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April 14, 2017 1:02 pm

With Jews Away for Passover Holiday, US Campuses See Flurry of Activities Targeting Jewish State

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A mock Israeli checkpoint set up during a past ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ at the University of California, Los Angeles campus. Photo: AMCHA Initiative.

Amid a slew of anti-Israel activities taking place at universities across the US during the Passover holiday this week, a leading campus activist told The Algemeiner on Thursday that proponents of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement were using the holiday as a means to eliminate pro-Israel voices.

Ron Krudo — executive director of Israel education group StandWithUs — called the tactic of advancing BDS resolutions in student government on or immediately before Jewish holidays, when many Zionist leaders are off campus, “undemocratic.”

They “wouldn’t be trying to silence us if we didn’t have something compelling to say,” he added.

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He was referring to the events at Tufts University earlier this week — reported on by The Algemeiner — which left members of the Jewish community feeling “betrayed” after the student senate passed a BDS resolution in a landslide vote on the eve of Passover.

In a similar incident, several University of Wisconsin — Madison representatives walked out of a student government meeting in disgust on Wednesday, following the renewal of an effort to target Israel on a day when many Jewish leaders could not be present.

David Brog — executive director of the Maccabee Task Force — explained to The Algemeiner on Thursday, “We shouldn’t be surprised that a movement based in lies tries to avoid free and fair debate,” by scheduling programming like “Israeli Apartheid Week” (IAW) — including at Harvard University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the University of Minnesota (UMN) — during a major Jewish holiday.

“BDS thrives in darkness,” Brog noted. “The anti-normalization policies of SJP means that they are, by definition, afraid to engage in open and honest dialogue. Their work is driven by ignorance.”

Krudo said he did not think the scheduling conflicts were always intentional, but Brog pointed out that whether or not that was the case, “once the conflict is brought to light, they should change their plans out of respect. The failure to do so shows a disrespect for Jews and Judaism.”

He added that when BDS runs up against Jewish observance, “We find a rare moment of truth where BDS advocates display their real face — which is not that of human-rights activists, but of bullies.”

Krudo encouraged pro-Israel student to use these challenges “as motivation to make Israel’s story heard louder than ever” and redouble their efforts, a message Brog echoed.

The respective groups running IAW at Harvard, UIUC and UMN did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s requests for comments.

IAW is a series of anti-Israel events held every spring at universities around the world.

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