Israeli Apartheid Week: Political Theater at Its Worst

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The mob roars its hoarse, ear-splitting chants. “Death to the Jews,” “Death to Zionism,” “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free.” Keffiyas abound: On heads, over faces, around shoulders.  The Arab “street” is on the move—in Toronto, Montreal, Amherst, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, St. Louis, Houston, Berkeley, and in Oxford, Belfast, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Zurich, and many other Western cities.

Liberal-fascist westerners are busy “slumming,” all dressed up as presumably persecuted Arabs, but real Arabs are also mob-dancing in the streets of Nablus, Ramallah, Jaffa, Bethlehem, Amman, and Gaza, and in at least five cities in South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban—yes, Durban, the site of the infamous and sickening United Nations conferences of 2001 and 2009, where, in the name of “anti-racism,” UN members attacked only the Jewish state.

In 2001, the delegation from the United States at Durban withdrew after reviewing the working document which, once again, equated Zionism with Racism. The U.S. boycotted the second Durban conference. In 2009, the European Union delegates withdrew during President Ahmadinejad’s speech, in which he referred to Israel as “totally racist,” and to the Holocaust as an “ambiguous and dubious question.” However, many of the other delegates, from more than 100 countries, remained and applauded him.

The second Durban conference was chaired by a Libyan diplomat.

The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum—but this time, they are armed with nuclear weapons, surface-to-air missiles, rockets, suicide killers, sarin gas and mustard gas. What’s new is that the supposedly sane people, the truth-tellers, the progressives, the “good people,” have joined them.

Yes, it is that time of year again. March is not only Women’s History Month. It is also the month in which Israeli Apartheid Week is appearing in 55 cities around the world. I use the word “appearing” advisedly. This is political theatre at its worst (or at its diabolical best), the kind of Living Theatre (pace, Judith Malina, I am not writing about your Living Theatre) that is meant to end with a genocidal attack on the Jewish state or, at the very least, its dismantling. There is no such thing as truth, everything is relative, there is no reality, only theatrical subjectivity. One of Berkeley’s Apartheid Week activities is “Resistance Through Rhymes,” a free concert and presentation including various hip-hop artists.

Oh, I am such an alarmist. So selfish, so provincial. The Arab Muslim Middle East is on a major meltdown; even as I write, Daffy Gaddafi is brutally massacring his own people, and here I go again, concerned with the Jews. There are eighty million non-Jews in Egypt alone, and here I am, concerned with the fate of, at most, 13-14 million Jews world-wide, of whom a mere six million live in Israel. Have I no shame?

But Israel is the symbol of what’s best about the West: the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to dissent, individual rights, human rights, gay rights. Israel even provides a safe haven for Arab women in flight from being honor murdered and gay Arabs from the disputed territories who would otherwise be tortured and murdered either by their families, their neighbors, or their leaders.

Allow me to say, not once, but a hundred times: Israel is not now and has never been an Apartheid or Nazi nation state. It is nothing—absolutely nothing–like the former South Africa. However, Muslims are the world’s largest practitioners of both gender and religious apartheid. You can quote me on that. Please do.

Whenever the innocent are punished, the guilty get away scot free. It is the Muslim world, not Israel, which is the world’s greatest practitioner of gender and religious apartheid. Islam has a long and bloody history of imperialism, colonialism, racism, and slavery. Indeed, ethnic Arab Muslims, in Sudan for example, still keep slaves, usually black African Muslim, Christian, and animist slaves. The West, including our so-called progressives, must understand that the West has not caused such barbarism and misogyny in the Muslim world. Some customs are endemic to cultures which have, so far, refused to evolve.

According to Dr. Catherine Chatterley, the founding director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism:

The first [Israeli Apartheid Week] event was held at the University of Toronto in 2005. The following year, it included Montreal and Oxford. In 2007, it grew to eight cities; in 2008, to 24 cities; in 2009, to 38 cities; last year, to over 40 cities. This year, IAW will be held in over 55 cities worldwide.

Four years after Durban I, in 2005, Israeli Apartheid Week was born in Toronto. That July, 170 Palestinian civil-society organizations released an official call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (better known as BDS) against Israel. The document clearly stated that the call was modelled on the example of the South African struggle against Apartheid.

