Israel Apartheid Week makes me extremely feel discriminated against.
As a student at York University, having to walk through a place of higher learning and be bombarded with lies and accusation against my country of origin not only makes me feel extremely intimidated on campus, but also has me resent my future alma-matter. While I am a strong believer in intellectual discourse and criticizing all forms of government, I would like to believe that a University campus would place a higher value on intellectual discourse and suspend information based on accusations and falsehoods.
Israel is a free and democratic country, providing equal rights to all citizens regardless of race, religion and creed. Allowing a platform to spread lies about this state is not only insulting to supporters of Israels, but for educated people everywhere.
IAW makes me feel unsafe and discriminated against
because it outwardly discriminates against a country, its people, and religion. It is appaling that the York administration allows this event to take place. The protestors are malicious, slanderous, and behave like savages. Pro Israel organizations on campus do not hold an anti-arab / anti-terrorism week, which would actually produce an educational and factually based program. Why is York administation providing a platform to spread hate and lies? I respectfully request that the York administration reconsider their stance on this matter and remind themselves that there is a very thin line between “Free Speech” and Hate speech.
Israel Apartheid Week has made me feel unsafe and discriminated against because of the hostility throughout the campus, that is even felt amongst students in class. Even when certain people walk by in the hallways or libraries, just from the looks you know what people are thinking. University should be a place of knowledge and reason, not a place of blind following and lies. I want to be able to walk on campus and not feel that the people around me are being fed ridiculous made up statements, and worse- believing them. This is in no way beneficial for the students at York, or progress in general.
Israel Apartheid Week has made me feel unsafe and discriminated against because it creates a hostile atmosphere whereby my beliefs are attacked vehemently and I am derided for holding Zionist beliefs. Through their misrepresentation of fact and hate-based rhetoric the participants in Israel Apartheid Week are misleading students into hating Israel and Zionists and this can create tension throughout the school if one were to express their Zionist v
Israel Apartheid Week has made me feel unsafe and discriminated against because it targets Israel AND Israelis as criminals and barberians. A citizen of a country should be free to walk through his campus without being labeled as a criminal (due to the branding that IAW gives Israeli AND Israelis. IAW must distinguish itself from being anti-Israel to being anti-government of Israel. Otherwise, Israelis with no connection to its government’s policies will continue to be intimidated on campus without any merit.
IAW has made me feel both unsafe and discriminated against not only for the political views that I hold but also because of the religion that I adhere to. IAW is a week that is not looking for truth, depiction of fact, dialogue, or cooperation. It is a week that people vent their rage. That rage is not only directed at the Jewish State (which already alienates Israelis on campus), but Jews in general. It is not uncommon to find anti-Semitic slurs during the protests.
IAW is nothing more than a cover for century-old Antisemitism. The havens of ‘free speech’ and ‘academic freedom’ are used in order to shelter hate mongers from being prosecuted.
Any true critic of Israel is willing to talk about the issues. IAW enables nothing of the sort.
The future of both the Israeli and Palestinian people must be worked out through diplomatic means, meaning talks. Israel Apartheid Week kills that chance.
Israel Apartheid Week has made me feel unsafe and discriminated against because when they call Israel an apartheid state, an immediate connection is made to the Jews and the anger that people feel when they listen to the IAW campaign comes out against us. The graffitti found in a washroom at York is a perfect example of the hate that IAW can spawn. It said, “Boycott Israeli Apartheid”, someone else wrote, “Why” and the reply was “So we don’t let the Jews get away with everything.” How much more clear can the connection be? These false accusations of boycott are irresponsible and it’s foolish to continue to sit back and watch as words turn into action. At their kickoff rally for IAW two years ago, the crowd shouted, “Amandallah intifada!” This word, Intifada, is what is known as the period of time when terrorist attacks in Israel happened almost every week. The university has allowed this kind of language and I hold them responsible for what has happened against the Jewish community at York. A student was kicked out of his classroom for wearing a shirt with the Israeli Defense Force emblem and the school has done nothing. Students were barricaded in the Hillel office by YFS supporters with current president, Krisna Saravanamuttu, at the head and the university fined him a few hundred dollars. What more has to happen before York’s administration treats this issue with the severity it deserves? Does someone have to be physically harmed?
The anti-Israel demonstrations at York that happens during the Israel Apartheid Week make me feel unsafe and discriminated against. The week is used as an excuse to throw insults and only serves to create more tension. Many of the people that participate in these rallies are venting their frustrations in hostile ways at ME.
I have a lot of sympathy for the palestinians who suffer yet these demonstrations pit me against them. They leave no room for understanding the truth about the conflict, they are just a propaganda demonstration that leaves me feeling threatened and slandered.
About a month ago I read something on the Internet and a question popped into my mind. “Do Arabs feel threatened by Israelis or Jews since I feel threatened by the anti-Israeli demonstrations at York?” Later that day, while waiting outside my class a couple of girls were discussing IAW. I introduced myself as a Jew (I am completely secular so you can’t tell by just looking at me) with an Israeli mother said hello and posed my question. Their answer was that they do not feel threatened. I think the fact they didn’t feel threatened while I, who totally blends into the crowd, do speaks volumes about a growing problem of discrimination and stress at York
I implore the university to bring back order in these demonstrations, to enforce participants to act with courtesy and open forward thinking discussion rather than hate, and at the very least to CHANGE the name of the week to something less hateful, like “Palestinian awareness week” etc.
What is happening in Israel is not ‘apartheid’, it is a very complicated conflict. Throwing heated (and untrue) words into the mix only serves to further complicate the situation. Please do something to change intentional focus of hate to something productive.
IAW makes me feel unsafe or discriminated against because my religion, my belief, my homeland and my life is being attacked. I do not feel safe to walk through the halls. Since I am a religious Jew, I am targeted and attacked. IAW makes me feel like an outsider.
Current York undergraduate student
To the members of the administration,
Please stop allowing there to be an Israel Apartheid Week on campus. The hateful term apartheid has become synonymous with Israel, and now associates the country with an evil that it does not deserve. As a strong Israel supporter, I feel discriminated against when people on campus spread hateful, biased lies against a country that represents the only true democracy in the Middle East, where people are free to be of any religion, race, or sexual orientation. I do not think it is right that all three major political parties of Canada condemn the pairing of Israel with apartheid yet our university still allows this hate propaganda to continue.
Please stop the hate.