Israeli Apartheid Week, March 1 - 8, 2009

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Israeli Apartheid Week, March 1 - 8, 2009

[url=][color=mediumblue][u]Israeli Apartheid Week[/u][/color][/url]

This year, IAW occurs in the wake of Israel's barbaric assault against the people of Gaza. Lectures, films, and actions will make the point that these latest massacres further confirm the true nature of Israeli Apartheid. IAW 2009 will continue to build and strengthen the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement at a global level.

There is also a co-ordinated attempt by the right-wing Zionists and their media friends to disrupt this year's events.

[color=red][b]These events deserve your active support[/b][/color]

[url=][color=mediumblue][u]Watch the YouTube trailer[/u][/color][/url]

[b]A few of the opening events:[/b]

BETHLEHEM, PALESTINE: "Boycott, Until We Return," 'Aida Refugee Camp, 3:30

LONDON, ENGLAND: Saturday, February 28: "From South Africa to Palestine, the
Struggle Continues," SOAS, Brunei Gallery, 6 p.m.

NEW YORK: Monday, March 2: "From Johannesburg to Jerusalem: Anti-Apartheid
Organizing in the U.S.," 521 W 126 St., 7 p.m.

[color=red]MONTREAL: Sunday, March 1: "Apartheid in Canada: Indigenous Resistance on
Turtle Island," Room H-110, Hall Building, Concordia University, 7 p.m.

OTTAWA: Monday, March 2: "Political Prisoners from Turtle Island to
Palestine," Room Fauteux 232, University of Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

TORONTO: Monday, March 2: "Resisting Apartheid: Boycott, Divestment, and
Sanctions," with Omar Barghouti from Palestine, Library Room 072, 350
Victoria St., 7 p.m.

VANCOUVER: Tuesday, March 3: "Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land"
(film showing), at the Norm Theatre in the Sub, UBC, 7 p.m.[/color]

Events continue through the week.

Issues Pages: 
M. Spector M. Spector's picture


On the eve of the 33rd anniversary of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, the Palestine-Israel issue is being brought into focus. On McGill and Concordia campuses, a broad coalition of student groups has organized a week-long series of events in March as part of the international Israeli Apartheid Week. The intent of these events is to introduce students and the broader community to the analysis of Israel as an Apartheid state.

[b]The definition of the crime of Apartheid, as stated in Article Two of the ICSPCA, involves inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.[/b] The term is most commonly used to refer to the South African Apartheid, where it originated. It's relatively easy to show that the state of Israel's policies regarding its non-Jewish citizens and Palestinians under occupation also constitute an Apartheid system, and this topic should be given a thorough treatment. I believe that the the events of the IAW in Montreal achieve this, with speakers such as Ronnie Kasrils, who was directly involved in combating the Apartheid regime in South Africa as a member of the African National Congress. My intent is to convince the greater McGill community to attend these events. Three key reasons quickly come to mind:

First, it was Canada that spearheaded the imposition of economic sanctions against the Apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980s. A concerted effort by Canadian civil society including businesspeople, students, and clergy ultimately contributed to the imposition of an international economic boycott of the Apartheid regime. This culminated in a relatively peaceful end to the regime, with inclusive all-race elections occurring in 1994. Canadians should, once again, take the lead in human rights issues globally. A first step in this direction is gaining awareness of these issues and this year's IAW is an ideal opportunity.

Second, while Canada's strong record in support of human rights internationally is indisputable, human rights violations suffered by indigenous peoples here in Canada continue to this day. A specific example here in Quebec is the plight of the Barrière Lake community. One of IAW's events focusses on the issues of indigenous rights and the ongoing struggle for them in Canada.

[url= Tribune[/u][/color][/url]

aka Mycroft

Canadian politicians get more free trips to Israel than anywhere else


Israel outnumbered other destinations nearly two to one, with 74 sponsored trips, beating out Taiwan as the previous most popular country.

A report by Canada's ethics commissioner shows the Canada-Israel Committee paid more than 160,000 Canadian dollars to send 24 federal politicians on trips to Israel, often with their spouses.

Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Canada-Israel Committee, said the trips enable parliamentarians to better understand Israel's geopolitical situation.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


RAMALLAH, Mar 3 - "Standing United with the People of Gaza" is the theme of this week's Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), which kicked off in [b]Toronto and another 39 cities across the globe[/b] Sunday.

A movement to boycott Israeli goods, culture and academic institutions is [b]gaining momentum[/b] as Geneva prepares to host the UN's Anti-Racism Conference, Durban 2 next month amidst swirling controversy.

Both Canada and the U.S. are boycotting the Durban 2 conference in protest over what they perceive as a strongly anti-Israel agenda.

The first UN Anti-Racism conference, held in the South African city Durban in 2001, saw the Israeli and U.S. delegates storm out of the conference, accusing other delegates of focusing too strongly on Israel.

U.S. and Canadian support might have offered some comfort for Israel. However, international criticism of Israel's three-week bloody offensive into Gaza, which left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead and thousands more wounded, most of them civilian, [b]has breathed fresh life into a Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.[/b]

The BDS campaign followed a 2005 appeal from over 170 Palestinian civil society groups to launch a divestment campaign "as a way of bringing non- violent pressure to bear on the state of Israel to end its violations of international law."

In the wake of the BDS campaign, critics of Israel have lashed out at what they see as parallels between South Africa's former apartheid system and Israeli racism.

They point to Israel's discriminatory treatment of ethnic Palestinians within Israel who hold Israeli passports, and the extensive human rights abuses against Palestinians in the occupied territories by Israeli security forces.

During the apartheid era, ties between Israel and South Africa were extremely strong, with the Jewish state helping to train South Africa's security forces as well as supplying the regime in Pretoria with weapons.

Meanwhile, [b]Toronto, where the Israel Apartheid Week movement was born,[/b] will hold forums, film shows, cultural events and street protests to mark IAW week. One of the guest speakers is former South African intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils.



M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=][... we should all support Israeli Apartheid Week[/u][/color][/url]


I went to yesterday's opening event in Toronto, with Omar Barghouti and Naomi Klein.  It was excellent.  One thing that really stuck out for me was when Klein was talking about how the pro-Apartheid side tries to frame all the terms of the debate, not only for their own side, but for our side too.

So, they try to say that it's not legitimate for us to use this word or that word (like Apartheid, like massacre, etc.) and they try to ban our posters (like the one that was banned at Carleton), and they try to tell us that we can't call for BDS. 

And she really hit home the fact that the reason they don't want us to do any of that stuff is because it's EFFECTIVE.  Of course they don't want us to be effective.  They'd rather we talk about "collateral damage" and pretend there is equivalency on both sides even though there isn't.

Basically, the pro-Apartheid side is happy for people who support Palestinians to do or say anything - as long as it is completely ineffective at changing anything.

She encouraged everyone there to not give an inch, to not allow ourselves to be bullied into ineffectiveness.  She encouraged us to not let the pro-Apartheid side succeed at limiting our vocabulary to words that do not resonate, and limiting our actions to things that are completely ineffective. 

The reason that speech hit home with me is because we see this on babble all the time - the pro-Apartheid posts nitpicking at the legitimate words, images, and actions of Palestinian rights activists.  We need to stand up and tell them, NO.  We need to say, you can make your case, but you do not get to tell us how to make OUR case, nor do you get to tell us what actions we will take.  We will do whatever is most effective, and we don't need anyone's permission to do so, and certainly not the permission of those who support Israeli apartheid.

Oh, and of course the JDL were out in full-force, too.  (By full force, I mean maybe about 10 or 15 people.)  They were screaming "Racists off campus" as people were leaving the meeting.  I've got to say, the security detail and police (I think they were police?) that were there did their jobs really well - they kept the JDL guys at bay, while not interfering at all with the carrying out of the event. 

Any reports from other cities?


i wanted to go last night. i am trying to go to York tomorrow.


But you see I have a problem with the use of pro-apartheid to describe me. I am in favour of an true 2 state solution. always have been.