As with the original anti-apartheid movement, the goal of IAW is explicitly political. And yet the rhetoric of IAW is left open enough to incorporate: (1) critics of Israel who still support a two-state solution; (2) those who support the dismantling of the current Jewish State and its replacement with a single (highly theoretical) secular democratic state; and (3) those who support the destruction of Israel by any means necessary. All three camps are included amongst supporters of IAW and the BDS campaign, and therefore the lines are often blurred between harsh criticism of the state of Israel, outright condemnation of its continued existence, and calls for its eradication. This is a serious problem, and one that appears to be designed quite consciously by IAW and the BDS movement.


In my view, the world-wide political left, especially the New Left, which came of age in the 1960s, cannot abandon its own youthful and exceedingly self-righteous identities. They continue to fight against American capitalism, American racism, and American foreign policy, and refuse to give up the political “high” of fighting South African apartheid as an international movement. That was their Good War, their best Broadway production, and they cannot bear to ring the curtain down.

Please understand: Israeli Apartheid Week takes place both on and off campus and lasts anywhere from four to eight days. For example, this year at Berkeley, the political festivities  began on March 1st on campus and featured Susan Abulhawa: “Telling the Palestinian Story.” The programmers proclaim that “Palestinians are not always given the opportunity to share their experiences and their struggle. In Susan’s best seller book, Mornings in Jenin,  she expresses fully the human dimension of the Palestinian struggle.”

This is a Big Lie since the pro-Palestinian point of view has flooded our culture not only on campus but in the media, on the internet, at the United Nations, in books, and at every human rights organization.

Other Berkeley Apartheid Week activities are planned at the Memorial Glade Church, the Multi-cultural Community Center of the Student Union, and the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, as well as on campus. The week also features a screening of the documentary “Soweto to Berkeley” which has interviews with South African Bishop Desmund Tutu and Berkeley Free Speech activist, Mario Savio. Their last event will take place on March 9th, and is a panel on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.

I do not think that UC Berkeley is providing its students with an even-handed presentation of both sides. Do you?

It is also important to note that the Muslim Student Association is a key sponsor as well as a group which reflects the vision and does the bidding of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Canada’s Dr. Chatterly believes that Israeli Apartheid Week is the linchpin of a “global strategy to weaken Israel’s connection to the West by delegitimizing Zionism.” This strategy includes boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israelis in all areas “from culture to sport to business to academe” and includes having “Western courts issue arrest warrants for visiting Israeli officials…and (seeks) to justify anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism as legitimate forms of anti-Zionist or anti-racist resistance.”

She is right.

Today, anti-Semitism is not only the province of Islamists or of right-wing racists but is precisely what characterizes the Stalinized and “Palestinianized” western intelligentsia and their trendiest members: Gay liberationists.

Six years ago, then Israeli Minister of Global Anti-Semitism, and Russian refusenik hero, Natan Sharansky, asked me whether I thought that “leftists, feminists, and gay liberationists could be turned around on the question of Israel.” I told him that I did not think this was possible but that I would work on the problem.

The “queers,” including the Jewish “queers,” marched up front in all the anti-Israel pro-Palestinian rallies; they were and still are heavily overrepresented in the Israeli Apartheid Week activities.

True, over the years, but only privately, a few Jewish lesbian or bisexual feminists told me, quietly, that they “wished they had my courage” or that I was “definitely right about Israel.” Lady-like stuff, nothing too loud, too pushy or too Jewish. When Christian lesbian feminists started coming around on this subject they were more outspoken, (still in private), less torn or ambivalent.

In the last year, a few Jewish lesbian feminists, together with StandWithUs, have actually been gathering on a regular basis in Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, holding an Israeli flag. They have lost all their friends and former political comrades who now stand opposite them holding a Palestinian flag. This was the first and possibly only break within the ranks that I knew about.

Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when New York’s LGBT Center canceled an anti-Israel “Party to End Apartheid” which was scheduled to take place on March 5th, just before Israeli Apartheid Week. This was a small but significant “first” of its kind. The cancellation took place after Michael Lucas, a gay celebrity and “adult entertainment” producer, threatened to organize donors. Nevertheless, on March 5th, LGBT anti-Israel protestors descended on the center en masse, recreating the excessive rhetoric of Act Up, to protest the cancellation. They claimed they had been censored, that free speech was on the line, that LGBT Jews with money had shut down their hate speech party.

