Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree: Israeli Apartheid Week

Spring is in the air and once again the Israeli Apartheid Week is being held on university campuses throughout the country. This year, Carleton University has banned this poster from display.

Now this was brought to my attention by Dr. Dawg, and as a source, he quotes is Canadian Dimension, who subsequently quotes Carleton University administration which banned the display of this ad and I quote CD quoting CU, (the) “image could be seen to incite others to infringe rights protected in the Ontario human rights code.” So I am not vouching for the accuracy of the quote or even the article and am taking it all strictly at face value.

Less than two months ago we saw Palestinian supporters hit the streets of Montreal chanting death to the Jews and other timeless slogans at a pro-Palestinian rally, and in Toronto, a Palestinian supporter was quoted as saying Hitler did not do a good job, and when the videographer asked said individual to clarify his remarks - the videographer was physically attacked by the pro-Palestinian supporter for his question. And this was in an ' public setting' outside university control.

Now, it’s not as if Carleton University Administration doesn’t have a valid point or concern. Just think of the situation Concordia University found it self in when the pro-Palestinian fraction ended up rioting in order to prevent a speech by former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Sarah Ahronheim:
To enter the Concordia building we had to walk right through a volatile protest of hundreds of pro-Palestinians and their supporters in keffiyehs, with flags, screaming vitriolic hate. Once having run this gauntlet, we waited patiently outside the Bishop street entrance, held back at the gate by security and police. After about an hour they started admitting us inside, but it was too late because a huge group of pro-Palestinian 'demonstrators' had appeared in our midst.

I was fortunately right at the entrance, and as dozens of violent protesters pushed their way to the front, I tried to get through. Right next to me appeared the ringleader, who tried to push his way in. The cop in front of me punched him in the face while pulling me through the gate at the same time.

I rested against the wall and watched as at least a hundred (I think) red-and-green colored protesters attacked the barriers and tried to get in. Riot cops appeared, dozens of them, and went to the gate as I and a few others were herded into the building. There was yelling and chanting, drumming and fighting going on outside the doors, with hundreds of our people stuck behind the gate being abused by hundreds of violent demonstrators.

A few of us were waiting after the metal detectors for our friends to come through, when all of a sudden we heard loud chanting and yelling inside the building. The riot cops came storming in and up the stairs beside us, and we began hearing fighting, crashing, yelling, punching. Chaos broke out and riot cops made us run for the door to the auditorium -- I thought we were going to get killed, I swear. It was the scariest feeling, because I knew that these people wanted to hurt me and anyone who supports Israel or is Jewish.

Once inside the auditorium, we were told to be patient as more people would drift in from the insanity outside. We waited inside for three hours, as the commotion outside grew increasingly loud. We could hear chanting and yelling, and the protesters began trashing the university building. The police tear gassed and pepper sprayed the entire building and outside, and we began to feel the effects if we stood too near the doors.

After hours of waiting, and bomb searches by RCMP sniffer dogs, we were informed that Bibi Netanyahu could not speak after all -- too much danger to him and to us. This was an incredible disappointment and we were naturally upset. We however managed to maintain a kind of composure and instead of fighting, the 650 of us inside began to sing Hatikvah, the national anthem of the State of Israel. We sang peace chants and then just waited to be let out, in groups of 10, escorted by police.

The scene as we exited was disgusting. Benches were overturned, papers and garbage streaked across the hallways, and broken windows. We were shoved outside directly into a huge pro-Palestinian riot, where some of our people were apparently attacked... On their side, they threw bottles at people's heads, screamed hatred, and tried to break the barriers down to hurt us. They started tossing pennies and coins at us -- one of the oldest ways to taunt Jews by saying we're all "money-grubbing." While we sang Hatikvah arm in arm, they spat at us. Finally we decided to disperse and leave them to their hatred...
Or even the most recent disgraceful turn of events at York University.
For the second time in a week, Toronto police were called on campus as anti-Israel organizers isolated and threatened Jewish students. During a news conference held by a coalition of diverse students to impeach the York Federation of Students, anti-Israel organizers shut down the announcement, yelling anti-Semitic slurs and physically intimidating Jewish students. Shortly after, they barricaded Jewish students at Hillel’s lounge on campus, continuing to threaten students. Toronto police officers escorted the students out of the office to ensure their safety.

Among the slurs shouted by those barricading Hillel’s office were “Die bitch, go back to Israel”, “Die Jew, get the hell off campus”, “Fucking Jew” “racists off campus”. Last week, police were called during a physical altercation by an anti-Israel activist.
Is it the merest of coincidence that whenever Canadian universities allow unchecked and unfretted access to groups on campus promoting the Palestinian cause it eventually turns into a hate the-Jews-fest whereby Canadian Jewish students come under attack for the alleged crimes of the Israeli state? And don’t universities in Canada have not only the right but a duty to protect Jewish students from the tactics of intimidation and threats of violence?

There is an irony in this poster which seems to be lost on the Israel Apartheid crowd. The child in the poster stands on ‘Gaza’ which is depicted to represent the so-called state of Israeli apartheid, and yet, Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005.

There is only one Jew in the entirety of the Gaza Strip and he is not even in charge. In fact, Hamas through the PRC had to abduct him in 2006 out of the 1949 Armistice borders of Israel to get him. His name is Gilad Shalit and he is being forcibly detained and held for ransom by the governing authority of Hamas who controls the Gaza Strip. The Red Cross has been repeatedly denied access to visit Shalit which is contrary to the umpteen international rules governing prisoner’s rights. In fact, no one in the international community knows with any measure of certainty if Shalit is alive or dead.

