York University in Toronto is the home of the infamous “Israel Apartheid Week” which started in 2005 and has spread to other campuses across North America over the years since. The annual Israel bashing week takes place this year March 7-11, 2011.
Josee Chiasson, Israel Experience 2010, has been in communication with the York Administration regularly petitioning to get the name changed to something such as “Middle East Peace Week” in order to be more inclusive of different perspectives on the issue. If successful, the long term goal would be to bring this change to campuses across North America. As of this report, the York Administration has said that it cannot infringe upon the student groups promoting the Israel Apartheid Week and will not keep them from giving it this deceitful and inappropriate name.
In the meantime, Josee is mobilizing student leaders and organizing pro-Israel student groups with response activities for that week March. Some examples of activities she is planning include an Israel Appreciation Day and rally during the week; setting up pro-Israel information tables in the student commons; a poster campaign; and distributing information about persecution and human rights abuses in the Middle East.