Thursday, March 10, 2011

Israeli Apartheid Week

I was so busy celebrating Mardi Gras that I forgot to "celebrate" Israeli Apartheid Week! So I'm glad it's been extended to two weeks, for one, it's great to see all of these peaceful, educational, justice-driven events happening all over the world, and secondly, I just like to use the word "fortnight."

A word on that word, "celebrate." The Jerusalem Post, among other sites, is referring to people who are taking action and generally observing Israeli Apartheid Week as "celebrating" it. As if apartheid could bring anyone joy. It reminds me of the term "pro-abortion," which is one of the many ties you could make between Zionism and neo-conservatism. Fear the baby killers, fear the anti-semites! Strange how the people who cry anti-semitism don't seem to know what a semite is....

New Orleans isn't a host city for IAW, but there are about 40 in this list.

Here's the 2005 Statement issued by over 170 Palestinian civil organizations calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The campaign has made important gains in countries like South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States .

Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression,

We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Haaretz treats IAW pretty fairly, and JPost is....having a hissy fit. The usual retort on other sites and blogs is that these events are anti-semetic and because they don't also focus on human rights abuses in Arab states, their sole purpose is to deligitimize Israel. What a tired, old theory. Really.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." -Franklin D. Roosevelt.

What could be more important to understand than this: fear destroys more than its protects, and Zionism is a culture of fear. There is a braver, more constructive way out of this mess.

Haaretz-What does Israeli Apartheid Week actually achieve?

JPost-Free speech too, for Israel's advocates