Does that mean that i am in favour of apartheid?  according to some yes. According to many more no.


aka Mycroft

Did anyone record the Barghouti/Klein talk last night (audio or video). I'd like to hear it?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url= attacks Israeli Apartheid Week[/u][/color][/url].

We must be doing something right!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I can't stand this crap in the MSM.


They learn from our actions – and our inactions. At York University and any other university where even one student feels physically threatened, professors must mobilize and – as the feminists say – take back the night.


He has some good things to say but like usual they're buried in hyperbole.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

RevolutionPlease wrote:

He has some good things to say...

And by "he" you mean that Zionist stooge that wrote the opinion in the Star?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Yes, Spector, I fell for the line that professors should take a stand, not the one he'd like, but hey.


Skinny Dipper

There are some interesting Letters to the Editor in today's Globe and Mail--one I will post below:

Markham, Ont. -- What is objectionable with Israel Apartheid Week is the terminology itself - apartheid - which connotes the vitriolic hyperbole to which Israel is constantly subjected.

If Mr. Salutin does not think there is a link between Israel and anti-Semitism, he need look no further than the desecration of synagogues across Europe during the recent Gaza conflict. Was that anti-Semitism or a protest against Israeli policies? message I get from this letter is that we should not talk about what is happening in Israel or else someone might spray-paint some swastikas on a synagogue or do something worse.  We should condemn such vandalism and violence.  However, we should not stop the discussions and debates about Israel-Palestine just because someone might try to vandalize or destroy a synagogue or potentially cause injuries to Israelis and/or Jews around the world.  We need more discussions--not less.  Without discussions, people we seek alternate measures such as violence to advocate their views.Judy Rebick also has a letter to the editor in reference to Rick Salutin.Rick Salutin's commentary.(Excuse the layout of my comment.)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


The message of Apartheid week is simple; Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) are the non-violent tools organizers are asking the world to use to end Israeli oppression. The call for BDS stems from Palestine itself initiated by 171 civil society organizations, and resembles the international support that helped end South African Apartheid a decade and a half earlier. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions is the tactic chosen in recognition that Israel, a small state depends on international support in order to maintain the subjugation of the Palestinian people. Calling on the international community to support BDS is simply asking the world to look at Palestinian suffering and say no more.  While BDS has been spreading slowly, mostly through grassroots efforts, recently major colleges, universities and unions have adopted BDS resolutions in a wave of support that will hopefully mark the beginning of the end of Israel’s apartheid regime.

Israeli Apartheid is of course not identical to South African Apartheid. As recognized by former American president Jimmy Carter, Israel Apartheid is in some ways worse, and no one is trying to claim that there are no differences in details. Israel Apartheid week highlights Israel’s particular system of ‘apartness,’ and shows how it manifests a constant state of oppression for the Palestinian people in a way the civilized world already said was unacceptable.  Holding Israeli policy in Palestine under the magnify glass makes it clear that the settlements, Jewish only roads, checkpoints, military zones, walls, and border controls, have no doubt become a permanent system of separation. Israel is not benevolently trying to protect its citizens, but purposefully setting into action a system to control large portions of Palestinian lands while subjecting the Palestinian people to a form of citizenship devoid of rights or security, in others words, Apartheid. Making the comparison between Israel and South Africa is becoming less and less controversial with not only President Carter speaking out but South African anti-Apartheid leaders Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Karils, Israeli academics Illan Pappe and Uri Davis, UN General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto Brockman, and other leaders and human rights advocates joining the chorus as well.  Thanks in part to campaigns like Israel Apartheid Week this information is finally reaching the public.

[url=][color=mediumblue][u]... Mandelzys[/u][/color][/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Skinny Dipper wrote:

Rick Salutin's commentary. has republished it [url=][color=mediumb...

M. Spector M. Spector's picture


Apartheid, meaning "apartness" in Afrikaans, was a term used to describe the legislated racial segregation of pre-1994 South Africa. Under the regime of "grand apartheid," and especially with the introduction of the 1950 Group Areas Act, white South Africans forced the displacement and denationalization of large numbers of indigenous black South Africans. The subsequent concentration of these black South Africans into a series of cramped, nominally autonomous "Bantustans" led to the creation of a white majority "democracy" within the remaining 87 per cent of the South African state.

