David Cronin, author of the recently released Europe’s Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation, writes in his latest piece for Mondoweiss:
If imitation is the best form of flattery, then the activists behind Israeli Apartheid Week have been paid an immense tribute. As students belonging to Palestine support groups across Britain held events to mark the annual March event, they learned of a rival initiative. A network of on-campus Zionist societies have declared their own Israeli Awareness Week over the same period.
The awareness week has relied heavily on gimmicks to try and counter impressions that Israel has a war addiction. Stalls staffed by visiting Israeli students have offered sugary delights labelled “Peace of Cake”; signatures have been collected for a “we support a two-state solution” petition.
When I spoke in Birmingham University a few days ago, the rivalry between the two efforts appeared relaxed. Yet there is a more sinister side to how on-campus Zionists are behaving. In Birmingham, the students Jewish Society has enjoyed considerable success in convincing university authorities to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. When Gaza was described as a concentration camp by Mike Prysner (a US army veteran) at a February debate organised by pro-Palestine students, an official investigation was triggered…”