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November 18, 2016 10:35 am

Anti-Israel Activists at McGill Boycott, Block Access to ‘Peace Wall’

avatar by Lea Speyer

Part of the Artists 4 Israel display at Concordia. Photo: Artists 4 Israel.

Part of the Artists 4 Israel display at Concordia. Photo: Artists 4 Israel.

Despite invitations to contribute to an installation promoting peace in the Middle East, BDS activists at Canada’s McGill University protested it on anti-Israel grounds, campus newspaper the McGill Daily reported.

According to an organizer of the installation — run in part by advocacy group Artists 4 Israel — anti-Israel activists “chose to separate themselves and segregate themselves” from the event, which he said centered on the themes of peace, coexistence and inclusiveness.

The installation in question included Israeli and Canadian flags, the word “peace” in Hebrew and English and banners highlighting the democratic nature of the Jewish state, as well as a tee-shirt-making stand.

According to the report, protesters, including members of Students in Solidarity with Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and McGill BDS, attempted to block access to the installation, and rebuffed offers made by members of the pro-Israel community to add their own drawings and quotes.

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“I think it speaks for itself as to what their true intentions are. We would have loved them to be part of it,” the organizer said.

According to Julie — a member of McGill BDS, a coalition of student groups calling on the university to end its “complicity in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights” — who spoke to the student newspaper, BDS activists became outraged when they saw the display because it “resemble[d] the Apartheid Wall that runs in the West Bank and restricts access to medical resources and water supplies of Palestinians that live there.”

“The idea of graffiti-ing the ‘canvas’ mocks and appropriates the forms of Palestinian resistance that appear on the Apartheid Wall,” she added.

A similar event at Concordia University ended in violence last week, when an angry BDS activist ripped an Israeli flag off the display and ran off with it, CJN News reported.

“She was followed by a student politely asking her to return it and, instead, she stuffed the flag into a garbage can and began cursing, saying that the flag, the student and any supporters of Israel belong in the garbage,” Artists 4 Israel director Craig Dershowitz told CJN News.

An internal university complaint and a report with police have been filed against the student.

Erecting “apartheid walls” on campus is a common tactic employed by anti-Israel activists to call for action — including violence — against the Jewish state.

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