The March 5th Israeli Apartheid Week party was planned by a group called Siege Busters, which is working to raise funds for a new flotilla to challenge the Israeli navy’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. (No, they are not working to free Israeli captive Gilad Shalit). Its online petition protesting the cancellation of the anti-Israel “party” has so far garnered more than 1,600 signatures, including those of Joan Nestle, Judith Butler, Matt Forman, and Scott Long, who formerly headed the LGBT desk at Human Rights Watch. However, the majority of signatories do not seem to be “known” intellectuals and activists, which means that the poisoned propaganda has filtered right on down to the people.

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  • Danny

    Excellently said.

  • informer

    let see now…all those cities,countries will be punished that week by disasters or terror attack or worst…just follow the news.
    all those do not get what was written by God?
    i'll bless thou bless Israel,i curse thou who curse Israel…
    so wave of tragedies coming…just wait and see…

    • kafir4life

      Notes are taken. Deeds recorded. No worries! Seriously informer. You just don't worry one bit about that!! It's not your concern. Right?

    • bbclayton

      You got that right…. Just look at Katrina……You know what's really funny about black folks becoming Muslims? In the Koran, it reads something to the effect that in heaven all faces will be white. I'd call that racism, wouldn't you?

  • informer
  • mordechayariely

    The Arabs/Iran are building a false Myth.
    They will not be confused with real facts!
    Unfortunately some innocent people (or not?) from the west are joining the false chorus.
    By the Israel law and practice all citizens are:
    Equal by low—–Full political rights—-– Equals in universal human rights ––religious freedom––Citizens express freely––Women equality––Social rights equality–- study on same universities—- sharing the same medical treatment in hospitals- serves as judges and lawyers- play in the same sport clubs–share equally all public infrastructures– and more

    This is apartheid!!- it should be changed!!!
    It is the call of some so called human rights organization or democratic supporters!

  • mordechayariely

    !What s the status in Muslim countries?*Iran- more than 200 gays have been executed*Iran- Teachers were hanged up because teaching Bahai religion. *Iran Women low- Virgin women to be executed is raped by a guard ahead execution.*All over the Muslim countries: Christians are being persecuted and are under run.*Building or repairing of non Muslim shrines is either forbidden or severely restricted*Limited woman rights* Acceptable honor  killing of doters and wife's*People conversing from  Islam to other religions may get by low death sentence* Political parties are either forbidden or limited.Iran- By low only  Shia Muslim cab be president, army chief, judge.The call of some so called human rights organization or democratic supporters doesn't blame, vote resolutions or demonstrate against Muslim countries.What is the definition of this behavior? Hypocrite!

  • steven L

    It is a lot cheaper to spread hate, keep people in poverty and ignorance than spending money to do the opposite. Education, human rights, democracy are items that Muslim cannot afford.

  • steven L

    Muslims Fascist's are willing and ready to be violent and be brainwashed into pseudo martyr state.

  • steven L

    Isn't Apartheid the founding principle of Islam despite the claims of many "scholars"?
    It systematically discriminates against non-Muslim man, people of color (including white), people of different faith, people of no faith and against all the women of the world!
    If this is not apartheid, what is?

    • ziontruth

      Steven, Steven, Steven… just how can you compare Islamic apartheid to the one and only true apartheid as practiced by the White Man? You never got the memo? Muslims can forbid infidels to drink at their water fountains on pain of death (that's how it is in Muslim-occupied Western India a.k.a. Pakistan), but it's not apartheid-apartheid! Only those stinkin' White, Bible-believing, Capitalist, Zionist people's apartheid is really apartheid, genuinely so, and truly indelible at that, like a tatoo, such that even the election of a black president can't wipe off that stain.

      Your daily dose of explaining how the Marxist mind (I use that word loosely) ticks. Glad to be at your service!

  • USMCSniper

    In his new book, the anti semite Jimmy Carter writes, "Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land. There used to be Jews living in Arab nations, but they also fled, in 1948 and subsequent years. Now there are virtually no Jews in Arab countries — even in a moderate Arab country such as Jordan. How many Jews do you think there will be in the terrorist state of Palestine when its flag flies over a new UN sanctioned sovereign nation? By the way, tehre never was any such thing as Palestinian land, That is a myth.

