Israeli Apartheid Week on US Campuses: Roiling the Middle East War
By Lee Kaplan
(Note: A slightly different version of this article with photos can be found at
Movements that support Palestinian terrorism and the Iraqi resistance on American college campuses have become similar to the weather. That is, everyone talks about it, but most feel they cannot do anything about it. Last week a particularly odious “End Israeli Apartheid Week” was given venues on several American campuses, most particularly in New York, and the mainstream media nary said a word.
At the City University of New York, a Jewish student, Binyamin Rister, 19, attended an event that the CUNY administration had earlier denied was going to even take place due to no advance space reservation, but was thrown together in three days in a university facility. The presentation included a film screened by Mohammed Khatib, the International Solidarity Movement-Fatah liaison in the West Bank village of Bi’ilin, and Feryal Abu Haikal, a woman who serves a similar function for Fatah in Tel Rumeida, also in the West Bank.
The two Arab flacks, also responsible for organizing riots in the West Bank against Israel’s Security Fence to keep out terrorists, and who orchestrate riots to interfere with Israeli soldiers and police, presented a propaganda film that alleged that Israeli soldiers purposefully abuse and bother Palestinian quadriplegics and other disabled people. These events sometimes run films where Israeli soldiers are accused of using Palestinian children for target practice. Blood libel tales are common fare.
Binyamin Rister, the Jewish student, at the conclusion of the film, raised his hand and was called on. “Do you support terrorism?,” he asked. The Arab presenters refused to answer. Rister politely repeated the same question only to find himself set upon by five CUNY security cops who dragged him from his seat and removed him from the room. One officer continued holding him by the neck on the outside escalator and continually banged Rister’s head against the wall as the escalator descended. However, before they reached the bottom, the campus guard threw Rister head first down the remaining steps injuring him severely enough to be taken in a neck brace to the hospital by ambulance. This is the second time a Jewish man was beaten up at an ISM event in this country. One year ago, Georgetown University guards severely beat a 67 year-old retired police officer for also asking if the speakers supported terrorism in an exact repeat of the same scenario. Georgetown currently has an 8 million dollar personal injury lawsuit on its hands as a result.
There were seven witnesses to the unprovoked attack at CUNY, and Rister has now filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against CUNY, a taxpayer-funded college. Of note is the fact that a lawsuit filed in advance to prevent CUNY’s holding such an event as a danger to Jewish students was tossed by the judge because it was filed only a day before the event, the organizers and university having done such a good job of concealing and denying the event would even take place.
Meanwhile, across town at New York University, another Israel-bashing event was held by the same sponsors and led by ISM-NY leader and activist Patrick Connors, a shadowy Irishman who seems to have a sinecure organizing these events in New York for the ISM. Connors was arrested and deported by the Israeli authorities while using an alias as Patrick O’Connor.
At the NYU event, a film was shown and the words were constantly repeated of taking back Palestine “from the river to the sea,” which means all of Israel, not just the West Bank and Gaza. The speakers at this event were slick; no mention of violence, just calling Israel, “1948 Palestine” to make sure the message got across the goals of these people are the destruction of Israel. This was a war conference masquerading as a human rights event.
The idea of convincing American youth, on our campuses, that Israel practices apartheid akin to the former South Africa is designed to bring about an end to US support of Israel
over time while the sundry Palestinian terrorist movements ply their deadly skills on the Israeli population. Judging by the size of the crowd at the NYU meeting, about 150 people, they are gaining supporters. A college dean named Burton attended as a participant at this event that wasn’t supposed to happen, and he stopped anyone trying to film or record the proceedings despite campus rules at NYU that allow such recordings. Two people who attempted to record the event were surrounded and intimidated by big guys from the organizers’ crowd, and cash donations were accepted to go to unknown recipients. NYU rules prohibit collecting money for any group on campus except the campus group sponsoring this event, however, it was made clear the money was destined for the Palestine Authority—Hamas perhaps? The organizers refused to say.
It’s no coincidence that this week of promoting the idea of fictional Israeli apartheid is tied to the recent release of Jimmy Carter’s book that also falsely accuses Israel of apartheid. Several of Carter’s associates at his foundation at Emory University have resigned, with one history professor describing the book as “replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments.” Carter is jumping on the college “anti-apartheid theme” market with his tome, speaking soon at UC Santa Cruz in California, a campus that, by the way, has the biggest Jewish population on a college campus in the country. He will be paid from student activity money to bash Israel once again.
Khatib and Haikal are next scheduled to be at St. Mary’s College and San Jose State in Northern California disseminating the same false hate material. Not to be outdone, Stanford University’s Islamic Studies Center, in cooperation with the distinguished University’s continuing education program is planning to screen the film Valley of the Wolves- Iraq as an “educational event.” This film features Jewish US doctors at Abu Ghraib who run a business with US soldiers in Iraq by murdering innocent Iraqi civilians then harvesting their body organs to sell on the US black market in New York. The ad, put out by Stanford, states about the film:
“It has also enjoyed great popularity in Europe and the Middle East. It was due for a limited American release in December 2006, but was quietly dropped at the last minute after a letter from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Br'ith to the film's US distributors objected to ‘the incendiary anti-Jewish and anti-American themes and characters in the film.’ As a service to the Stanford academic community at large, we offer you the chance to see this important film for yourself. Non-stop screen action, intellectual stimulation, and real political controversy in one program! This is an event not to be missed.” [emphasis added].
This film is sponsored by Stanford’s Abbasi Islamic Studies Program and Continuing Education to negate the influence of those pesky Jews seeking to prevent the intellectual stimulation and expression of political views by their objecting to a blood libel propaganda film that also denigrates US soldiers. The Abbasi program website states, “Islam is poorly and inadequately understood in our country.” The film is not being shown as an example of Arab propaganda, but to influence viewers of the evils of Americans and Jews not found in American media (for good reason) to no doubt increase understanding of the “Islamic point of view.” And on Sunday, February 18th, Stanford hosts another panel of alleged Israeli army deserters who also call for the dismantling of the Jewish state.
The worldwide jihad doesn’t consist of just armed terrorists. There are financial and propaganda ways of conducting jihad, and our campus college network is providing the venues and logistical means to do so. The situation is only getting worse. If you’ve ever wondered why peace is unattainable in the Middle East, just look at American colleges to see why the jihadists feel no need to quit and end the war. Why should they if American colleges afford them the ability to turn American opinion their way in the long run to win the War on Terror?