Israeli Apartheid Week: Political Theater at Its Worst

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Lucas and his supporters are outraged. “If the LGBT Center wants to host a fundraising and awareness party for anti-Semites,” Lucas said in a statement, “they might as well go all the way and host a tea dance for Fred Phelps (the gay-hating head of the Westboro Baptist Church).” Steven Goldstein, a rabbinical student and chair of Garden State Equality, pointed out: “I find it impossible to separate Zionism and Judaism. Those who try to separate them don’t have a clue as to what Judaism is all about…To call it an apartheid state, that is meshugge. It is a word designed to hurt and designed to de-legitimize the state of Israel.”

But the Israel = Apartheid charge is not only anti-Semitic and therefore racist; it is ridiculous on its face. How can Israel be an apartheid state when there is no legal separation between Arabs and Jews in Israel? Unlike black South Africans under apartheid, Arabs (“the Palestinians”) are citizens. Fourteen of the 120 members of the current Knesset are Arabs. Arabs can work in the same offices, learn in the same schools, receive medical treatment in the same hospitals, and relax on the same beaches. Yes, there is some discrimination against Muslim and Christian Arabs, (as well as discrimination against Jews from Arab countries), and some de facto racial segregation in Israel—just as there is in America, Canada and Europe, and in every other country where Israeli Apartheid Week events will be taking place.

Please realize: The Arab, mainly Muslim Middle East, is almost entirely “judenrein;” Jews have been ethnically cleansed from these lands. For that matter, Christians, cannot worship openly and are savagely persecuted. Muslims who convert to Christianity are honor murdered. Finally, both Jews and Palestinians are denied citizenship, residency, and certain jobs in the Arab Muslim countries of the Middle East.

These week-long/nearly month long Israeli Apartheid Week pageants provide no such balance, no context, no historical or moral perspective. They fail to note that Muslim-majority countries are religious supremacists; that Muslims feel “persecuted” when infidels have rights of any kind, and have persecuted, exiled, force-converted or slaughtered Hindus, Sikhs, Ba’hai, Zoroastrians, Christians, and Jews—who are also peoples of color.

What makes the LGBT center’s initial decision to sponsor the anti-Israel Apartheid party so outrageous is that Israel is the safest haven in the Arab and Muslim world—get ready for it, here it comes—for Arab Palestinians who do not have the same civil rights in Gaza, on the West Bank, or anywhere else in the anti-Palestinian Muslim Middle East. Michael Lucas is also right: Israel is also the only safe haven for gay people, especially for “out” gays in the Middle East. Palestinian homosexuals are tortured and murdered by the gangsters, Islamists, and terrorists who are now running Gaza. Israel grants Palestinian gays asylum.

Lesbian feminist Sherry Wolf, associate editor of the International Socialist Review, and her comrades, accuse Michael Lucas of using his money and influence to censor them, to squelch their First Amendment rights. But this is absurd; there is a difference between being censored and being unsponsored by one organization. Those who condemn Israel as an Apartheid state, are allowed to trumpet their Big Lies everywhere,  which they are doing to great effect on campuses, (which should teach the truth but do not do so), at rallies, at human rights organizations, at the United Nations, and in the world-wide media. The fact that Wolf claims to be speaking for and defending the rights of Palestinian “queers” is a nonstarter.

Wolf is not alone. She, and so many other gay people, including leftists and feminists, are so afraid of   being called “racists,” that their fear trumps any interest they may have in women’s rights, human rights, or even gay rights.

In reality, this “politically correct “  position  is meant to help all those whose self-perceived psychological safety lies in merging with the trendiest-victim-of-them-all. This choice is all about maintaining one’s own social, career and funding status.

This pro-Palestinian position is not an anti-racist position; it is an opportunistic and cowardly position. What’s more: It is actually a racist position. If one is genuinely an anti-racist, one does not condemn Arab and Muslim women, gays, and dissidents, including Palestinians, to a lower sub-human standard of human rights and reserve for oneself a higher and different standard.

How and why has Israeli Apartheid Week come into being and remained in existence for six years? The monied Saudi Lobby, the former Soviet Lobby, the Arab League Lobby; the influence of Edward Said’s work on the post-colonial anti-racist western academy; the world-wide rise and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Liberation Movement, Hamas, Hezbollah and Khomeinism; the anti-American and pro-“Palestinian” Western Left (with its penchant for theatrical politics)–have all played a part in this grotesque tragedy.