    • BS77

      Thank you…..and Ms. Chesler for pointing out, again and again the obvious horrible propaganda and lies perpetuated by the Israel haters….Actually, when you start looking around….at Somalia, SUdan, Libya, Iran, Afghanistan etc etc…Israel starts looking good!!!. It's amazing to see how many brainwashed robots there are at these stupid demonstrations, with their sickening signs and moronic slogans. Most are leftist losers.

  • QSuzy

    This puts liberal Jews & liberal Christians standing side-by-side with white supremacists, black supremacists, nazis and kkk's. How's that combating racism?

    Articles like this make me grateful once again that the modern state of Israel thrives!

    • mah29001

      I find it funny that those who claim Israel is an "apartheid" state don't mind to coddle with those kind of cretins…

      • QSuzy

        Yes, I agree. It's funny in a weird way.

  • Amel Hamed

    You need to visit the west bank and i mean the parts they keep hidden away refugee camps, gaza and talk to people who have been kick off their land and homes, talk to families whos children, husbands have been murdered before you defend Israel. I understand that two wrong dont make a right but you sir are serioulsy ignorant of Palestinians. The reason Israel thrives is because it has become a super power that no one will mess with. They have squashed a population of 11 million Palestinians, does that sound like a power to be messed with.

    • Spirit_Of_1683

      Belt up savage. Its time Israel stopped supplying the West Bank and Gaza Strip with food and medical aid. You are a typical ungrateful leeching Jew-hating Muslim parasite who cheers when Westerners and Jews get murdered in atrocities carried out by your fellow barbarians. You belong in Pakistan alongside your fellow Jew-hating barbarians. And why were you given your Jewish-invented medicines and vaccines when you were ill, ungrateful sod?

    • MixMChess

      "You need to visit the west bank and i mean the parts they keep hidden away refugee camps, gaza and talk to people who have been kick off their land and homes…"

      Israel never "kicked" Palestinians off of their land and homes. Arabs started a war of extermination against Israel. The vast majority of the so-called Palestinians willingly lest after the invading Arab armies promised to eradicate the Jews. When Israel tried to repatriate families starting in 1949 and 1950 the Arabs refused.

      "… talk to families whos children, husbands have been murdered before you defend Israel."

      Maybe those same children and husbands shouldn't have been trying to murder Israeli children in the first place! Israel's security needs are brutally real. Palestinians are constantly attacking and Israelis are dying. Did you know that from 2000-2003, there were over 18,000 attempted or successful terrorist attacks against Israelis (the equivalent of 17 a day in a population of only 6 million people)?

      It is estimated that from 2000-2009 over 820 Israelis were murdered by Palestinians (over 70% of them civilians, including children, the elderly and women). Poor Israeli Children have become orphans and parents have lost their children… all because the Palestinians are racist, xenophobic and filled with Jew-hatred.

      Why won't the Palestinians just accept peace?

    • MixMChess

      "They have squashed a population of 11 million Palestinians, does that sound like a power to be messed with."

      Your claim is laughable at best. Israel's policies in the W. Bank and Gaza have been the opposite of "squashing" or engaging in a brutal oppression. From 1967-1993, Israel built up and developed the W. Bank and Gaza, and gave freedoms, rights and opportunities to Palestinians that Jordan had denied them during its 19-year rule.

      Since 1993, the Palestinian Authority has autonomously governed the W. Bank. Israel provided the necessary economic aid to allow the W. Bank to experience an economic boom in 2009. Have you seen the fancy boutiques, 5-Star Hotels, high-end restaurants and entertainment growing in Ramallah?

      Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Israel has literally provided Gazans with millions in tons of humanitarian aid, delivered 6 days a week 52 weeks a year. The markets are full, and stores have fully stocked shelves. In June of 2010, a new shopping mall opened in Gaza.

  • joel

    All the "squashing" has been defensive,not offensive. The Palestinian radicals cannot be trusted to live next to Israel. Everytime Israel offers the Palestinian people peace their radicals reject it and sabotage it because they only want jihad to destroy Israel. The rich Saudis need to set aside a portion of their huge land for the Palestinian people who are,after all,their brothers…

  • Myriam Israel

    To A.Hamed:one more time,you prove that for almost all the muslims reality does'nt exist,but your lies are THE reality.Do you believe in them? I'm not sure.Rather propaganda and show.My advice:use your "energy" to bring prosperity and "peace of mind" to the people of muslim countries.They need them very much!

