Report from the Twilight Zone
The long-anticipated (by its organizers) Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) started this evening. The opening event, Interrogating Apartheid: Campus as a Site of Resistance, was held at the University of Toronto. The speakers were the notorious Judy Rebick, Abigail Bakan (Queen’s University professor) and a Palestinian girl from Students Against Israeli Apartheid whose name I missed. Two self-hating Jews and an Arab – nothing unusual so far.
The organizers were ecstatic that their event has spread this year to such countries as Venezuela and Mexico. They made it clear that IAW is not just about Israel. The same concept should be applied to the “indigenous peoples” of Canada. They are victims of the continuing “colonial project” (how do they come up with those wacky terms?). Native people are isolated in reservations and their land is being taken away to build golf courses. Still, they keep resisting and we must support them in their efforts to decolonize Canada. In this way, their struggle is identical to the Palestinian struggle.
(Message from Planet Earth: the Native people can begin by growing grains or vegetables on their land or start businesses, for which they will not pay any taxes on the reservations. Or they can leave those places and find jobs like anybody else – nobody is forcing them to stay there and live on welfare)
Judy Rebick made a spectacular entrance with her enthusiasm about IAW. It turns out she was a visionary – she noticed the apartheid as early as 1969 when, as a student, her father sent her to Israel. When she came back, she gave him shit (her exact word) and explained to him what a discriminatory country Israel was.
She also found the term “Israeli apartheid” brilliant as a propaganda tactic, because every time it is mentioned, the other side must use it as well when trying to distance itself from it. (This is plain stupid: if I wrongly accuse somebody of being a crook and he uses the word when defending himself, how’s that helping my case?)
She lamented that IAW is a subject of intimidation and the free speech rules are not applied to it. The government and the university administration are harassing and threatening students and other participants. (I wish that was true, their lies don’t deserve anything else) However, despite the persecution, the IAW success has been phenomenal.
The movement is dignified and avoids any excesses; all issues are discussed in a calm way. The charge of anti-Semitism is totally groundless and is designed to scare people away. More and more young Jewish people in Canada and other countries turn against Israel and that is not a sign of anti-Semitism. (Really?!)
The media completely ignores the event. Even Stephen Harper himself is opposed to it. In a speech concerning the Coalition against the new anti-Semitism, he allegedly stated that the event is thinly veiled anti-Semitism and nobody confronted his opinion. (Nice!)
The main victory this year is that nobody tried to stop IAW. And with the wave of revolutions in North Africa, which will spread democracy throughout the area, the IAW’s cause is going to advance even more. That situation would dramatically change the position of the American imperialism in the region. (Of course – with so many Muslim barbarians coming to power, you may expect even worse events.)
So, we must be optimistic and fight the apartheid, especially through “divestment”. Withholding money from the Israeli industry would eventually stop the Israeli military machine.
The next speaker, Prof. Abigail Bakan, was supposed to play the role of the smart person in the event. She started by emphasizing the strong support for IAW by the Canadian Arab Federation, KAIROS, student organizations, women and transvestite organizations, Queers against Israeli apartheid, unions, etc.
In her attempt to explain how the term “apartheid” applies to Israel, she demonstrated the uncanny ability of the social sciences to take an empty word and twist it around into even emptier concept (yes, that’s possible!). Although the idea originated in South Africa, many scientists now are applying it to variety of situations. Regions with different economic development in any country are marred by economic apartheid. The classes and poverty in urban Canada are a sign of apartheid. And so is colonialism in the widest meaning of the term.
According to different opinions, Israel is going through an accelerated process of “Bantustanization” which started either in 1948 or 1967. Israel is an apartheid state, but its leaders don’t want to admit it. The other world leaders are also aiding that cover-up. They consider Israel a unique state, but at the bottom of all that is Zionism, which in its essence is a secular doctrine. Its purpose is to create a state for the Jewish people. Zionism is anti-democratic, because in Israel it gives priority to the Jewish people, while under democracy everyone has the same position. The Israeli apartheid is a “racialized” structure. (This “theoretical” mess conveniently misses the point that all Israeli citizens have exactly the same rights regardless of religion, race or nationality.)
Since the world governments and the UN would not solve the problem, it’s important to work at grassroots level by boycotting Israel to achieve several goals – dismantling the wall, return of all refugees, destruction of the settlements, etc. The campus is extremely important in that struggle, because it is a site of resistance.
