Every year, extremists converge on campuses all over the world. For a week or two, they strive to sow divisions, encourage prejudice, and incite hostility.
They come as part of "Israeli Apartheid Week," a series of lectures, exhibits and events that single out Israel for fierce attack. Students are told the Jewish state is, by nature, a racist, colonial and oppressive state. They are told Israel should be boycotted, and even destroyed. They are told this by ideologues who distort facts about the country while ignoring genuine oppression in the Middle East and across the world.
One need look no further than the event's title to understand its malignant nature. The canard that Israel is an apartheid state is an assault on the country's very legitimacy. South Africa's racist, apartheid regime was rightfully dismantled, and this campaign seeks absurdly to cast Israel the Middle East's most progressive state and only liberal democracy as being guilty of similar policies and equally deserving to be dismantled.
Apartheid Week is an affront to Palestinian and Israeli moderates who seek to reach peace through compromise and mutual recognition. It opposes equality and tolerance by seeking to do away with the Jewish people's right to self-determination. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that Israel, which he described as "one of great outposts of democracy in the world", has an "incontestable" right to exist. Apartheid Week's push against King's truth can only impede the dream of peace and justice in the Middle East.
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