Students for Justice in Palestine raise mock apartheid wall

The tension in the Gaza strip was recreated on campus yesterday, as members from the UC Davis chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine set up a mock “apartheid wall” on the Quad.

The tension in the Gaza strip was recreated on campus yesterday, as members from the UC Davis chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine set up a mock “apartheid wall” on the Quad.

The purpose of the demonstration was to raise awareness about the impact of a separation wall in Palestine. The event was part of SJP’s Palestine Awareness Week.

The wall consisted of three signs displaying information about the West Bank and Gaza Strip and was set up at the edge of the grass. Members of SJP handed out fliers and spoke to those curious about or opposed to the exhibit.

Dina Wahbe, secretary of SJP, said the exhibit represented the 400-mile wall that was built in 2007 to separate Israel and Palestine.

“The wall separates villages from villages, families from families, and farmers from their olive tree homelands,” said Wahbe, a sophomore nutritional biochemistry major. “We’re comparing it to South Africa creating ghettos. This is a Palestinian barricade.”

The signs were labeled “Apartheid: The Facts,” “Justice for Palestine,” and “Gaza Deaths.” Facts and figures, such as the history of the wall and number of Israeli and Palestinian deaths, were painted with red, green, and black paint.

Students from Hillel, the Jewish campus organization, staged a counter demonstration to represent an alternative view of the Palestine/Israel conflict. Several wore Israeli flags around their shoulders and passed out their own fliers.

“They’re arguing that the wall is a symbol of racism and apartheid,” said Morgan Anderson, a sophomore anthropology major. “But it is a security measure. Since it has been built there have been no terrorist attacks, no gunmen and no violence; it is there for peace.”

Matan Shelomi, a first-year graduate student in entomology, said that comparing the Palestinian wall to apartheid was an insult to South Africa.

“A lot of South Africans are pissed off right now, because what they went through was so much worse,” Shelomi said.

Palestine Awareness Week will culminate this Thursday with a Cultural Banquet in the ARC Ballroom at 7:30 p.m.

ERIN MIGDOL can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

17 Comments on this Post

  1. Shalom

    @ RM, You seem to be the confused one. Let me clarify and simplify things for you.

    Under the Ottoman Empire, Palestinians, jordanians, lebanese, and syrians saw themselves to be close in identity so they formed a coalition ( more like brootherhood in suffering) which included muslims, christians and jews who lived in the area. So the point is that even thu they regarded themselves as one nation or one coalition, they still knew that some are palestinians, some are lebanese, some are jordanians, and some are syrians. They were just united under this tremendous nationalistic feeling.

    After World War 1, the british took Palestine and Jordan.

    When the Zionists came, they forced many of the Palestinians from cities like haifa, yafa,etc to bethlehem, ramallah, gaza, and outside the palestinian territories (Jordan, syria, lebanon, and other places). So it is clear that Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine. I do not care what the British decided to call it, because it is not their land at the first place. They can call it honololou, it doesnt matter. the main point here is that Palestinians and Jordanians are cousins, but they are not the same people. So palestine is for the palestinians and jordan is for the Jordanians. The british did not act this way, they saw the arabs as subhumans, so they said we will move all the arabs to Jordan. They did not respect the atanomy, nor did they respect the culture of the palestinians.

    “Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority for over 150 years. However, it has never ever been an Arab Nation of Palestine, ever” True, but if you go more than 150 years back, you ll find that it was majority christians and muslims.By the way the Jews who lived in Jerusalem before the Zionist movemet were palestinian jews and many of them opposed the zionust movement when it started. check this link out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmS7rD_4mPA the title of it is called “Jews That Lived In Palestine Tell Their Story ” search it on youtube.

    “Thats why the UNRWA definition only requires residency in pre-state Israel from 1946-48 to be a Palestinian refugee, as many, many had themselves migrated in from Syria,Egypt, etc.” I dont know where you get this information from, but you seem to have a history book of your own that no one knows about. Menachem bedin, said once “The old will die, and the young will forget” But sorry Begin, the young did not forget.

    after “al nakba” in 1948, the remaining Palestinian land was given to Jordanian and Egyptian CONTROL. control does not mean the west bank became part of Jordan. (for the same reason The golan heights are still occupied syrian territories, iraq is still iraqi land not america, afganistan is still afghani land). The control was given to Jordan and Egypt simply because the Palestinians had no authority and no power at all. they had just came out 400 years of ottaman control, a cruel british mandate, and the 1948 disaster that led to the displacement of most of the Palestinian population in the areas invaded by like of the Hagana Gangs (true, alot of the land was purchased but alot of it was not and thats why palestinians call it al nakba).

