Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Columbia University have come up with an excellent initiative to counter the odious “Israeli Apartheid Week” – Hebrew Liberation Week, which seeks to “empower Jewish and pro-Israel students to feel proud of their history, culture, identity and values.”
Hebrew Liberation Week “is a positive celebration of the connection between the Jews and Israel,” said Rudy Rochman, president of the school’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI), contrasting the negative messages repeatedly conveyed by certain elements on campus.
To this end, he said, a series of large canvases and panels, depicting various aspects of Israeli culture and history, were displayed on a campus square. These included artwork of IDF soldiers; a drawing of a young person dressed like the Lion of Judah; and a written description of the relationship between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. The installation was purposely placed near an “apartheid wall,” glorifying violent “resistance” against Israel
According to Rochman, reactions to the endeavor have been overwhelmingly positive. “Jewish students on both the Right and Left are absolutely shocked and amazed that something like this is possible at our school,” he said. “Causing many to come to our display instead of the ‘apartheid wall’ one.”
Rudy himself had the following debate with a student who identifies as palestinian but grew up in Syria. And I have to say, this is how it’s done.
Well done to SSI for being proactive and proud.