropriately in the case of Israel,” said DiNovo, who was among the 30 MPPs in the 107-seat Legislature for the vote.

“That’s not to say there’s not a valid discussion. ‘Apartheid’ does not help the discussion. What we like to speak about is the occupation (of Palestinian territory), the wall, other issues that face us,” she said.

While Training Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy was not in the House for the vote, he expressed concern at the use of such a loaded term.

“Campuses are places for debate and discussion – they often get into areas that can offend people, can challenge people,” said Milloy.

“I think what the goal has to be is to make sure that there’s not hatred on campus – nothing that would make a student feel threatened,” he said.

“I certainly understand the concerns about that term.”

The MPPs’ move comes as Premier Dalton McGuinty, who was not in the House on Thursday, is gearing up for a trade mission for Israel and the West Bank on May 23.

McGuinty will be the first Ontario premier to visit Israel since Mike Harris in 1998.

Anonymous said...

Great Resource for Israel Apartheid Week:

Anonymous said...

Husam Zakharia of UC Berkeley's Students for Justice in Palestine was arrested for assault (or is it battery?) of a Jewish girl today on campus. Does anyone have any details?

Anonymous said...

Apparently he rolled a shopping cart at her- I don't know the extent of her injuries. Likely he'll claim it was non-violent resistance.