Justice in Palestine group protests ‘Apartheid Wall’

Students for Justice in Palestine hosts a “wall” protest at the Bell Tower.

In a peaceful demonstration, members of Temple Students for Justice in Palestine and other activists sat in front of the Bell Tower April 29 where they constructed an 8-foot model of the wall that exists throughout Palestine.

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KATE McCANN TTN Ethan Jury ties up a “prisoner,” sophomore Emily Hart, during a Students for Justice in Palestine protest against the “Apartheid Wall” and violence in Palestine.

The student organization said the educational program was held to inform students about the barrier between Palestinians and Israelis, which is approximately 25-feet and more than 400-miles long.

Event coordinator and senior biology major Razi Fareed said planning for the event began last semester.

“We are here to raise awareness to the Temple community of the injustices committed upon the Palestinians, which are intentionally being taken out of the mainstream media,” Fareed said. “We feel that because of that, it’s our duty to expose such oppression and injustice.”

The “Apartheid Wall,” as the Palestinians refer to it, is an Israeli “security fence” that was constructed in 2002 by the government to keep out West Bank militants.  However, in 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s West Bank barrier is illegal because it “gravely” infringes on the rights of Palestinians.

President of Students for Justice in Palestine Wafai Dias, a sophomore journalism major, said the wall makes it difficult for Palestinians to travel throughout their land and divides communities. In order for people to cross the barrier, they have to show their passports to Israeli soldiers at checkpoints who guard the wall.

“Students miss classes because of checkpoints,” Dias said. “If they were at a checkpoint for four hours, do you think they got to their exam? No. And a lot of them have missed their exams, and we think it’s vitally important that people understand this.”

During the event, the student organization demonstrated the passport process that takes place in Palestine. Members set up a mock checkpoint with volunteers who posed as Israeli soldiers. The “soldiers” blindfolded students with Palestinian passports and “forced them” to sit down by the wall.

The students, who were acting as Palestinians, shouted a message in unison: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Dias, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, said many of her relatives live in Beit Hanina, a village near Jerusalem, which is directly impacted by the Israel barrier. She said half of her uncle’s land is divided by the wall and that he needs to go through a checkpoint to harvest his olive trees.

“We think it’s vitally important that people know what’s happening in Palestine, and we think it’s important that people understand Israel’s policies toward Palestinians,” Dias said. “It’s a system of oppression that has to stop.”

Several local activist groups joined the students at the event, including Philadelphia Veterans Against War and Christian-Jewish Allies.

“It’s so [exciting] that college and university students are getting more involved about this issue,” said Mary Allen, a member of the Middle East Study Group of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. “I thought this was a really creative idea. It’s very exciting to see it in the heart of the campus with the blessing of the administration, and there hasn’t been any heckling or anything. There’s been discussion, which is just what it should be.”

Junior kinesiology major Christian Corso, who stopped to look at the wall, said he wanted to read the information signs to learn more about the issue.

“I know things have been going on with Palestine for a while with Israel and the West Bank,” Corso said. “I should know more about what’s going on in the world, but when it’s right in front of me, why not take a minute?”

Connor Showalter can be reached at connor.showalter@temple.edu.

 

5 Comments

  1. The so called human rights protectors- don’t protect 21 century vales!
    They should support the following values.
    *will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants;
    *will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew Prophets;
    *will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex;
    * will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture;
    * will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all religions
    Those are the defending Israel values and practice based on the independence declaration:
    Despite non stop wars, terror attacks, boycodes and dehumanization Israel has to phase for more than 65 years –Israel follows those guidlines.
    ———-
    The so called human rights protectors- don’t protect 21 century vales!
    They support movements that fight against all the values they pretend to defend.
    They are silent when Islamists are denying:
    Women equality–human rights–religious freedom–democracy
    However they are practicing:
    Kill people that condemd Islamist values-hate teaching in schools and children garden–genocide preaching in Mosques and TV—indiscriminately targeting civilians—chasing Christians-slavery in Sudan and Golf states
    And don’t blame:
    1:Muslim brotherhood speech saying:
    ‘Hitler didn’t finish the jog—The Muslims will finish the job”
    2:Hamas charter:
    The day of judgment will not come until Moslems fight killing the Jews.
    The stones and trees will say O MOSLEM, THERE IS A JEW BEHIND ME, KILL HIM
    3: “Hiding among civilians prevents armies with western values the ability to fight. We impose a new non conventional equation in wars”
    Said by Hamas leader Khalid Mash’al on Al-Jazeera.

  2. Five Myths About Israel’s Security Fence

    1. The fence is not only unjust—it doesn’t work.
    The truth: Wherever a section of the fence has been built, there has been a quantifiable drop in the number of successful terrorist attacks.