    after the 1967 war, all of the land was under Israeli control. During this time, Israel took the chance to expand the settlement project between the palestinian cities and on top of the hills in the west bank. Ariel Sharon once called every jew to “run and grab as many hilltops as possible” because he knew as he puts it “what we take now will stay ours and what we leave will go to them (Palestinians)” During that time israel was collecting taxes from the Palestinians, but the Palestinians got fed up with the Israeli policies and said “no taxation without reperesntation” and that when the first intifada started. Palestinians were able to see the discrimination between them and Israelis. the schools that were built by the israelis in the west bank were not the same quality schools in tel aviv, the hospitals were not the same quality. Simply Israel treated the Palestinians more like second class citizens even thu they paid the same taxation.

    After the first intifada and the Oslo accords, Israel did not stop there and continued with the settlement project when they constructed Har Homa (1994, one year after the oslo accords) to the north of Beit Sahour and Bethlehem. Not only that, But Israel did not make any progress to support the newly formed Palestinian state. If they had wanted peace, they would have helped the palestinians by setting up a better government that could actually benifit the peace process, but the US and Israel liked what the governemnet under the PA was doing so they let them fill their pockets with money as they liked. It have been better, if they had helped the palestinians socially and economically (Hamas might not be in existence if Palestinians had a better governement)

    You must accept that Palestinians do exist before you ask them to negotiate with you. when you treat a human like a dog, expect the human to respond like a dog. so when Israel treats the Palestinians as subhumans, they should expect them to react in a subhuman manner.

    “Why is it that the Palestinians feel uniquely enetitled to dictate terms” Wht is it that Jews are entitled to Palestine while Palestinians are not? why do jews have birth rights while palestinians do not? Palestinians and Jews are brothers in blood. they are the same people but some became christians, some became muslims, and some remained jewish like the fellow in the youtube video.

    Shalom

  2. No wonder you are confused, you don’t seem to know at all how the current situation developed. At least you conceed tht the hospitals, universities etc in the West Bank were built for the Palestinians by Israel,even if you think that the Israelis buit better ones for themselves. In fact, Gaza was taken by Israel from Egypt (not “Palestine”) in the ’67 Six Day War. The “West Bank”was only re-named from the historic “Judea and Samaria” names in 1948, when it was illegally invaded and annexed by Jordan , as it is “West” of the Jordan River. Remember, Jordan itself was created out of 2/3 of the British Mandate of Palestine in 1923 to be a national homeland for the Arab people (and barred to Jews). Of course there were both Arab people and Jewish people, as well as Druze, Armenians, Greeks, Bedoiuin etc etc living in pre-state Israel under the Ottoman Turks. Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority for over 150 years. However, it has never ever been an Arab Nation of Palestine, ever. When the early Zionists became migrating back to Israel,they PURCHASED the land, often from absentee Arab landlords which did displace the migrant Arab sharecropers. Thats why the UNRWA definition only requires residency in pre-state Israel from 1946-48 to be a Palestinian refugee, as many, many had themselves migrated in from Syria,Egypt, etc. Simply because in 1964 Nasser and the Arab League assigned a sub-identity of “Palestinian” to the Arabs that had left of pre-state Israel (along with the Palestinia Liberation Organization), does not mean that there was ever a historic Arab nation of Palestine. Why is it that the Palestinians feel uniquely enetitled to dictate terms?

  3. Shalom

    @ RM, the Palestinians rejected Israeli control in the 80s and early 90s because Israel treated them as second class citizens. The hospitals that were built for the Israelis were not the same ones built for Palestinians, the schools were not the same, and so on. Even thu, the palestinians paid the same amount of taxation, Israel did not treat Palestinian cities like Israeli cities. These are facts that you have to admit. Go read some history.

    the west bank and Gaza have always been part of Palestine and please do not say Palestine did not exist because Palestinians exist. So to say Gaza is egyptian is not true, you are making yourself sound ignorant.

    when the first Zionists met in 1897 and sent two rabbis to palestine. they wrote back ” the bride is beutiful, but she is married”. Meaning that Palestine has people living there and the first zionists knew that, but they tried to trick themselves and the world by saying there is no such thing as palestine.

    Regarding the Oslo agreement, Israel was the one to violate it when they constructed the settlement of Har Homa in Beit sahour in 1994. The palestinians gave israel 7 years to change their policy but Israel continued to build settlements, to occupy palestinian land, and to harrass Palestinians on daily basis through spreading soldiers all over the place. So why do you expect the palestinians to be silent especially after the construction Har Homa? Big question here.

