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Stav Nitka Nakash

Apartheid Week: The role of Biased Politics on Campus

Last week marked the ninth annual “Israel Apartheid Week” (IAW) during which organizers planned several events aimed at demonstrating solidarity with Palestinians in their resistance to Israeli occupation by asserting Israel engages in apartheid.The victims of the South African apartheid should be appalled at how loosely a term used to express a political system of racial segregation is being thrown around. Let’s compare.The Arab population within Israeli borders constitutes 20.4% of the total population, enjoying full civil and democratic rights, holding Israeli passports and openly participating in federal elections of the only true democracy in the Middle East. In the South African apartheid, black political parties and black candidates were illegal. During the latest Israeli elections, Three Arab political parties elected 12 Members of Knesset to government and represent 10% of the Israeli legislative assembly. In South Africa under apartheid, black judges were illegal. There has been an Arab Israeli on the Supreme Court of Israel since 2004 and Arabs hold several judicial positions throughout the different levels of the judiciary. There are even Arab officers and generals in the Israeli Army. Despite the tension emphasized by the media, who sells news based on its level of catastrophe, the Israeli Arab population which does not engage in terrorist activities is embraced and integrated into Israeli society.  Besides the blatantly false use of the word “apartheid”, IAW generates an adversarial and intimidating environment for those who might have opposing views and has no place on university campuses. Universities claim to be a hub for freedom of speech and expression and learning of various differing opinions, yet when speakers with opposing views are invited to deliver their speeches, events take a turn for the worse. In 2002, at Concordia University in Montreal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was prevented from delivering a… Read More