Maariv: “Muslim Woman, Israel’s Secret Weapon To Counter Apartheid Week”
Wednesday March 07, 2012 05:11 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Israeli paper Maariv published a report stating that a Muslim woman from Dir Hanna Arab town, north of the country, is part of an Israeli team that was set up to counter the “Israeli Apartheid Week” held in colleges in South Africa.
Bushra Khalayla, a young Muslim woman who wears a hijab, stated that she is active with this team in countering international campaigns meant to highlight Israel’s apartheid policies and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Maariv’s reporter, Erick Bender, reported that this young Arab woman is “part of Israel’s secret media weapon," adding that Khalayla “enthusiastically defends Israel, and its legitimacy."
According to the Israeli report, Khalayla also talks to Arab students in Johannesburg, telling them that she is an “Arab, Muslim woman who lives in her country, Israel, and enjoys equal right like any other citizen of the country."
According to Maariv, Khalayla stated that she was lucky to be born in an open and liberal home, and that her husband supports her in all of her activities.
Israel started in recent years an extensive campaign meant to recruit students to campaign in foreign colleges around the world, including in South Africa, meant at countering pro-Palestinian campaigns that expose the illegal Israeli violations, and apartheid policies against the Arabs and Palestinians.
The campaign is mainly meant to counter pro-Palestinian activities that promote the academic boycott in international campuses.
This is happening while some senior Israeli political leaders, even from the far right, are admitting, from time to time, that Arabs in the country are facing discrimination, and are not fully equal with Jewish Israelis.
Saed Bannoura (b. 1973) is a Palestinian journalist working for the Bethlehem-based IMEMC (www.imemc.org). Saed currently lives in the United States.
The International Middle East Media Center: IMEMC is a media center developed in collaboration between Palestinian and International journalists to provide independent media coverage of Israel-Palestine. IMEMC was founded by the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People in 2003. (www.pcr.ps)
03.07.2012 - 1:00
As Israel Apartheid Week circumnavigates the globe this month, a Jordan-based Palestinian journalist has offered an eloquent rebuttal that every Israel supporter should memorize and quote. If Israel is really an “apartheid state,” asks Ramzi Abu Hadid, “Why has it become the dream of many Arab Christians and Muslims to emigrate to the ‘apartheid state’? Is it possible that all these people are uninformed? Or do they really know the truth about Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East?”
Specifically, he noted, “thousands of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip … try to infiltrate into Israel every morning in search of work and a better life,” while “tens of thousands of Arabs and Muslims have put their lives at risk by crossing the border into Israel from Egypt, where border guards often open fire at women and children.” In addition, “many Christian families from Bethlehem and even the Gaza Strip have moved to live in Israel because they feel safer in the ‘apartheid state’ than they do among their Muslim ‘brothers.’”
Abu Hadid doesn’t provide hard numbers, but the data amply prove his claims. During the first 11 months of last year alone, for instance, 13,851 illegal migrants entered Israel from Sinai; the biggest contingents were Muslim refugees from Sudan and Eritrea. And the risk of being shot by Egyptian guards is just one of the dangers they braved to reach “the apartheid state”: Migrants also face horrific abuse from the Sinai Bedouin who smuggle them over the border.
As for Palestinians, those who “try to infiltrate into Israel every morning” are only part of the story. To that, add the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have moved to Jerusalem in recent years rather than remain on the Palestinian side of Israel’s West Bank security barrier. Then add the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have sought and obtained Israeli citizenship by marrying Israeli Arabs.
Altogether, some 350,000 Palestinians have acquired citizenship through “family reunification” since Israel’s founding in 1948, according to veteran journalist Nadav Shragai. But the numbers surged following the 1993 Oslo Accord – i.e., precisely when Palestinian statehood for the first time looked like a real possibility: In 1994-2002, fully 137,000 Palestinians acquired Israeli citizenship through marriage. The numbers have since dropped drastically, but that isn’t because Palestinian demand has fallen: It’s because in 2003, Israel enacted new restrictions on family reunification in response to the second intifada.
Abu Hadid’s argument also has a flip side, as he himself noted: Unlike Israel, many of its Arab neighbors do engage in legalized discrimination against Palestinians. In Jordan, for instance, “the government has been trying to strip thousands of us Palestinians of our Jordanian citizenship – a move Israel never made against its Christians and Muslims.” He might also have mentioned a long list of other discriminatory practices: Until recently, for instance, Jordan barred Palestinians from Gaza from owning property or working in any job except manual labor and farming, while Lebanon also bars Palestinians from owning property or working in a long list of professions.
In short, the simplest response to the “apartheid” charge is the one Americans once used to counter Soviet propaganda: Just look at the direction of the population flow. It turns out Arabs and Muslims are voting with their feet in favor of the “apartheid state.”
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Mar 07, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement on 'Israeli Apartheid Week':
"Like many Canadians I am concerned with the rise of anti-Israel activities on campuses across Canada, culminating in the so-called 'Israeli Apartheid Week' (IAW), which is often promoted in a manner that disregards the rights and safety of Jewish students and professors.
"Universities are meant to offer an environment in which academic discourse can take place freely. Jewish faculty and students have the right to engage in this debate without feeling the need to conceal their identity, or to self-censor.
"The irony of this week cannot be overlooked. While singling out the only liberal democracy in the Middle East for condemnation, the organizers of IAW ignore Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's brutal slaughter of his own people and the suppression of basic human rights in many countries around the globe.
"Debate over Israeli policy is legitimate and encouraged through academic dialogue. However, there is a point at which well-intentioned debate is overrun by hatred and intolerance, creating a toxic environment that prevents meaningful dialogue on important issues from taking place.
