Monday, May 8, 2017

Anti-Israel Week at UC Irvine Day One

It's that week again at UC Irvine. The Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine are holding their 4-day week of events Monday-Thursday this week. They are teaming up with the American-Indian Student Initiative and something called Students Advocating for Immigrant Rights and Equity. It appears the theme is to draw an analogy between the dispossession of the native American tribes from their land in the US and the Palestinian situation. Below is the schedule:

The Muslim Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, American Indian Student Association, and Students Advocating for Immigrant Rights and Equity invite you to come be part of our annual Anti-Zionism Week during week 6 of Spring Quarter. 

The week is planned as follows:
EVERYDAY: The Wall & Art as Resistance Gallery @8AM-5PM, Anteater Plaza

Monday, May 8: "there is that which deserves to live"
- AISA Land Blessing Ceremony @ 12-1PM, Anteater Plaza
- Mock Funeral @1:50PM, Anteater Plaza
- Film Screening: Slingshot Hip-Hop @7PM, Doheny Beach B

Tuesday, May 9: "they stopped me at the border"
- Stories and Demonstration @ 12-1PM, Anteater Plaza 
- Mock Funeral @1:50PM, Anteater Plaza
- Breaking Borders Panel @ 7PM, Doheny Beach B

Wednesday, May 10: "mother of all beginnings, mother of all ends"
- Mock Funeral @ 1:50PM, Anteater Plaza
- Divestment Hearing @ 3:30PM, CSU Long Beach (contact event heads if you need a ride)

Thursday, May 11: "it was is Palestine"
- Call to Action @ 12-1PM
- Film Screening: Gaza in Context @ 6-8PM, Doheny Beach B

Today, I visited the mock apartheid wall that goes up every year when this circus comes to town and took some photos of the panels. 

At noon, about ten female students, a couple of whom were Native American, stepped to the microphone and read off the names of indigenous women in North America who have been murdered in recent years. If I recall correctly, only one case has resulted in arrest. However, every single case involved indigenous Canadian women. Every case cited happened in Canada. (Maybe somebody took a wrong turn.)

Here are more photos: (Two are from a separate exhibit and are marked "side display".)

(Side display)

(Side display)

You hear a lot of talk about cultural appropriation these days on college campuses. This is what I would call cultural exploitation. Comparing the Palestinian experience with the Native American experience is a false analogy. First of all, Jews can trace their presence in Israel going back thousands of years. Even after the fall of the Second Temple and the driving of Jews out by the Romans, some Jews remained in the area. There has always been a Jewish presence in the Holy Land. Prior to the 1960s when Yasser Arafat appropriated the term "Palestinian", if you referred to a Palestinian, it referred to anyone living in that Ottoman Empire backwater- including Jews. Yes, even Jews were called Palestinians back then.

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