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Israeli Apartheid Week Comes to UC Irvine
As I browse through UC Irvine's Vendor Week during the first week of May 2010, I buy a couple of things that I need. A student hands me a postcard and I check it out. It is a four-day campaign to educate the students about the Israeli/Palestine conflict. It sounds interesting, and I decide to check it out, next week.
A week later, I arrive at UC Irvine, with my messenger bag hanging across my chest, and I check out the posters and props used for the demonstration. This event is titled, Israeli Apartheid Week: A Call To Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel. Immediately, I notice a "wall" made of billboard-sized sections that are placed next to each other to resemble the wall that Israel built to separate the Palestinians from the Israelis. But on this demonstration wall, there are graphic pictures, statistics, and facts about the information in the Palestine/Israel situation. As I read the horrific information on these boards, I realize that I wasn't aware how bad the situation was there since the American media is inaccurate and often misleading. I pick up some brochures and pamphlets from a table for further reading.
From the postcard, I notice that there are eight speakers and ten seminars. Each speaker comes from a different background, but each person has the same purpose, which is to educate and inform the American public in the hope to create positive action. They also want to uncover the truth behind the myths, lies and deception of the media. These speakers included professors at Princeton University and UC Santa Barbara, lecturers at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, two journalists, Peace Activist from Germany, and a Community Leader/Activist.
On May 10th, Hedy Epstein speaks about Palestine in two seminars, Remembering Is Not Enough, Part 1 and Part 2. Then, Dr. Hatem Bazian speaks about the Roots of the Conflict. On May 11th, Dr. Norman Finkelstein talks about The Tides Are Changing and The Gaza Invasion. On May 12th, Alison Weir talks about If Americans Knew, Part 1 and Part 2. Then, Dr. William Robinson talks about UC Israel. On May 13th, Amir Abdel Malik Ali talks about Death To Apartheid. Then, Omar Shakir talks about Apartheid Is Real. I found these seminars to be interesting as I took a lot of notes to summarize and outline each seminar for my online journalism site.
Some protestors attended, each carrying American and Israeli flags as well as a yellow flag with a curled up rattlesnake. They carried their 9/11 posters as well as they wore their United Against Terrorism t-shirts to support the media lies and deception that they believe in. Some of these protestors seemed shocked and embarrassed about everything they heard. They took snapshots of the demonstration props and billboards. Some of them tried to argue with the speakers during the Question and Answer session at the end of each seminar. But what they said was usually either off topic or misquoted, and they were dismissed.
When I arrive home, I eagerly summarize each seminar in ten different articles before posting these articles on an online journalism site. I am happy to report honest journalism to the world.
For more information, check out the site, www.IfAmericansKnew.org