"The organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week use the cover of academic freedom to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel. In reality, this week is nothing more than an unbalanced attempt to paint Israel and her supporters as racist. This week runs contrary to Canadian values of tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding.
"As Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I call on all Canadians to reject anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, discrimination and intolerance, which are unacceptable and completely contrary to Canada's fundamental values."
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.
Ana Curic Minister's Office Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-954-1064 Media Relations Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Opposition to Israeli Apartheid Week grows
Monica Martinez, Global News : Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:18 PM
Israeli Apartheid Week has been called “offensive” and “anti-Semitic” by the Prime Minister.
Tuesday, Liberal leader Bob Rae said it continues to defy logic.
In the last several days, two Saskatchewan Members of Parliament have also spoken out against the University of Regina’s Israeli Apartheid Week, calling it simplistic, prejudicial and insulting to all Israeli citizens.
Student Melissa Stevens thinks the event is a sign of racism on campus.
“It is very, very disguised but I do believe it’s there,” she said.
As a Jewish person, she is offended by the word apartheid.
“I understand that there is segregation going on but it is a war zone. In any war zone, you can’t travel through occupied territory of the other side and expect to be let through without proof of citizenship and without proof of who you are,” Stevens said.
She is also offended by a poster showing an Israeli tank driving over Palestinian faces.
“I think many people make take (the poster) literally and therefore think that Israeli’s are maybe evil.”
But Israeli Apartheid Week member Kelsey Rose said prominent leaders have also used the apartheid label.
“Former president Nelson Mandela refers to the Palestinian situation as apartheid. Desmond Tutu, the archbishop also refers to it as apartheid,” Rose said.
The organization said it has the right to raise awareness on Israeli policies towards Palestinians.
“We espouse the principals of international law, equality, and human rights. I think that is the exact opposite of racism. Saying that it’s a form of hate speech probably stems from a lack of education and facts on the ground,” he said.
The University of Regina president Vianne Timmons said the institution remains independent of the event.
“A university is a place to debate hard issues. It’s a place to have those difficult conversations, but having speakers that provide their views do not represent the University of Regina’s views,” said Timmons.
She said students are exercising their right to free speech and so far, no one has crossed any lines.
But opposition to the event grows.
On Monday, Member of Parliament David Anderson, who is also an alumni was the second Saskatchewan MP to speak out against the event.
“I was very disappointed to hear that my alma mater is experiencing anti-Semitic activities. Calling Israel an apartheid state is abhorrent and insulting to all Israeli citizens – Jewish, Christian and Muslim,” Anderson said.
Stevens hopes moving forward, the event may have a different name with awareness activities that show both sides of the issue.
© Shaw Media Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.
U OF O WATCH - CREATING TRANSPARENCY
Today Faculty for Palestine put out this call:
*URGENT CALL FOR SOLIDARITY: UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA TRIES TO SILENCE SOLIDARITY FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS (SPHR) AND WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!*
Defend the right to critical discussion around Israeli apartheid on our campuses! Call on the University of Ottawa Administration to uphold free expression and follow clear and transparent procedures.
On March 5th, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) 2012 opened at the University of Ottawa to a packed room, as students, faculty, and community members were treated to an informative lecture entitled “Arab Spring, Apartheid Falls? The Egyptian Uprising and Possibilities for Palestinian Resistance.” It featured an Egyptian activist who played an important role in the revolution that overthrew the Egyptian dictatorship, as well as a community activist from Montreal (for full schedule, see: http://ottawa.apartheidweek.org/
Moreover, two students from the organizing committee were harassed by unidentified individuals, who on several occasions attempted to intimidate SPHR and Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) just outside the lecture hall during the event.
On March 6th, a member of SPHR received an email from Conventions and Reservations Services at the University of Ottawa telling her that their room booking for Thursday’s Keynote IAW event is now “on hold”, that SPHR “may not continue with this event for now”, and that SPHR's contract was being forwarded to “Protection Service for evaluation.” These heavy-handed measures are because of an unnamed “incident” that supposedly occurred at Monday’s event. When members of SPHR met with the University administration, they were not told what this “incident” was (see below for full email from U of O). The very fact that the organizers were put in a situation, where their event was threatened with cancellation, is a form of intimidation from the University of Ottawa administration.
In 2009, the Administrations at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University banned the international-used IAW poster, gaining national and international headlines. SPHR and SAIA see today's email as another attempt to silence the voices of students who advocate for Palestinian human rights. When the IAW poster was banned in 2009, we stood up and fought back with all of your support.
In response to this email:
Email sent to SPHR from University of Ottawa:
Hello [SPHR member],
Following the incident that occurred during your event in Fauteux 147A on March 5th 2012, your event scheduled for March 8th in Hagen 302 from 18:00 to 23:00 is on hold therefore in ''Pending'' mode. You may not continue with this event for now. Also, I urgently need you to provide the name of the speaker(s) who spoke on the 5th of March as well as the ones that are scheduled to speak on the 8th of March 2012 in Hagen 302. This information needs to be provided to me no later than today. Also, I am forwarding your contract to Protection Services for evaluation. Again, you may not proceed with your event in Hagen 302 on the 8th of March until I confirm.
Please respond to this email promptly
Agent de coordination, Coordination agent
Service de congrès et réservations / Conventions and Reservations Service
UofOWatch Note: The last time this happened the CCLA wrote THIS
stern letter of reprimand to Allan Rock. This time, the CCLA boss isNathalie Des Rosiers
, whose salary is paid by the University of Ottawa.
The National, United Arab Emirates
It may all be academic, but the US is shifting on Palestine