Monday, August 19

Palestine Awareness Week promotes recognition

A makeshift wall in Bruin Plaza and a discussion event in the Humanities building today are part of the annual Palestine Awareness Week, hosted by the Students for Justice in Palestine.

The student group, which promotes justice and human rights for Palestinians, hosts the event every year to educate students about Palestine and its people’s rights, said Rahim Kurwa, a graduate student in the UCLA Department of Sociology and board member of the student organization.

The week will feature a series of events, many of which will be held near what Students for Justice in Palestine members call a “mock apartheid wall.” The wall is intended to symbolize the controversial separation barrier that borders the West Bank territory.

The week will culminate in a Palestinian cultural celebration Thursday night at the Los Angeles Tennis Center Clubhouse.

For many supporters of Palestinian self-determination, central issues to the Israel-Palestine conflict include the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the right of return to Israel and the Palestinian territories for refugees of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the end of a years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Kurwa said this year’s events will build upon a growing segment of the campus and international population who recognize the rights of Palestinian people.

“We want to make that section (of students) bigger and bigger,” he said. “We hope it eventually becomes a general consensus that (Palestinians) should have equal rights.”

Bruins for Israel, a pro-Israel group at UCLA, plans to make a presence on campus this week as well, said Jonathan Gilbert, a fourth-year political science student and president of the organization.

Members of the group intend to educate students about their side of the issue and pass out informational flyers on and near Bruin Plaza, he said.

“We’re taking action to be out (on campus) and discuss the Middle East with fellow Bruins,” Gilbert said. “We’re pro-peace and also support Israel’s right to security.”

Kurwa said the Students for Justice in Palestine started a push last November to call for a public debate on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“So far, no one has accepted our offer for a neutral debate,” he said. “We’d like to use this event to ensure (students) are aware of this invitation.”

Another new focus this year will be the University of California’s role on the issue, Kurwa said. This will be present in the group’s event on Wednesday, called “Do UC What I See?: University Investments in Israeli Apartheid.”

“(The UC’s role) has always been a part of our event, but it is especially featured this year,” he said.

Compiled by Katherine Hafner, Bruin senior staff.

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  • Arafat

    There is no “Palestine”. There might have been, but they chose war instead-
    time and again:

    The would-have-been “Palestinians” would have had a state IN PEACE in 1937 with the
    Peel Plan, but they violently rejected it.

    They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1939 with the MacDonald White Paper, but
    they violently rejected it (and Jews would have even been restricted from
    BUYING land from Arabs).

    They would have had a state IN PEACE in 1948 with UN 181, but they violently
    rejected it (and actually claimed that the UN had no such mandate!).

    They could have had a state IN PEACE in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza from 1948-1967
    without any Jews- because the Arabs had ethnically cleansed every last one; but
    they violently rejected it. In fact, that’s exactly when they established Fatah
    (1959) and the PLO (1964).

    They could have had a state IN PEACE after 1967, but instead, the entire Arab world
    issued the Khartoum Resolutions:

    A. NO peace with Israel

    B. NO recognition of Israel

    C. NO negotiations with Israel

    They would have had a state IN PEACE in 2000 with the Oslo Accords, but they
    violently rejected it- as always.

    And as soon as Israel pulled every single Israeli out of Gaza, what did the
    would-have-been “Palestinians” do? They immediately started shooting thousands
    of missiles into Israeli population centers, they elected Hamas (whose official
    platform calls for jihad with no negotiations until Israel is destroyed) to
    rule them, and they have dug tunnels crossing into the Negev to kill and kidnap

    And even afterwards, Ehud Olmert made his subsequent generous offer that went far beyond
    even that of Barak. The would-have-been “Palestinians” rejected it.

    They had many chances.

    They threw them all away because destroying Israel was higher on their priority
    list. It still is.

    Oh well. That’s their choice.

  • Arafat

    Feb 13, 2013

    In another story the Western media apparently refuses to cover, any Palestinian who dares to
    criticize Hamas or the Palestinian Authority risks being arrested or summoned
    for interrogation.

    Palestinian journalists are now hoping to bring this to the attention of President Barack Obama when he
    meets with President Mahmoud Abbas next month.

    The journalists say they want United States and the rest of the world to know that the crackdown on
    freedom of expression in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip is designed to hide
    the fact that Palestinians are governed by two repressive regimes that have no
    respect for human rights and democracy.

  • Arafat

    Given that you support the Palestinians who openly advocate Jewish genocide (see
    their duly elected leaders clear-cut party covenants), you correspondingly do
    as well. It’s hard to believe in this day and age that anyone would openly
    advocate the liquidation of Jews, but you clearly do and it doesn’t seem to
    bother you a whit.

    Moreover, it would be hard to believe that anyone would support second class status for
    women, the honor murder of teenage girls, the brutalization of gays and the
    suppression of dissenters. But you, as supporters of the Palestinians who
    regularly practice all of the above, are therefore complicit in these sexist,
    racist and fascist beliefs as well.

    Why are you so bigoted, misogynist, anti-gay and such hater of Jews? Please tell us
    pray tell.

    And if to be opposed to such garbage practiced by so many Muslims world-wide makes one
    an Islamophobe, count me and all who believe in freedom and hate sexism and
    bigotry vs Jews as a proud Islamophobe.

  • Hokooka AlEnsan

    As an Israeli-Jewish granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I just want to say that “Arafat” seems to be indoctrinated under a completely false narrative. Judaism isn’t equaled to Zionism. There are many Jewish people who disagree with Israel’s policies and believe that the brutal occupation of Palestine is what endangers all citizens of that region. I support Palestinian human rights! I support BDS! I support the wonderful and amazing efforts of Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA! Free Palestine! Free Judaism from Zionism!

    • Arafat

      As a Palestinian-Muslim grandson of olive tree farmers, I just want to say that “Hookooka” seems to be indoctrinated under a completely false narrative….


      I don’t accuse the Palestinians of Jew-hatred because of
      criticism of settlements. I accuse them of Jew hatred because their media
      contains the most obscene and fanatical Jew-hatred, as documented by such
      organizations as MEMRI, and because the Palestinians repeatedly make clear
      their desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth — which they wish to do
      in order to live out the Islamic religious mythos, for example the following

      Muhammad says that one day the very trees and stones will
      help Muslims to kill Jews.

      He says it both in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim,
      Islam’s two most canonical hadith collections.

      • Arafat

        That Israel is still the subject of hatred is deeply
        disturbing and one of the forces that drives my support for the Jewish State.

        In choosing not to stand idly by as the age-old hatred of
        the Jewish people has been transferred to the “collective Jew,” I have been
        speaking up against the new anti-Semitism that is so pervasive today.

        It targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish
        homeland, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world.

        It is perversely couched in the language of human rights.

        Just as conventional anti-Semitism denied Jews the right to
        live as equal members of humanity, the new anti-Semitism denies the State of
        Israel the right to live as an equal member of the international community.