Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Israeli Apartheid Week: A Ritual of Discrimination and Incitement against Israel

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Israeli Apartheid Week: A Ritual of Discrimination and Incitement against Israel

Article excerpt

Israeli Apartheid Week doesn't seek Middle East peace. It seeks to harm the Jewish people by taking from them the only land where they are not a minority.

Almost all Americans, regardless of their politics, want lasting peace in the Middle East. Most hope for the Arabs and Israelis to resolve their conflict based on a compromise that would maximize, as much as reasonably possible, security and justice for both sides. In other words, most of us want progress.

But this month, we heard from a small group of ideologues who stand firmly against this idea. For the first time, Boston campuses played host to "Israeli Apartheid Week," an annual ritual of discrimination and incitement against Israel. Instead of seeking progress, Apartheid Week organizers demand that the world regress to a darker era by rolling back the hard-earned, much-needed, and inherent right to national self-determination for the Jewish people.

One need look no further than the event's title to understand its malignant nature. The canard that Israel is an apartheid state is an assault on the country's very legitimacy. The South African apartheid regime was rightfully dismantled, and this campaign seeks to cast Israel as guilty of similar policies and equally deserving to be dismantled.

Indeed, according to this year's Invitation for Participation in Israeli Apartheid Week, potential participants were expected to certify that they oppose Zionism, or Jewish nationalism, as a pre- condition to their involvement. That is, Apartheid Week participants are against the continued existence of the Jewish state - a philosophy, it's worth noting, shared by the terrorist group Hamas and Iran's fanatical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Although the inevitable endpoint of anti-Zionism is not always openly expressed, Omar Barghouti, a star of last year's Apartheid Week and a leader of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, described with chilling frankness that the goal is to replace Israel with "a unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority."

Mr. Barghouti's assertion, and the Apartheid Week crowd's anti- Zionism, means these protests are not a dispute about settlements or borders or land. It's not about promoting compromise. It's not about helping the Palestinians by giving them a state alongside Israel. It's about harming the Jewish people by taking from them the only small corner of the world where they are not a minority - in fact, the only country where they make up more than a mere 3 percent of the population. …

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