This story is all too familiar to Palestinians who, during the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, saw the forced expulsion of 800,000 of their own people and the destruction of over 430 towns and villages. Today, Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories-the West Bank and Gaza-confront a complex network of checkpoints, walls, roadblocks, curfews, Jewish-only roads, and other tools designed to Bantustanize and ghettoize over 3.5 million Palestinians into less than 20 per cent of their historic homeland.

The establishment of this system of grand apartheid in Israel, which mirrors the South African system, has managed to create a Jewish majority in Israel and thereby artificially construct an ethnic "democracy" by displacing the majority indigenous population. The roughly 1.2 million Palestinians who remain nominal "citizens" of Israel face legislated discrimination in land-ownership, family law, and citizenship rights, while over three million Palestinian refugees expelled from historic Palestine continue to be denied the right to return.

Some have argued that the title of apartheid belongs solely to the case of South Africa. However, this is not true as the United Nations International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted in 1976, defines apartheid as a universal crime that could be committed by other states as well. Uri Davis' book Apartheid Israel provides an in-depth analysis of the links between South African and Israeli apartheid. It is very telling that colonial states with surviving indigenous populations-like Israel, Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand-all refused to sign on to the apartheid convention insisting that the crime only applied to South Africa.

[url=][color=mediumblue][u]Apartheid is not dead[/u][/color][/url]


Just noticed this rabble article by Judy Rebick and Alan Sears, entitled [url= to Minister Kenney: Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism[/color][/url].



miles wrote:

i wanted to go last night. i am trying to go to York tomorrow.

But you see I have a problem with the use of pro-apartheid to describe me. I am in favour of an true 2 state solution. always have been.

does that mean that i am in favour of apartheid? according to some yes. According to many more no.

Just wanted to say


and express my support & near-infinite respect for everybody who has stepped out, against massive mainstream opposition, to support the Palestinians.

personally i think the best solution for the Palestinians is to concede the territory of Palestine to Israel, and to buy equivalent land in the region for displaced Palestinian families & farmers. for example, for those that lost a 2 hectare farm to Israel, to give them or their descendants a 2 hectare farm in the Mediterranean area.

from looking at a map of Israel, we're talking about an area of about 100,000 square miles - 500 miles by 200 miles (approximately).

that's a lot of land - but then again, Israel could allocate half of the monies they receive from the US for military purposes ($3 billion a year) - that $1.5 billion would buy a lot of land.

as long as the Palestinians are in the Gaza strip, they will be treated cruelly and held hostage by Israel.

this would also be consistent with Israel's objectives, if they truly want peace - Palestinians who have good farming land are less likely to become suicide bombers.

overall, i ask the question - if people had trouble getting along when resources were plenty, what reason is there to believe that they will get along when resources are scarce ?

as it is, the Gaza is a concentration camp that makes the worse parts of LA look like an oasis.

overall, i perceive that the "master plan" that the US & Israel have for Arab & Muslim populations is Genocide & population reduction - as evidenced by the Iraq War, the War on/of Terror, and the use of Depleted Uranium in the region.

therefore, the best plan for the Palestinians is to get them out of harm's way - which means, for them to live somewhere that they are not under the jurisdiction or hateful eye of Israel.

endless debates about one-state/ two-state are meaningless, however well-intentioned. Israel is not going to give up the land, and young Israeli's, who have lived with occasional Hamas military attacks all their lives, all of whom are required to serve in the Israeli military, are not going to suddenly stop hating Arabs. Let the Israeli's hate Arabs all they want - as long they stop KILLING THEM, and stop visiting wounded Palestinians in Israeli hospitals to recruit them to spy on their own people.


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Cueball Cueball's picture

wwSwimming wrote:
miles wrote:

i wanted to go last night. i am trying to go to York tomorrow.

But you see I have a problem with the use of pro-apartheid to describe me. I am in favour of an true 2 state solution. always have been.

does that mean that i am in favour of apartheid? according to some yes. According to many more no.

