Israel Apartheid Week and Abraham’s Tent

A unique project emphasizes coexistence and religious freedom in Israel.

South Africans protest Israel 370 (photo credit: reuters)
South Africans protest Israel 370
(photo credit: reuters)
Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), that takes place in South Africa this year from March 11-17, is an annual series of events in over 250 cities across the world. The professional and wellfunded activities in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) include huge, expensive billboards, rallies, lectures, cultural performances, music shows, films and workshops that are superlative examples of the scientific marketing principles practiced by international commercial institutions. Highly skilled, the purveyors of these defamatory products are rapidly churning out offensive propaganda – and getting away with it.
The no-expenses-spared nature of the events, and the extensive professional organization involved, are mind-boggling.
It reminds one of the frenetic activities of the recent US election campaign with the difference that IAW is international and occurs every year.
BDS offers people around the world a hard-to-resist opportunity to feel good by enrolling in the global IAW campaign. And to make it easy, it says contact an IAW representative in your city, community or university and if there is no representative there, they will instruct you how to become the local organizer.
Popular music is politicized to mobilize the masses. As part of IAW, the Mavrix Music Band with the “South African Artists Against Apartheid” is launching a new political music album, Amandla Intifada II.
It will even be available for free download, and members of the public are urged to assist in launching the album in their various cities.
Street artists are recruited to join “Paint for Palestine” with “Israeli Apartheid” as the theme. They are rewarded by public showing of their photos and videos.
BDS provides eloquent speakers to any person wishing to arrange an event or a protest against a store selling Israeli products and the public is urged to build mock Israeli walls and checkpoints, organize flash mobs, host music concerts, arrange poetry readings, erect posters and distribute flyers.
But this year in Cape Town, opponents of BDS have decided to show another side to the coin. Although totally outmatched by the well-financed and professionally organized BDS movement, these Capetonians have adopted a proactive, imaginative approach with an “Israel Peace Week.”
AT THE center of this inspiring initiative is an enormous “Abraham’s Tent” on the main plaza of the University of Cape Town campus. There, visitors will enjoy the patriarch’s hospitality – falafel, pita, Israeli salad, coffee and juices.
Exhibits will emphasize coexistence and religious freedom in Israel with photos of various religions, holy sites etc. (Christian, Bahai, Druse and Muslim) and a history of Israel and the peace process in a media presentation.
Visitors to Abraham's Tent will learn about gender equality and tolerance of homosexuals in Israel and that Tel-Aviv is the gay capital of the Middle East. With Cape Town being South Africa’s “Pink City,” pro-Palestinian Capetonian gays will have to face the truth that Israel is the only area in the Middle East they could safely visit openly. It’s not Israel saying this but a world-wide survey hosted by and American Airlines, that voted overwhelmingly in favor of Tel Aviv, pushing it way ahead of strong contenders New York, Toronto and London “as the world’s best gay travel destination.”
Should gays cross the borders of Israel to any of its Arab neighbors, only ridicule and persecution would await them. They have only to meet the many Palestinian gays who have found arefuge in Israel. And if gays face persecution under the Palestinian Authority, in Gaza under Hamas it would mean death row.
And in Abraham’s Tent visitors will be welcomed to seek refuge from the lies and deceit of the IAW organizers and their minions, as described in one article, “What the BDS organizers should have told us but didn’t.”
ISRAEL’S ATTACKERS, quick to label the country with the nonsensical and libelous appellation of “apartheid,” will be met in Abraham’s Tent by five Israeli Ethiopian university students who will expose the apartheid lies.
The students are all from IDC Herzliya, and their trip has been sponsored by the university, the South African Zionist Federation in South Africa, and duly assisted by Truth be Told (TbT), a new group in Israel committed to presenting the truth to the endless false accusations leveled against the Jewish state.
Warned before they left what to expect from a hostile student body in South Africa, these delightful, educated and bold students are more than ready to “tell their stories” and talk about life in Israel. About apartheid, they will be able to speak from experience.
‘SURE, WE know about apartheid. We heard all about it from our parents who experienced it not in Israel, but in Ethiopia, where they were treated as second- class citizens – today in Israel, after our rescue by Israel, we are free.”
And if there is any disbelief, the Ethiopian students will ask of the perplexed to give some thought to the question: “Why if Israel is an apartheid state do thousands of black Africans risk life and limb to travel through Egypt and the hazardous Sinai desert to reach it? Why do they not seek refuge in neighboring Egypt?”
Maurice Ostroff is a retired industrialist.
David Kaplan is a lawyer and freelance journalist.