    A case in point: 90 percent of the 480 people murdered in Palestinian terrorist attacks originating in Samaria from 2000 to 2005 were killed before the fence was built in that area. Attacks there have dropped precipitously since the fence was erected. By limiting the number of entry points into Israel, the fence has allowed the IDF to more closely scrutinize those trying to enter—and has saved innumerable lives in the process.

    2. The fence is Israel’s attempt at a “land grab.”

    The truth: The security fence follows roughly the path of the “Green Line”—the line formed by the truce that followed the 1948 War of Independence. Where it deviates from this path it does so to protect Jewish populations east of that line—with the obvious rationale that, while Arab populations can and do exist within Israel, Jews left under Arab control would be threatened with extinction.

    The fence has always been considered a temporary structure that can be moved or dismantled. But this can happen only if and when a Palestinian government emerges that has renounced terror as a weapon and has shown itself willing and able to stop the terrorists in its midst from attacking Israel. That day has yet to come. Until it does, Israel must defend itself.

    3. The fence enforces an “apartheid”-style system.

    The truth: Those recommending divestment from Israel often note that this tactic was used with success in ending the brutal apartheid system in South Africa. The same critics often claim that Israel’s security fence enforces an apartheid-style system upon Palestinians.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Under apartheid, the black majority in South Africa was completely disenfranchised—unrepresented in government, unable to vote and legally segregated from whites in almost all areas of social life. In contrast, Arabs in Israel, who make up 20 percent of the population, have the right to vote, are represented at all levels of government and have the same rights as Jewish citizens.

    The “apartheid” slur is just that—another way for Israel’s enemies to discount the fact that Israel is the Middle East’s only democracy and compare the Jewish state’s self-defense measures to the brutal discrimination of an evil regime. The comparison is false. The purpose of the fence is to save Israeli lives. Anything else is a distortion.

    4. The fence inconveniences Palestinians who own property or must work on the Israeli side but live on the Palestinian side

    The truth: The fence does cause a certain amount of inconvenience—despite Israel’s efforts to minimize it.

    But we must keep our priorities straight. Acknowledging that the fence has been effective in stopping hundreds of Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israelis—attacks that continue despite promises of peace from a new Palestinian leader and pledges of truce from terrorist organizations—how can anyone justify placing Palestinian convenience before Israeli lives?

    Those who insist Israel dismantle the fence without offering real, practical suggestions about stopping terrorist attacks are, in effect, recommending that Israel sacrifice its people to someone else’s illusion of peace. Israel cannot afford to placate its enemies with the lives of its men, women and children—too much Jewish blood already has been shed. Meanwhile, most of those crying “tear down the wall” make their pronouncements thousands of miles from the immediate and daily threat of terror.

    A comment I heard recently sums it up:

    “If your home and family were continually threatened with murderous violence from angry neighbors… would you not think of building a fence to protect them? I would be out with the hammer and nails today.”

    And so, undoubtedly, would the vast majority of those who protest so loudly at Israel’s attempts at self-defense.

    5. The fence is a massive concrete wall that overwhelms the landscape

    The truth: Most media reports on the fence are accompanied by pictures of a towering, imposing concrete wall standing a good deal higher than everything around it.

    In fact, these sections of the security fence make up only about 3 percent of its total area. The other 97 percent is chain link fence, often augmented by barbed or razor wire and electronic sensors meant to prevent tampering.

    The concrete sections of the fence are built in areas at highest risk of terrorist attack. Some tall sections are built along the paths of roads to prevent sniper fire on Israeli vehicles.

    Those pictures of the concrete area of the fence are often used by Israel’s foes to feed the myth that the fence is a “Berlin wall” or “apartheid wall.” This distortion makes for better copy—but it in no way reflects the reality of how and why the fence was built.

  3. Why did Israel build the Security Fence?

    More than 900 people were murdered in attacks carried out by Palestinian terrorists since late September 2000.

    Thousands of Israelis have been injured, many of the victims maimed for life. The terrorists infiltrated Israeli cities and towns and carried out attacks – often in the form of suicide bombings – on buses, in restaurants, shopping malls, and even private homes.

    No other nation in the world has before this time faced such an intense wave of terror, especially in the form of suicide bombings.

    In almost all of the cases, the terrorists infiltrated from Palestinian areas in the West Bank. The Palestinian leadership has done nothing to stop them and has even encouraged them.

    The Palestinians have only themselves to blame for the anti-terrorist fence. The decision to build the anti-terrorist fence was taken only after other options were tried, but failed to stop the deadly terrorist attacks.

