Now faculty, not students, are leading the anti-Israel charge on campus.
I’d like to re-pose the age-old question: “If Israeli Apartheid Week happens on campus and no one notices, does it make a sound?”
Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) officially took place on campuses across the U.S. over the course of February 24-March 2, although the exact boundaries of the “week” varied somewhat.
When we set out to monitor events at Legal Insurrection, we expected an avalanche. But it never showed up. There were events, but none seemed to have much energy or attendance.
We’re just starting the “Israeli Apartheid week” in Europe too, but even in Sussex, England, only 8 people showed up to the BDS march. That may reflect that even in Britain, a hotbed of anti-Israel activities on campus, IAW is losing steam, UK Students Say ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ Losing Steam.
Has Israeli Apartheid Week peaked already in the U.S.?
The Jewish Press reported that pro-Israel counter-events outnumbered IAW events.
We had trouble finding reports of any large-scale IAW activities, and those that did occur failed to draw coverage or attendance on numerous campuses.
For example, at the University of Maryland, only 12 of 426 invited guests rsvp’ed as attending the IAW event, “The Wall Must Fall.” Neither did the event receive any coverage from their student newspaper.
And at Drew University, only 29 of over 1000 invited guests rsvp’ed as attending:
Not surprisingly, there was no campus coverage of the Drew University event, either.
UMD and Drew University were not alone in absence of news coverage.
Revealingly, other campuses lacking any sort of student newspaper coverage include Harvard, Lamar University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Clark University, University of Minnesota, Rutgers University, and Brooklyn College. To name a few.
Although a pro-Palestine op-ed or two did appear on certain campuses — such as Georgetown University — much of what little coverage the week did receive was negative:
In addition to low media buzz, IAW certainly did not have a strong national presence. Only twenty-three areas are listed as participating, with many of those twenty-three hosting events later in March rather than during the official IAW.
It appears that IAW came and passed largely unnoticed this year, without creating the same kind of stir of controversy it did in previous years.
Why is this? Maybe the stunts of building mock walls and checkpoints now has become a self-parody. Perhaps pro-Israel counter-events and counter-information campaigns on campuses are seeing results.
Or, perhaps all the energy is being devoted to faculty agitation for anti-Israel academic boycotts. Rather than staying behind the scenes, anti-Israel faculty now are in the lead, and the students something of an afterthought.
(Featured image: American University Students for Justice in Palestine)