Israel again -
Why do these people ignore the massive Human Rights violations in Arab Countries
Michael Ignatieff: Israel Apartheid Week and CUPE Ontarioâ€™s anti-Israel posturing should be condemned - Full Comment
Throughout our history, Canadians have strived to understand each other across the solitudes that have broken other countries to pieces. Our common national purpose has been built on our diversity.We respect differences — of opinion, nationality, race and creed. We abandon that respect at our peril.“Israel Apartheid Week” (IAW), now underway on university campuses across Canada, betrays the values of mutual respect that Canada has always promoted.International law defines “apartheid” as a crime against humanity. Labelling Israel as an “apartheid” state is a deliberate attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the Jewish state itself.Criticism of Israel is legitimate. Attempting to describe its very existence as a crime against humanity is not.
Throughout this week cities around the world will mark the annual Israeli Apartheid Week, or IAW for short. Organized by the Students Against Israeli Apartheid, or SAIA, it claims its purpose is “to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement.”
In actuality, it is a pro-Palestinian, Molotov cocktail of political intolerance, illiberal personal attacks, and lurking, latent anti-Semitism.
The real purpose of the event is to dupe the general public, especially impressionable students, into thinking that Israel is an apartheid state akin to South Africa before the ANC’s triumph in 1994.
Never mind that Israel affords all of its Arab citizens equal political and legal rights, something noticeably absent in South Africa. Never mind that access to public institutions, such as education and health care, is granted to all equally.
Of course, if one repeats a lie a thousand times, people will recognize it as truth.The week also features a series of events and speakers pinning every imaginable crime the Palestinian people have suffered at the hands of Israel, from ethnic cleansing to labor exploitation.
No mention of the radical Hamas, or the brutally corrupt Fatah.
No mention of Camp David in 2000, or the various efforts among Israeli doves to give Palestinians their own state.
The objective is clear: Israel - the refuge for Jews, the state that could have provided safe haven from the countless pogroms and the Holocaust had it existed earlier in human history - can only do wrong.
Proponents of IAW argue that they are not antisemitic, but merely anti-Israeli. Sure, criticism of any state’s policies and actions are necessary, even welcome.
But why is it that those who claim to represent Palestinian interests in North America will ignore all the other problems the Palestinian people face in order to target Israel and Israel only?
Surely, some of the blame has to fall to Hamas, who is more interested in launching rockets than providing basic services to its own people. And surely some of the responsibility lies with Yasir Arafat, who walked away from a deal for Palestinian sovereignty and half of Jerusalem, and who stole from the Palestinian people’s own coffers as they were dying for his “Intifada.”
How far can we single out a state and attribute it responsibility for all the world’s ills before we approach the territory of anti-Semitic paranoia akin to the Protocols of Zion?http://www.zionismontheweb.org/antisemitism/british_antisemitism_racism_as_anti-racism_in_anti-apartheid_week_uk.htm
It is tempting to launch into the absurdity of the apartheid claim, and many do. This time last year the Jerusalem Post carried an editorial entitled "The 'Israel Apartheid Week' libel". Understanding the absurdity of the claim is important, but that doesn't explain the inherent racism within this supposedly anti-racist campaign. The racist element is not something Jews should have to fight alone; rather, it is an illness that all those who are serious about combating racism should help to diagnose and cure when they encounter it. Further explanation is needed so they, too, can understand what Jews and South Africans find so offensive about this "anti-apartheid" campaign.
In 2004, Natan Sharansky, a notable former dissident in the Soviet Union, explained to a US Congressional Commission how one could identify antisemitism. He proposed the "3D" test: double standards, demonisation and delegitimisation. "Double standards" is perhaps the most obvious. Whether one is speaking of the treatment of a student by their teachers or the treatment of states by human rights organisations, to have different rules for different people is discriminatory. When that discrimination is based on membership of an ethnic group, it is racism.
Though much of the rhetoric is familiar, the tactics used to attract attention to Israel's alleged atrocities in Gaza has taken a turn for the shrill and, sometimes, threatening.In early January at the University of Manitoba, the school's Muslim Students' Association put up a series of posters near a campus bookshop that drew irate complaints. One of them depicted a Jewish fighter plane targeting a baby stroller. Another featured a caricature of a hooked-nosed Hasidic Jew with a star of David, pointing a bazooka at the nose of an Arab carrying a slingshot; a third one showed an Israeli helicopter with a swastika on top, dropping a bomb on a baby bottle.
The school forced their removal the same day.