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Four Questions for Campus Activists

by Wayne L. Firestone |Apr 06, 2012|Comments


[This article appeared in the Times of Israel, April 1, 2012 - http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/four-questions-for-campus-activists/]

For most Americans, March Madness refers to that annual tournament of high hopes and dashed dreams on the basketball court. For those studying at or working for Jewish institutions on North American college campuses, March Madness stands for the perennial surge of anti-Israel activism, most of it under the rubric of something known as Israel Apartheid Week (IAW). It is, to borrow some imagery from the current Jewish festival season, our own mitzrayim, or narrow place, through which we must pass every year. But the term is one of propaganda not art as other absurd pseudonyms and antics are used year 'round.

If, like the basketball fans, you're keeping score at home of the debates about Israel on college campuses over the last month, the results from the North American Hillel network are in. They pretty consistently suggest that, while IAW activists were noisy and sometimes confrontational, as we expected, there's little evidence they are growing in size and intensity or that their voices reached a wide or sympathetic audience.

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