Written by Student Rights on 1 March 2010 at 1pm

'Israel Apartheid Week’ on London campus

This week, A Tel Aviv University professor is set to open this year’s “Israel Apartheid Week” taking place at three London university campuses. In a talk titled 'Anatomy of rule in the occupied Palestinian territories', Adi Ophir, author of the book 'The Power of Inclusive Exclusion: Anatomy of Israeli Rule in the Occupied Palestinian Territories', will share a platform with Sari Hanafi, an associate professor of sociology at the American University of Beirut.

The event has been strongly condemned and deemed as a “crass campaign” by the National Union of Students. “I do not recognise the description of Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state” said NUS president Wes Streeting. “Crass campaigns like this do little to promote the cause of peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The Union of Jewish Students will be running a national Israel awareness week on campuses in March, which I hope will give people a more accurate picture of life in Israel.

“Hosting events which do more to drive a stake between ‘pro-Israel’ and ‘pro-Palestine’ students is both unconstructive and irresponsible,” said Raheem Kassam, national director of anti-racism campaign group Student Rights. “Never before have we been in a position to so easily bring people around a table to have practical and positive discourse on these issues, and instead we see downbeat, detrimental movements which achieve very little.”

There are all sorts of ways to debate international affairs on campus as elsewhere, but it is entirely unacceptable that institutions paid for by the tax-payer should continue to receive funding when they sponsor and host hate-fests like those taking place in London next week” said Douglas Murray, director of the London think tank Centre for Social Cohesion.

[taken from the Jerusalem Post]