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March 8, 2017 4:02 pm

Leading Israel Advocates Praise British Students for ‘Major Victories’ in Defending Jewish State on Campus During ‘Apartheid Week’

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Israeli Apartheid Week 2017. Photo: Facebook.

Israeli Apartheid Week 2017. Photo: Facebook/The Palestinian Information Center.

Leading Israel advocates praised British students for winning “major victories” in their defense of the Jewish state on their campuses during this year’s annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW).

Aviva Slomich, the international campus director for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) pointed, for example, to the shuttering of anti-Israel events at the University of Exeter, King’s College London and University College London.

“Israel activists have been instilled with the confidence to proudly support Israel on campus and unabashedly expose the distorted and hateful rhetoric of the IAW events,” Slomich told The Algemeiner. “It’s becoming clearer that IAW is an antisemitic initiative that only polarizes the campus communities and demonizes a specific ethnic group, the Jews.”

She applauded “administrations that have noted this and are rightfully refusing to allow their students to be subjected to such hate.”

Yos Tarshish, chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students, told The Algemeiner, “I am impressed year upon year with the resilience of Jewish student leaders in the UK. They are constantly combating the apartheid smear and persistent boycott efforts. Due to their work, the anti-Zionist movement on campus is much more of a known quantity today, and universities are beginning to clamp down on it.”

“Though the strength of the anti-Israel movement should never be underestimated, and we should never stop condemning it, I don’t think Zionist students have as much to fear as they once did,” he added.

Popular pro-Israel UK blogger David Collier, who writes at Beyond the Great Divide, recently posted on Facebook about the diminishing influence and power of IAW on campus, which he attributed, in part, to “an increase in the presence of pro-Israeli supporters and students.”

“There is clearly still some dispute over the best way for pro-Israelis to handle this week, but they were more visible at hostile events, as well as holding student events of their own and taking public actions to counter some of the negative messages,” he wrote.

Other factors he noted included fewer and “poor[er] quality” IAW events, “bad turnout” and “low morale” among anti-Israel activists.

As The Algemeiner reported, a recent video showed anti-Israel students complaining that a crackdown on IAW campus activity had caused them an “unnecessary amount of stress.”

IAW — a series of annual events promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at universities around the world — has come under greater scrutiny this year by British officials, due to reports that the anti-Israel atmosphere of the February-March happenings often crosses the line into antisemitism.

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