Standing Up to Israel Apartheid Week
By Dr. Elana Yael Heideman and Uri Silberman
The notorious "Israeli Apartheid Week" (IAW) starts up again every March across the world. Driven by the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) and Students for Justice in Palestine movements, this week explicitly seeks to destroy the Israeli narrative, create division, encourage prejudice and proliferate hatred under the auspices of supporting the “Palestinian cause.” IAW, mostly held on college campuses and places of higher education around the world, is a series of lectures, exhibits and events singling out the State of Israel and her supporters for fierce criticism and a litany of mistruths and demonization.
Based on lies about Israel, exaggerations about a non-existence “occupation” or human rights violations, the power of the IAW events is two fold: the far-reaching effects of their from the involvement of the massive following they have garnered over the years, and its effects on the Jewish students on the campuses where these events take place.
We at The Israel Forever Foundation have decided it is time to counter this rhetoric and take a stand by designing and implementing a counter campaign called Israel Fights Apartheid Week.
This initiative was conceptualized to create and provide content for free use by all Israel activists and pro-Israel groups around the world. Our goal is to dispel and debunk the false information disseminated during the Israeli Apartheid Weeks and all year round.
Students are told the Jewish homeland is, by nature, a racist, colonial and oppressive power. They are indoctrinated with the idea that Israel should be boycotted, even destroyed. They are told these things irrespective of the truth or the long history of hate as a tool in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the masses believe the lies without question, joining their voices to the rallies, debates, resolutions and persecution of Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus.
You do not have to look any further than the event's title to understand that it is inherently malignant by nature. The crude notion that Israel is an apartheid state is an assault on the country's very being and is based entirely on the goal of destroying the Jewish state.
"Apartheid," a word only recently originating in the 1940's from Afrikaans, literally means "separateness" referencing South Africa's racist policies of politically and economically disenfranchising its black population. This campaign absurdly seeks to cast Israel - a beacon of democratic progressiveness and the Middle East's only liberal democracy ensuring equality of rights and freedom of religion - as being equally guilty of similar practices and policies including human rights violations and war crimes.
Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Palestinianism have cynically hijacked the ills of apartheid to further the Palestinian cause at the expense of Israel. Apart from being a lie, employing and labeling Israel as an apartheid state does great injustice and minimizes the suffering of those who actually endured an apartheid regime.
As one student shared, “Zionism is Racism,” “Israel is an Apartheid State,” and even the tiny bit hilarious “Zionist Music Gives me the Blues.” These phrases are plastered at the front of my mind. These phrases are the reason I have not slept in days. These phrases attack and shame our history and seek to destroy our future. These phrases were screamed by Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) students protesting the Haifa Symphony Orchestra which came to visit Binghamton University last week. I stood peacefully and proudly with Israeli flags alongside five students. We stood next to these hateful students who attacked the very foundation of the Jewish state, the very same state I seek to dedicated my life and eventual legacy to.
To this we say enough is enough. Stop the proliferation of lies, of false information and of hatred. It is our job to encourage as many as possible to be involved in standing up to lies about Israeli Apartheid and take a stand for truth.
In this day and age, where Facebook and Twitter are often the main sources of news and events, one can’t help but notice the centrality of images in the fight over Israel’s legitimacy.
Many pro-Israel activists, groups and organizations counter the week-long event by creating material specific to their agendas. We want to consolidate and strengthen these valiant efforts under one name to stand up to hatred and oppression on an international scale.
The material we are producing for Israel Fights Apartheid Week is aimed to compliment the important work being done by StandWithUs, the Maccabee Task Force, Students Supporting Israel and others that are actively working to defeat the BDS/SJP and other Jew-hating organizations directly on campuses. More importantly, it is created to empower EVERYONE - those not on campus, the parents of campus students, juniors and seniors in high school who will soon be on campus, and of course the educators and community leaders who can take action in their communities to counter these events with knowledge and collective strength.
Help spread the word about #IsraeliApartheidWeek and its year-round global propaganda as nothing more than a tool for spreading Jew-hatred. For those with a thick skin, you are strongly encouraged to use the hashtag #IsraeliApartheidWeek and #IsraelFightsApartheidWeek across social media platforms to infiltrate their lies with TRUTH!
You have a chance to make a stand. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell everyone and spread the word. Go beyond the lies and fight Apartheid Week.
These Israel hate weeks may be happening on campuses, but they affect all of us. And we must band together and DO something with our passion and pride to awaken the senses of all the members of the Jewish nation to not stand idly by while lies continue to be spread about us. Join our SocialMedia4Israel campaign, use our Beyond the Lies resources in your social networks, educational programs and in your community in general, and empower everyone to become an ambassador of truth as a Virtual Citizen of Israel with Israel Forever.