  • Amused

    It started in Medina , and continued throughout the millenia .The slaughters then rationalized ,by mining the Jewish and Christian scriptures , twisting and perverting them in the creation of the Q'uran ,which no only legitimized the hatred and jealousy , but made it into religious dogma . So much so , that it has become the very ethos underpinning islam .
    It is no mystery how and why this started , and what is seen today , is merely the natural progression of an ideology ,steeped in hatred for all things not muslim .Any argument against it is FUTILE , since religious license has been established , indeed ordained by their god , their prophet , sages , and their book . Apartheid ? There is no better example on the face of the Earth , then that which is practiced by islam .The hatred is then compounded by not only villifying , persecuting and killing their victims , but BLAMING them , and holding themselves up as the VICTIMS .

  • Amused

    …………and to have a Jewish Nation in their midst , which not only thrives but has turned back their attacks five times and defeated them , adds humiliatioin to their unreasoned hatred , creating a culture of REVENGE steeped in religiously approved hatred . They have given this a name which has become a part of their common lexicon – "Nakba " which translates – "The Disaster " . This will not end .The only thing muslims and arabs disagree upon is how and when they will accomplish their ultimate goal -the destruction of the Stae of Israel . Any words of peace , truce , cease-fire ,co-existence , coming from their quarter,are all empty words , and to be used to placate and decieve , yet another religiously approved practice called "Taqiyya " which translated means " shielding the heart " , in other words TO LIE about their intentions .

  • Amused

    This , they bring to the countries that host them , and attempt to spread their hatred to the dhimmis in those countries ….thus you have " Apartheid Week " in 55 cities around the world . And all that will be duped , join in , oblivious that they themselves are merely a bit further down the list than the Jews in beiing objects of that same unreasoned hatred .

  • gidmeister

    The really odd thing about "Israel Apartheid Week' is that there is no "Chechniya Torture Week" or "Zimbabwe Economy Destruction Week" or "Sudan Slavery Week" or "Saudi Infidel Citizenship Week" or "Chinese Lao Gai (work camp) Week" etc. etc. You get the idea.

  • BS77

    You want to see apartheid? Visit a Christian community in Iran or Egypt…if you can find one that has not been destroyed. Apartheid? How about the lives of women in these horrible countries…Sudan, Somalia….where young girls and women are treated like slaves or property and have no rights at all. When is the left going to confront their own blatant hypocrisy?

  • Montreal guy

    (1) Arabs in Israel, despite the fact that they are fully enfranchized citizens, also hold anti-Israel demonstrations and label Israel an apartheid state. (2) Jew haters know that overt anti-semitism in the US is still somewhat politically incorrect. So, they shrewdly call themselves anti-zionists and describe their cause as being against a “racist apartheid” state. This tactic resonates with leftists and with those who are ignorant of the facts. Strangely, some leftists and academics in Israel have also bought into the rhetoric of their enemies.

  • Melody Bier

    I attended the Israeli Peace & Diversity rally @ UC Berkeley today (the week after Israel "Apartheid" Week is always followed by Israel Peace & Diversity Week) put on by brave Jewish students. This is the first year that there was no harassment by the Arabs or loony lefties! What really angers me is the lack of support from the Jewish community for these students! There was only one professor who participated; one Chabad rabbi and NO Jewish organizations present. Many complain of the virulent anti-Semitism on campuses these days…but where are all of you? There is actually more support from the Jewish community for the Arab students!! SHAME!!!

    • MixMChess

      Melody, I am sorry to hear of your experience and that the local Jewish community didn't come out in support of the pro-Israel students. I would encourage you to look into organizations like standwithus ( or get in touch with the Israeli consulate general. They can help give you tools to defend Israel and may be able to put you in touch with others in the community that are willing to stand up for democracy and peace.

      • Melody Bier

        Thanks for your support. Unfortunately I have done both and there are still way too few people willing to stand up up with us. Out here in the Bay Area in CA even rabbis are afraid to mention Israel for fear of "dividing" the congregation. The world has turned upside down. There are more Jews here supporting the "Palestinians" than Israel & they refuse to even see the antisemitism all around them. But we struggle on.

  • BS77

    Stand with Israel. Stand with our Constitution and Flag….Stand with the WEST>….Thanks to the Seals, Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines….FDNY in memory….you will not be forgotten.