Canada now has many students and the education is becoming more expensive. Because of that, the students have the right to ask where the money goes. That is a major tool of pressure. (Other than paying for the education, the money goes to feed the countless union parasites, who are abundant on campus. Is this so difficult to figure out?)
Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney think that IAW is a hate fest, but they don’t know what democracy is. We should not worry about them, we must persist in our work even if we have insufficient resources. (Why is that people like her, who have never held a meaningful job, always claim to know the best recipes for ruling the country?)
Last came the heavy artillery – the Palestinian girl from Students Against Israeli Apartheid, who provided the right course of action for destroying the evil Israeli Empire.
She repeated the same laments that the others had – Israel doesn’t want to recognize the apartheid, the Palestinians are in a situation of constant resistance, 7.2 million of them are anxiously waiting to invade Israel. At the same time Israel is building settlements and discriminating against its citizens, the fact they have voting rights doesn’t matter. (The interesting thing was that none of the speakers bothered to explain how exactly Israel discriminates its citizens.)
Israel survives only because of international support, if we undermine the support, Israel will collapse. In pursuit of this “noble” goal, her organization dug into the pension investments of the University of Toronto and discovered investments in four evil corporations, which should be “divested” right away:
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Hewlett Packard Co.
Lockheed Martin Corporation
It’s nice to see that SAIA have expanded their horizons, until recently people like them were satisfied to boycott coffee shops, shoe stores and bike co-ops. Now they are after the big fish, although one can’t help but wonder what moral right students have to mess up with the university pension funds?
The University of Toronto has invested $1,746,000 in BAE Systems, $1,157,000 in Northrop Grumman and undisclosed amounts in the other two companies.
What is the rage about? HP is involved in technology used at the Israeli checkpoints, which supposedly aides the blockade. They also sell computers to the Israeli Army. (Gee, I didn’t know that Israel is supposed to let the terrorists roam free. And maybe their army could use Russian abacuses instead of computers.)
The other three companies are involved in producing parts for fighter jets, missiles and other army technology. The dealings with those companies “violate” several laws (you can see the list below).
Based on that, they demanded the investments in those companies to be dropped immediately, with some additional demands:
This is what you get when you mix academic stupidity with business. All four companies produce legitimate products used by many countries. Israel uses them strictly for defence – the checkpoints have stopped many terrorists and the weapons were used only after Hamas and Hezbollah sent thousands of rockets into Israel.
A pension fund has only one purpose – to get maximum return for its beneficiaries. If you add to the mix imaginary social and ethical considerations, the results are always disastrous.
Years ago I did the “right” by investing in a “green” mutual fund. It was a pure loss. Some of those companies are outright scams run by “global warming” swindlers like Al Gore and Paul Watson. Others use their “green status” to justify their disastrous management. If you try to hold them accountable, the answer is always the same: “What?! You want profits?! You should be happy that you are saving the planet!”
Probably the University of Toronto would have to “invest” in McGuinty’s windmills to keep the anti-Israeli gang happy…
During the Q&A session, the organizers proudly announced that a grand total of 110 faculty members from Canada have signed the “divestment” petition. And they are not only sociologists! There are also political scientists, Middle Eastern studies scholars, anthropologists. (Isn’t it all the same?)
Before the Q&A session they announced again that priority would be given to women, queers, persons of colour and aboriginals. (I have always found that fascinating. What kind of a man, other than on the receiving end of BDSM, would allow to be treated like that?) The first one to ask a question was a pale white guy with red hair. He had to wait for a while to make sure that no queers and people of colour have any questions. It turned out he was a militant Trotskyite and he condemned their cause – the real purpose was to unite the working class against the Canadian imperialism, which occupies Afghanistan, against the Hamas dictatorship and all other exploiters. Needless to say, his point didn’t fly well with the Hamas crowd.
Another interesting question was asked by a very, very hijabbed woman of Palestinian background. While attending a class, they had a political discussion and a Jewish student called her views anti-Semitic. She wanted to know how to handle such a situation.
An elderly gentleman, who probably worked for the university, replied that there was a mechanism to deal with that. Calling someone “anti-Semite” is some kind of a violation (I forgot the politically correct term he used). If somebody does that, she should ask the professor if he wants to complacent with that violation that should make him or her act.
So the message to the Jews is clear – don’t respond when you are offended, the Muslims are above you.
The circus continues tomorrow…