In addition, Charles Jacobs, President of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, has suggested that the extraordinarily ugly, and really out-of-control anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred on American campuses is due, in part, to the failure of American Jewish organizations to both acknowledge and combat it. And to a long-term, patient, and little-noticed Arab-American strategy. Jacobs writes:

In 1990, (more than 20 years ago), James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, explained on Jordanian TV how the Arab Lobby can and will match Jewish political and organizational success in America. Zogby and his allies recognized that the campus and the media, unlike Capitol Hill, are two battle grounds that Arabists could win by allying themselves with the American left. In both venues they already had beachheads and feet on the ground. The campus was in transition politically, influenced by ’60s tenured radicals who had adopted the dogma of post-colonialism, and its Palestinian version, Professor Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism.’

Moreover, America was experiencing a significant increase in foreign born Muslim students as well as increased Muslim immigration (many from countries with a culture of vicious anti-Semitism). Zogby focused on forming alliances with Marxist professors, die-hard socialist activists, African- American student groups, gay-lesbian groups and, most importantly, Jewish progressives.

Zogby’s strategy, together with massive Arab funding, has quite clearly worked.  The world now believes that the most important and most persecuted group alive are the Palestinians and that the Israelis oppress and torment them, are the sole cause of their enormous suffering, and that Israel is, indeed, an Apartheid nation state.

However, the real victim is not the barefoot Palestinian peasant but the Jewish state. Israel is engaged in an asymmetrical battle for its very existence According to Elliott Chodoff, a major in the Israeli Defense Force and a political and military analyst whom I met and worked with at the Advocates for Civil Liberties conference last month in Toronto, (“When Middle East Politics Invade the Campus”) there has only been one, long, still ongoing war against Israel since the state first came into being. “Israel’s many enemies want to destroy the Jewish state; Israel does not want to be destroyed.  Our enemies want to make it impossible for us to defend ourselves. If Jews defend their lives it is seen as criminal.”

And if Jew haters viciously attack Israel it is seen as…self-defense or as freedom-fighting or as “anti-racist” work.

The propaganda war against Israel, especially as personified by Israeli Apartheid Week  has grown grotesquely out of hand. It will not be simple or easy to reverse.

Canadian corporate consultant Joel Shapiro suggests that pro-Israel groups “go to universities which allow/enable/facilitate/sponsor” an anti-Israel Apartheid week and “insist that they also allow an anti-Pakistan, anti-Saudi, or anti-Iran week.” Once the University  admits the impossibility of allowing a major event that is critical of an Islamic country, they will almost always be forced to likewise cancel the anti-Israel week. If they won’t do one, they shouldn’t do the other. And if they continue with the one but not the other, then we should follow up with a STRONG media campaign on how they are targeting Israel but refusing to even contemplate legitimate critique against other nations, and hence are complicit in promoting racism.”

Professor Catherine Chatterly calls for “intelligent discussion and debate that employs meaningful, ethical, and accurate language to describe what are truly difficult, complex, and contested histories. People need to take responsibility for their own personal feelings of rage and frustration and they must be encouraged to exercise self-control in multicultural public spaces.” She wants to teach students to “unpack” the gross propaganda against Israel, she wants better academic programming, fact-driven objective truth to be taught on campus. She wants disagreements among informed truth-tellers to be civil and respectful.

As a scholar and former professor, I have always prized hunting the truth down and then teaching it—along with the views of others–to my students. I do not think that I am obliged to teach Big Lies or to welcome such Lies on campus merely because they may be protected by the First Amendment.

I do not trust the “truths” of those who heckle, jeer, mock, interrupt, physically menace, and in so doing, silence and censor any speech with which they disagree. This decidedly uncivil and menacing behavior most resembles  the Arab, Soviet, and Maoist Streets at their worst, the 1960s old New Left in America, including the Black Panthers–and, for that matter, their late 20th century and early 21st century admirers and descendents such as Act Up, Code Pink, Acorn’s bullies at the American voting booth, and Alinsky-style labor union thugs in Madison, Wisconsin.

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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.