Responding to Israel Apartheid Week

Israeli Apartheid Week 2011 will be held during the first and second weeks in March worldwide. A variety of U.S. campuses will hold events, host speakers, screen films and construct “apartheid” walls and checkpoints on campus. The cookbook is pleased to provide you with facts, recommendations for strategy formation, examples of posters and signs, programing ideas to hold an Israel Peace Week and additional resources.

In response to Apartheid Week, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN Dore Gold concludes:

“Israel Apartheid Week is not about respect for human rights; it is an incredibly hypocritical initiative that ignores the apartheid practiced by the Palestinians themselves, who make the sale of land to Jews punishable by death. It is also not a movement dedicated to making peace, but rather to denying the historical rights of the Jewish people.”

What should you do? First, get the facts:

Learn about the apartheid myth

Check out “On One Foot” by Dr. Mitchell Bard. Frame the argument in your favor.

See what students did to confront Apartheid Week in 2010: Pro-Israel groups set to counter campus apartheid claims:
  • They coordinated a speaking tour by Israeli soldiers to counter claims that the Israel Defense Forces engaged in widespread misconduct during 2009 offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
  • Hasbara Fellowships, a campus Israel group affiliated with the outreach group Aish Hatorah, promoted a film about anti-Semitism on campus through the Web site Campus Intifada
  • In Canada, where Israel Apartheid Week activity is often far more intense than in the United States, a pro-Israel initiative called Size Doesn’t Matter enjoyed a brief spell of notoriety when it released a sexually suggestive video that spoofed Israel’s smallness.
  • The pro-Israel PR house BlueStar released a poster with information about how to cure “Anis” — Anti-Israel Fixation Syndrome

Then, formulate a strategy:

  • Decide what is best for your campus. How will you have the greatest impact? Should you react to the false claims of Apartheid Week at your school, or would it be more effective to be proactive and set the agenda both before, during and after Apartheid Week?
  • If a reactionary approach is best for your campus, try some of the following ideas:
    • Invite speakers to educate the campus about Israel
    • Create programs and counter-programs
    • Protest the events which take place on your campus
    • Posters: Think carefully about what kinds of posters/signs you want to use and consider their impact. Think about what is going to be an effective message for your campus.
    • Write op-eds to defend Israel and portray BDS for what it really is
    • See some examples of succesful responses
  • If a proactive approach is best for your campus, try these:

Positive Programming Ideas (From Israel Peace Week)

  • Themes
    • The US-Israel Relationship
    • Israel Wants Peace
    • Think Green. Think Blue.
    • Israel: A Beacon of Human Rights
    • Israel’s Contribution to the World
  • How to carry out these themes
    • Tabling
    • Movies/Documentaries
    • Speakers
    • Interactive Programs (games, recycling, planting trees, etc…)
    • Fundraising/Volunteering
    • Discussions
    • Social/Food Events
    • Be creative!

Next, here are some resources from various organizations to help you to respond to Apartheid Week on your campus:

Stand With Us Apartheid Week materials

The David Project responds to Apartheid Week

Israel Peace Week

Anti-Defamation League: About Israel Apartheid Week, Israel: A Guide for Activists, Israel: The Facts, Facebook Page: Israel is NOT an apartheid state


NGO Monitor’s detailed analysis of the term apartheid

Crossing The Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus (Trailer) from Imaginations Productions on Vimeo.

Apartheid slides – Holy Land Peace Project

Jerusalem slides – Holy Land Peace Project