NGO Im Tirzu reports on Israelis taking part in Israeli Apartheid Week events

Head of policy at the organization says it wanted to show how Israelis were giving the BDS movement legitimization.

March 14, 2014 09:18
2 minute read.

Woman in boycott Israel shirt. (photo credit: Reuters)


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A report by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu identifies Israelis playing central roles in Israeli Apartheid Week events taking place on university campuses around the world.

The paper, titled “Delegitimization Awareness Month: Information on Israelis participating in Israeli Apartheid Week events, was published this month.

Israeli Apartheid Week, according to its website, “is an international series of events that seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians and to build support for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” It takes place on different dates in different countries, this year running between February 24 and March 29.

Alon Schvartzer, the head of policy at Im Tirtzu, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview, “We wanted to show that Israeli organizations and individuals are justifying the BDS movement, giving it legitimization, even if they are not on the front lines.

“They don’t want to be on the front lines,” he said, adding that the organizations abroad that are pushing the movement use material from Israelis.

“They have freedom of speech, but it is important for Israelis to know what they are doing,” he said.
University professors and filmmakers should not be receiving state funds if they are involved with groups that are promoting the boycott of Israel, said Schvartzer.

For example, the report names the Coalition of Women for Peace, a Tel Aviv-based organization that publicized Israeli Apartheid Week on its Facebook page.

The organization describes itself as a “feminist organization against the occupation of Palestine and for a just peace.”

Founded in 2000 during the second intifada, Coalition of Women for Peace gives “its unwavering support of the right of return of Palestinian refugees” and works with other “human rights activists and organizations” to launch “public campaigns, Internet campaigning, and legal counseling for activists.”

The Post contacted the coalition and was told it prefers not to respond to the report.

Eran Efrati, who works at the Israeli organizations Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within, lectures during Israeli Apartheid Week on “The Soldier and the Refusenik.”

Ilan Pappé, an Israeli historian and professor at the University of Exeter, and the author of the books The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and The Struggle for Academic Freedom in Israel, supports the British academic boycott of Israel and is “at the forefront of academics leading the BDS campaign,” said the report.

He wrote a chapter titled “The Boycott Will Work: An Israeli Perspective,” published in 2012 in the book, The Case for Sanctions Against Israel.

He was on the program to speak at Israeli Apartheid Week 2014 at the University of Oxford in England.
Another Israeli, Guy Davidi, director of the film 5 Broken Cameras, lectures and presents his film during Israeli Apartheid Week at a number of locations, including in Paris and the University of Alberta in Canada.

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