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February 22, 2016 12:49 pm

Middle East Peace Initiative Sponsored by Pro-Israel Group at Cambridge U Rejected by Pro-Palestinian Students Favoring ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’

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Middle East Peace Week, Cambridge University. Photo: Faceboook

Middle East Peace Week, Cambridge University. Photo: Faceboook.

The pro-Israel sponsors of a student peace initiative at Cambridge University in the UK bemoaned the refusal of pro-Palestinian counterparts to participate in the week-long series of events, which comes to an end on Monday night.

Joel Collick and Jonathan Shamir, co-presidents of the Cambridge University Israel Society, told The Algemeiner that though the other group was invited to “Middle East Peace Week,” it refused “and called on other societies to not get involved. It was stressed on our part that they could still partake in [their own] Israeli Apartheid Week as the weeks do not clash. However, they would not change their mind.”

Collick and Shamir concluded, “[W]e would comment that a general theme in UK [universities] is that Israel societies are more open to dialogue and engagement, while Palestine societies prove time and time again that they are not interested.”

The Cambridge University Palestine Society (CUPalSoc) defended its decision not to participate in the peace initiative — which was also adopted by the university’s Arab Society, Middle East Society and Turkish Society.

“We made this decision on the basis that the only way out of the current stalemate and the first steps towards a viable peace is through demanding that Israel be held accountable for its crimes and that it abides to its obligations under international law,” a representative of CUPalSoc explained to The Algemeiner.

Consistent with that belief, they said, they were focusing on organizing Israeli Apartheid Week at the university, an effort “to organize talks, debates, exhibitions and screenings that raise awareness of the apartheid policies practiced by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people.” Israeli Apartheid Week commences tomorrow with a public debate over the statement, “This House Believes that the Academic Boycott of Israel is Justified.”

Nor is it an accident, they claimed, that Israeli Apartheid Week kicks off the day after Middle East Peace Week concludes. “We feel that there is no coincidence in the Israeli society’s timing of the Middle East Peace Week… We feel that this event attempts to direct attention away from the growing success of Israeli Apartheid Week.”

The aim of Middle East Peace Week, the Israel Society’s Collick told Britain’s Jewish News, was “to make students look at the Middle East in a new light, beyond conflict and bloodshed.” He also told The Tab, a student website, “We want to set a precedent by working together on common issues and challenges. In setting such a precedent … the prospects of peace will itself be more likely.”

The series was co-sponsored by the university’s Kurdish and Persian Societies, its Calais Refugee Action Group and OneVoice Cambridge, a group promoting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was set to conclude Monday night with a panel discussion called, “Looking Forward — Peace in the Middle East: Is it possible?”

Collick and Shamir told The Algemeiner that they had hoped other universities in the UK would join in their attempt at bridging gaps, “But this didn’t happen in the end.”

They said they are eager to spread similar initiatives on campuses across the United States.

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  • Al Talena

    Why is this surprising. arab groups on US campuses have the same non-intercourse policy. Let’s be real. The source? ramallah inciters. How ironic that one of the sources spreading anti_Semitic lie of a world conspiracy itself should itself be guilty of worldwide incitement conspiracy.

  • nat cheiman

    Pro palestinian people would rather have conflict on their campuses. Until Israel kicks out the Palestinians from Gaza and West Bank, this nonsense will continue. Israel needs to show these idiots that peace is not an option when terrrism is involved.

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    Why is the world so against the Jewish state?
    The biggest culprits are the media.
    Newspapers sell more, if the Jews are shown in a bad light .
    TWIST THE NEWS. eg WITH HEADINES “ISRAEL KILLs PALESTINIAN DRIVER”. If the headlines would read “Palestinian drivers tries to kill Israeli policewomen, in a car ramming,” that would change the feeling about Israel all over the world
    It is false reporting that has made Israel look like a Nazi state.
    The sooner the world realizes that there is no apartheid in Israel, and that terrorism must stop, the sooner peace can “break out”
    The bigger the lie, the more often repeated, the more the world will believe it.
    Why has there been no comment about the viscious teaching of small children to murder Jews with a knife, which has been preached in the mosques and schools?
    They are bring children to be monsters
    This will not help to create peace.
    Those children should be playing with the Jewish children in sport etc.

    The big problem is when the UN voted for two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs, the Arabs warned that there will be bloodshed if the Jews get a state in the Middle East.
    Am I correct that the UN vote was for two state, one for Jews and one for Arabs/
    o mention was made of Palestinians, because there were no Palestinians then, until Arafat ,
    in 1967, made up the name Palestinians”

    No Israel parents wants their sons and daughters to give up 3 years of their lives, with the possibility of being killed or wounded.

    Every Israel wants and craves peace with the Arabs.
    Gaza could be developed into a rich tourist area.

    all the deserts could/would be developed into huge farms and forests.

    Israel and a PA state would be the leaders in the development of the Middle East.
    Israel is a sore thumb in the way of the spread of Islam.

    Without Israel, the world would have been a very sad place.

    What the Jews have developed for the world, is unbelievable.
    In all matters, science, technology, medical etc.
    What have the Arabs contributed to the world?

    The world would have been a very poor place without the Jewish brain

    There is no Jew in the world who does not want peace.
    If peace “breaks out” with Israel’s technology development would turn the deserts into an oasis, water saving, etc

  • The opposing groups to the peace initiative don’t want peace; they want Israel destroyed and dead Jews!

  • Isaac Brajtman

    What hope is there for British politics if Cambridge University students can organise an anti Israel apartheid week, when probably none of the organisers had ever been to South Africa during the apartheid era , nor have been to Israel to see what a lot of misinformation they are talking about and promoting. Where they get their information , I would like them to divulge.

  • SteveHC

    Just as the Palestinans of the Middle East are not nterested in peaceful co-existence,
    neither are their supporters beyond the Middle East. Both are interested in nothing but the perpetuation of hatred and the dissappearance of the Jewish State of Israel.