Turning Apartheid Week into Awareness Week
Let’s all pitch in
The SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS), with the help of the Board, last tear managed to organise that they were allowed equal status to promote Israel during the scourge, lies and hate-fest that had come to represent BDS’s annual Israel Apartheid Week.
RIGHT: SAUJS national chairman Natan Pollak has a a heavy weight on his shoulders – but some heavyweight assistance as well
BDS and their counterparts were so surprised at the extent of the positive and passive resistance that they found themselves up against, that it took them several days to recover. On some SA campuses, they never did.
Once again Jewish communal organisations are pitching in to help the new SAUJS leadership and a plethora of community organisations pitching in and doing their bit to help turn Israel Apartheid Week into Israel Awareness Week. The student leaders have been well-trained and are currently training the next echelon on campuses. More community organisations and individuals are joining up and at a planning session held Tuesday it was clear that SAUJS’ back-up will be huge this year.
The entire operation is being supervised by Benji Shulman who is not only former SAUJS but a professional communal worker as well.
This year, however, the SA arm of the US-based anti-Israel NGO Boycott, Divest and Sanction (Israel), BDS-SA, will be expecting more passive resistance and there can be no doubt that they, too, are building up a war-chest – partly by holding a fundraising speaking tour with convicted terrorist Leila Khaled at some R500 per ticket.
BDS builds war-chest for ‘rent-a-crowd’ activity
BDS – of “Shoot the Jew” fame – “will need that war-chest if they are planning to use their usual rent-a-crowd tactics”, a Zionist supporter who asked not to be named as she is not empowered to speak for the students, told Jewish Report.
However, while the anti-Israel group were caught off balance last year, there can be no doubt that they will be expecting stiffer resistance during IAW 2015.
And, despite their being somewhat battered, bruised and fractured over their failure to have any impact with their boycott campaigns against Woolworths, they certainly did show some new colours over the past year. Both on campuses and at Woolworths stores, they became increasingly militant (and at times even resorting to violence and hate-speech) when they found themselves on the losing side.
‘It won’t be party’ but students ‘up to the task’
Make no mistake,” said the unnamed Zionist, “this year won’t be a party – we are expecting a bumpy ride.” But, she adds, “We are up to the task.”
“There is a lot of hard work that goes into combating this kind of thing and everyone can assist and become involved by helping in some way,” Benji Shulman told Jewish Report today.
Some of the main areas the students believe they could achieve better results if they had extra hands on board, explains Benji, are:
- Assistance with fundraising;
- Donations of printing – flyers and posters;
- Assistance in funding or sewing branded clothing;
- Logistics for assisting with lifts for people to, from and between campuses;
- Delivering food to the students and supporters on campuses;
- Home hospitality for guests from out of town and overseas;
- Social media activists of all sorts;
- General activists to be on-campus, working telephones, etc.;
- Promotional and display materials;
- Infrastructure such as tents, floor mats for when it rains, etc.;
- People-support on campus; and
- Money, money, money.
Anyone who can help with any of the above, or is able to offer other assistance they can think of, should e-mail Benji@beyachad.co.za and he promises to “promptly assist or direct them to the right place”.