  4. Fasinating, yet completley non-historic! In the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, all of the Jews in what was thereafter re-named by Jordan, the “West Bank”,such as in Gush Etzion bloc (purchased and settled in the ’20s) etc. were ethnically cleansed. After the ’67 Six Day war, Israel offered to exchange the territory taken for a peace agreement. The Arab League met in Khartoum Sudan and stated in response, “No Peace,no recognition and no negotiation.” Israel has also returned more territory than it retains through the peace agrement with Egypt in which Israel returned the Sinai and withdrew all of its settlements (although Egypt refused to take back Gaza). After 1967, Israel built the universities, hospitals, clinics, schools, water and electric infrastructure currently in place in the West Bank. Infant mortality plummeted, for example. All that changed in 1993 with the Oslo Agreement and the Palestinian Authority taking over the adminstration from Israel. Had the Palestinians honored their agreements in the Oslo Accords, there would already be a “Palestinian State.” Rather, the Palestinans rejected peace and statehood and began an Intifada, which documents have revealed, was being planned as the Palestinians were “negotiating peace” with Israel. It would be naive and simplistic to relieve the Palestinians of the consequences of their actions and choices and to blame only Israel for the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

  5. Shalom

    @ odd job Rob, you said the following and i would like to answer:”I don’t understand why this is a problem. Why can’t the palestinians accept the presence of Jews in a future Palestinian state, if they expect the Jews to accept the presence of Arabs in Israel? Why does the West bank have to be delivered “Jew free’?”

    1. the Palestinians can not accept the presence of jews in the west bank because they do not live side by side with the palestinians, but they took the best areas and surrounded them with army and built their own roads, took most of the resources (87% of the water goes to the 500,000 settlers while 13% goes to the 4.5 million palestinians), they are well armed and they attack all of the time, and finally they are not ordinary Israeli citizens, they are ideological settlers who declared that their purpose is to prevent a palestinian state.

    2. to answer your question, why does the west bank have to be jew-free, i will ask you why are settlements Jewish-only? why are the roads Jewish only? why is the army there to protect the Jews only?

    So please here, go read about the settlements and get some education. Setllements are not neighboorhoods like you may think, they are Jewish-only illegal(under international law) settlements in the heart of the west bank that limit the freedoms of Palestinians.

    @RM, Please do not talk about Israel wanting peace. If israel wants peace then they would stop building settlements and they would help the palestinians to reach an agreement. Palestinians elected hamas for social reasons not political. If Israel or the US had helped the Palestinians by simple acts like building schools and hospitals, supporting poor families, etc. Palestinians would not have chosen hamas to lead them.

  6. The things that people believe are simply amazing! In order to accept the arrogant fantasy that a single lobbying group, AIPAC, has “control at a national level”, one would also have to accept that the entire US government is totally corrupt and is willing to sell out US interests for money, but ONLY for AIPAC money and not for example Big Oil money. It is a particularly arrogant fantasy as it presumes that, but for this secret corruption, that otherwise the US would naturally have supported the other side. In fact,the US and Israel have strong principles and mutual interests in common. As to the “plight of the Palestinians,” the Kadima party had been elected in Israel precisely to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza, make peace, and negotiate the formation of the first Palestinan state in history. In response, the Palestinians rejected statehood, elected the rejectionist Hamas, and continued an Intifada. Each and every Palestinian act of terror since that time has nothing to do with statehood etc, but rather, just hatred, as a state was on the table for them and rejected out of hand. So it is not just the current situation of the Palestinians that is of importance,it is also of great importance to understand exactly how, for decades, the Palestinians have consistently made choices that have resulted in their current situation and choices which do not reflect reasonable, or acceptable goals.

  7. Odd job Rob

    Actually, there are only 200,000 Israelis living in the West Bank. Unless you include east Jerusalem.

    I don’t understand why this is a problem. Why can’t the palestinians accept the presence of Jews in a future Palestinian state, if they expect the Jews to accept the presence of Arabs in Israel? Why does the West bank have to be delivered “Jew free’? I wish I’d see some tolerance on the side of the Palestinians.

    Last year the PA ordered a palestinian man hung for selling land to a Jew

    “A Palestinian Authority military court on Tuesday sentenced a Hevron Arab to death by hanging for the crime of selling land to Jews in Judea and Samaria, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported. The three-member judicial panel heard the case last week and handed down its verdict and conviction on Tuesday.

    Dozens of Arabs have been executed in the past for collaborating with Israel by selling land to Jews, but the court’s ruling is the first time the PA officially has handed down a guilty verdict of treason for the crime.”

    This is not the path of tolerance and co-existence

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