    The Palestinian Authority has not fulfilled the commitments it made to fight terrorism. Those obligations were contained in the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements, as well as in the Roadmap that was presented to the sides in May 2003.

    http://www.palestinianzionistorganization.com/israelssecurityfence.htm

  4. If I was threatened by anyone, and wanted to protect myself, I would put the WALL around the edge of my property…not inside it. How can Israel claim that terrorism has stopped if the wall in many kilometers inside the ‘Green line’ thus trapping thousands of Palestinians on the Israeli side.Any one of them could commit terrorist acts if they were inclined to. They decided that terrorism was not the answer, that’s why there have been less attacks. During the years since 2000, thousands of Palestinian civilians have been killed and over a thousand children. The wall is a land grab, I just hope and pray the day will come when the wall comes down…as the World Court of the Hague ordered and was ignored. 1400 Palestinians were killed in Gaza in the war 2 + years ago, including 350 children…how come Israel gets away with it?? If Libya, Iraq, Syria kill civilians they get bombed by USA, but Israel gets away with murder every day.

  5. ARAB-NAZISM & GENOCIDE = ROOTS OF ‘APARTHEID-COMPARISON’ THESIS

    Ahmad shukairy Arab-nazi has invented the apartheid slur (upon pluralistic democratic Israel, six years before the so-called “occupation” excuse came about) in 1961 [“Politics, lies, and videotape: 3,000 questions and answers on the Mideast crisis” – Page 392 – Yitschak Ben Gad – SP Books, 1991 – 479 pages], he helped the (ally of Adolf Hitler, al-Husseini, better known as the) Mufti and aided in extermination of Jews in WW2, according to testimony in Congress. [Congressional record: proceedings and debates of the United States Congress: Volume 113, Part 12 – United States. Congress – Govt. Print. Off., 1967 – Page A-525]. The same Shukairy admitted in 1956 that so-called “Palestine” is NOTHING but a part of Syria… [United Nations review: Volume 3 – United Nations. Dept. of Public Information, United Nations. Office of Public Information – 1957 – Page 8] Then, in 1963, he changed his mind, and the ‘new nationalism’ is ‘conveniently’ used -since then- by Arab immigrants’ children who call themselves as “Palestinians” since 1963. He’s more famous for coining the Palestine Liberation Organization’s genocide slogan ‘Drive the Jews into the Sea’ [America’s Two Holy Wars – John Tyler – Page 246].

    ARAB MUSLIM APARTHEID

    All the while the Arab world and the Muslim world are the largest practitioners of racial and religious apartheid. Where not one minority has equal rights with the governing power. Not to mention the still-practiced racist slavery on Asians and on blacks by Arabs. And the ethnic cleansing by the Arab world including by anti-Christian, anti-Jewish Arab-Islamic-Apartheid-Palestine.
    To quote from books: The Islamic world “the world’s largest practitioner of both religious and gender apartheid.” [Israel: And the Palestinian Nightmare – Page 158 – Ze’ev Shemer – 2010 – 244 pages] “The Islamic culture of “religious intolerance, economic backwardness, gender apartheid, muzzled press, militarism, terrorism.” [A theory of international terrorism: understanding Islamic militancy – Page 153 – L. Ali Khan – 2006 – 371 pages] The “antisemitism of the Arab world and the Muslim world.” The racist “long history of oppression against minorities in Arab countries.” [U.S. news & world report: Volume 131, Issues 8-18 – U.S. News Pub. Corp., 2001 – Page 120]

    PALLYWOOD

    The lying Arab-Palestinian Goliath machine not only lies and denies Israel’s extending more rights to Arabs than to Jews (like favortism in court, affirmative action and exemption from military service), but also fabricates “memorandums” like a supposed speech by N. Mandela which was actually written by an Arab residing in the Netherland… The Arab lobby also aided J. Carter (the one who wrote a hate book in 2006 with almost an exact title of that by Palestinian-Arab M. Bishara in 2002), who uttered anti-Jewish bigoted statements like: ‘stating Freeman’s recommendations for council board members contained “too many Jews.”‘ [Living in the Times of the Signs – Page 219 – David R. Barnhart – 2007 – 492 pages]

    AIM

    The racist Arab “apartheid” slander campaign (like infamous ‘apartheid week’) has been rocked by usual anti-Jewish hatred outbursts, including calls to kill Jews, Swastikas, etc. [M. Ignatieff: Israel Apartheid Week and CUPE Ontario’s anti-Israel posturing should be condemned.” National Post, March 05, 2009] [“Swastikas and Ku Klux Klan Symbols during ‘Apartheid Week…” Israel National News, 3 Mar 2010]

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