It occurs to me there is a deeper irony which the Israeli Apartheid supporters completely miss in their bid to demonize to Israel as a rogue state among nations; which is what occurs daily by either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in the Gaza Strip is nothing less than the grossest of violation of human rights, but this is state of nationhood for which they are actively clamoring for. Go fracking figure.


Dr.Dawg said...

The story has since appeared elsewhere. It's quite legit, I assure you.

I can't quite see how incidents reported to have taken place in other venues and under other circumstances have any bearing on the Carleton University crack-down on pro-Palestinian students, who have now been made afraid of expulsion simply for expressing a point of view.

So far as I know, Bibi isn't participating in the week's events.

I'm curious: how much do you know about apartheid? I ask because you triumphantly declare that the charge is bogus because Israel withdrew from Gaza. Surely you're familiar with the bantustan concept?

The rest of what you offer might profitably be part of a debate at Carleton, if the authorities permit it to take place.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Quite a bit actually, far more than you probably realize, firstly, I reject the charge of ‘apartheid’, and I don’t give two figs what some Christian jew-hater with a clerical collar has to say about anything – let alone the price of eggs.

And just to play devil’s advocate I would suggest your invoking the concept of Bantustan would have greater weight and relevance if you applied that argument to the West Bank but it fails in the Gaza.

The failure to establish decent civil governance and/or good relationships with the neighbor states that border on the Gaza Strip is directly tied to the failure of the thugs and religious nutbars running the Gaza Strip than evidence of malfeasance on the part of the Israelis. Furthermore, there is no legal way to compel any sovereign state into opening its borders and engaging in trade relations with a hostile neighboring state. Please note Egyptian foreign policy is created and crafted in Cairo and not Jerusalem or are you now going to make the Jews control Cairo argument?

If the thugs and other assorted nasties who are running the Gaza Strip had taken the opportunity afforded to them by the Israeli disengagement to make civil governance and building a working economy to support infrastructure a priority rather than the continuing to fund of the so-called resistance of ‘all of Palestine”; Gazans would not be in the precarious position they find themselves in today. Where even their other neighbors, the Egyptians, want only limited and highly regulated contact with them. In other words, if they had followed the Ben-Gurion’s example they might well be on their way of creating a first class society for all Gaza’s citizens which could have been a role model of democracy and prosperity for the entire Arab world. But no, instead they chose the way of terror and war.

But we are getting way off topic. Can we agree that pro-palestinian rights groups in Canada have shown a propensity to harbor a radical and often/violent element which often manifests as decidedly anti-Jew element? Now if you will me that I will argue that the Carleton University Administration has acted in a heavy handed way towards the pro-Palestinian rights groups on campus. Of course, I would also temper this by saying what was the University’s motivation? And that is important. If the university’s motivation was to not create the toxic atmosphere which existed in places like Concordia, than I stand behind the Administration’s decision. The university does owe a duty of care to see that the rights and persons of Jewish students are not violated by the pro-Palestinian fraction.

The actual problem I have with the poster is twofold. One, the purpose seems only to demonize, inflame and incite acts of violence against Israelis and by extension Jews – since Israel is the Jewish homeland you cannot leave Jews out of the equation. Secondly, if the topic is Israel Apartheid, than Gaza has no place in this discussion and by extension this poster. What happens in Gaza stays in Gaza unless Gazans are firing rockets into Israel or murdering Egyptian security personnel in Egypt.

Frankly, the poster would be far more effective as strictly an anti-war poster rather using it to promote awareness of the so-called Israel Apartheid. Seriously, what I would rather see on university campus in Canada is the pro-Palestinian fraction actively working and in co-ordination with the pro-Israel fractions to present a multi-dimensional picture of each side of the issue so all students could be free to hear all the arguments rather than just the blind schilling of either side.

Now I have to go over to the Dust my Broom and argue against the Free Speech Warriors for Irresponsible speech for the need for responsible free speech.

Anonymous said...

Here's the anti-Zionist petition regarding the poster.

I rather like the single response at the bottom.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Isn't that just peachy.

Who knew the artist who created the poster, Carlos Latuff, would turn out to be the same political cartoonist who placed 2nd in the Iranian Holocaust denial conference series. See, this is the kind of thing which really irks me about Dawg, there is always some little detail or fact, which he deliberately choses to ignore, that has this unique way of changing the complexion on...well, everything.

Oh well, I guess he can no longer be high and mighty and self-righteous about the speech warriors defining the rights of neo-nazis when he is guilty of defending much the same.

Dr.Dawg said...

Once again I'm accused of dishonesty for allegedly leaving out some detail or fact that changes the complexion of everything. The fact that most Carleton students have never seen a cartoon by Latuff except the one that was briefly up on campus is, for some reason, irrelevant. My character becomes the issue.

Did you actually check out that "Holocaust cartoon?" Nothing neo-Nazi about it. I'm critical of it for other reasons.

You will object to my posting a link here, so I'll simply describe it: a Palestinian is shown, wearing concentration-camp pajamas and a number, with the Israel/West Bank wall in the background. Yup, that's it. No Holocaust denial here. The reverse, in fact. Another point is being made altogether.

But I disapprove of comparing what's happening in the ME with the Holocaust. That's over the top, and people should cut it out. It inflames the debate to no good end.

Yes, the Palestinians have been made to suffer cruelly, but until I see genocide and gas chambers, I'm going to avoid that kind of talk. I realize that it's an attempt to portray suffering in its pure form, to react to the world's indifference. But I'd call it a "disproportionate response."

Anonymous said...

There's an interesting follow-up on Latuff at the same site.

Dr.Dawg said...

It's mid-Sunday afternoon. I take it that my responding comments in this and the other thread will not make it past "moderation?"