Just wanted to say

personally i think the best solution for the Palestinians is to concede the territory of Palestine to Israel, and to buy equivalent land in the region for displaced Palestinian families & farmers. for example, for those that lost a 2 hectare farm to Israel, to give them or their descendants a 2 hectare farm in the Mediterranean area.

That is nice of you to make that offer on their behalf. In point of fact the Palestinians did concede everything up to the 1967 border in 1994. We are still waiting for the powers that be in Israel to take up this most generous offer.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Canadians who contribute to Zionist fundraising campaigns for Israel may be interested to see how some of their money is being used.

Like for example "Canada Park" in the occupied West Bank.


As spring sets in early, Israelis have been pouring into one of the country’s most popular leisure spots. Visitors to [b]Canada Park[/b], a few kilometers north-west of Jerusalem, enjoy its spectacular panaromas, woodland paths, mountain-bike trails, caves and idyllic picnic areas.

A series of signs describe the historical significance of the landscape, as well as that of a handful of ancient buildings, in terms of their Biblical, Roman, Hellenic and Ottoman pasts. Few, if any, visitors take notice of the stone blocks that litter sections of the park.

But Eitan Bronstein, director of Zochrot (Remembering), is committed to educating Israelis and foreign visitors about the park’s hidden past — its Palestinian history.

[b]“In fact, though you would never realise it, none of this park is even in Israel,”[/b] he told a group of 40 Italians on a guided tour this past weekend. [b]“This is part of the West Bank captured by Israel during the 1967 war.[/b] But the presence of Palestinians here — and their expulsion — is entirely missing from the signs.”

Zochrot also seeks to remind Israelis of the Nakba, the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during Israel’s creation in 1948.

Its tours are not popular with most Israelis, suggesting, he says, [b]how far they still are from understanding the territorial compromises needed to reach the kind of peace agreement with the Palestinians currently being promoted by the new US administration....[/b]

The 2,000 Palestinians living there, along with the 3,500 inhabitants of two other villages, Yalu and Beit Nuba, were expelled as the Israeli army captured this area of the West Bank from Jordan. Today, they and their descendants live as refugees, mostly in East Jerusalem and near Ramallah.

[b]In place of the three villages, a park was created by an international Zionist organization, the Jewish National Fund, paid for with $15 million in charitable donations from Canadian Jews....[/b]

Similar parks across Israel have been established on the ruins of other Palestinian villages but, in those cases, the destruction was a result of the war of 1948 that founded Israel....

[b]But Canada Park is far more sensitive for Israel because it lies outside the country’s internationally recognized borders.[/b] The Palestinian inhabitants’ expulsion, Mr Bronstein said, was a [b]premeditated act of ethnic cleansing[/b] of villagers who put up no resistance....

Uzi Narkiss, a leading general in the 1967 war, vowed that the Latrun salient would never be returned. Establishing Canada Park was Israel’s way of secretly annexing the territory, Zochrot says....

Zochrot is considering widening its campaign by [b]alerting Canadian donors to the fact that their money has been used – in contravention of international law — effectively to annex a section of the West Bank to Israel.[/b] Mr Bronstein believes many are unaware of the use their donations have been put to.

[url= Cook[/u][/color][/url]

aka Mycroft

The same applied at the largest Montréal demonstration against the recent Gaza massacre, when Lysiane Gagnon attempted to frame it as a confrontation between Jews and Muslims or Jews and non-Jews. There were FAR more Jews, in organised groups (our version of Independent Jewish Voices, Palestinians and Jews United etc) and among other demonstrators I know than the tiny rump group of the "Quebec-Israel Committee". The spokesperson for the latter is a fellow of (Catholic) Italian descent, Luciano Del Negro.

aka Mycroft
M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Ronnie Kasrils spoke at several events in Canada during Israeli Apartheid Week.

You can see and hear the speech he gave in Vancouver March 8 [url=][color=mediumblue][u]online here.[/u][/color][/url]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture


The Israeli government has launched a television and internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.

Israel gets tough on intermarriage