Arnold Schwarzenegger, the American actor, and politician who served as the governor of California between 2003 and 2011, emerged as an unexpected combatant against antisemitism. In a compelling video, Schwarzenegger spoke about the rising hate and antisemitism that “we have seen all over the world.” He talked about his visit to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp where more than a million Jewish men, women, and children lost their lives. “Once you’ve spent the time to really think about all those things, then your imagination has no choice but to start the real work, how do we stop this from ever happening again? After a trip to Auschwitz, you will never question why never again is the rallying cry of all of the people who fight to prevent another Holocaust.”
Having been deeply touched by his experience in Auschwitz, he decided to appeal to those full of hatred. “I don’t want to preach to the choir. Here is the day I want to talk to the people out there who might have already stumbled into the wrong direction, into the wrong path. I want to talk to you if you have heard some conspiracies about Jewish people or people of any race or gender orientation and thought that makes sense to me. I want to talk to you if you found yourself thinking that anyone is inferior and how to get you because of their religion or the color of their skin, or their gender. I don’t know the road that has brought you here, but I’ve seen enough people throw away their futures for hateful beliefs.״
He ended by pleading, “I don’t care how many hateful things you may have written online. I don’t care how often you have marched with carrying that hateful flag or what hateful things you may have said in anger, there’s still hope for you, there’s still time for you to choose strength, choose life. Conquer your mind. You Can Do It.״
Schwarzenegger did not identify those who wave the flag of hatred by name, but some academic groups and individuals stand out. Earlier this month, the Palestinians and their supporters announced “Israeli Apartheid Week” on campus.
In the US, at UC Davis, Apartheid Week is about to begin. Organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, an on-campus political advocacy group for Palestinian Liberation, it is recognized by chapters nationwide. UC Berkeley’s Apartheid Week is also coming up, where an apartheid wall is erected in conjunction with Bears for Palestine. Apartheid Week is focused on the “right of return for Palestinian refugees and the end of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank in Gaza.”
In the Netherlands, Israeli Apartheid Week is taking place in the Hague, Groningen, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Utrecht, and Leiden under the banner #UnitedAgainstRacism.
In Ireland, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized an “Israel Apartheid Week” in Celbridge, Dublin, Ennis, and Wexford under the banner of “Boycott Israeli Goods Action” on March 4, 2023. The group asked shoppers “not to buy Israeli products on sale in Irish stores.” According to the organizers, the BDS campaign “aims to apply economic pressure through people power, on the Israeli state to compel it to comply with international law and end the apartheid regime it imposes upon the Palestinian people.”
Closter to home, the BDS campaign has targeted Ben Gurion University. The Philosophy Department at BGU is hosting a conference in Israel titled “Anti-theory in the Philosophy of Science and Ethics” between July 4, 2023, to July 6, 2023. The invitation explains that two philosophical movements emerged in the 1970s and 80s, the philosophy of science and ethics. Both challenged the prevailing conception of philosophical theorizing. Despite the undeniable differences between science and ethics, there is an important similarity between the two anti-theory movements. The aim of the conference is to “bring together scholars from philosophy of science and ethics to provide a comparative assessment of anti-theory movements in the philosophy of science and in ethics and to explore ways in which insights gleaned from one subfield can shed light on the other.” The confirmed speakers included Sophie-Grace Chappell (Open University, UK), K. Brad Wray (Aarhus University, Denmark), Nora Hämäläinen (University of Helsinki), Jamie Shaw (Leibniz Universität Hannover), Shlomit Wygoda Cohen (Polonsky Fellow, Van Leer Institute), it says.
However, Prof. Sophie-Grace Chappell has declined the invitation. In a Facebook post, she explained her decision as a response to what she saw as a “brutal” oppression of the Palestinians. She said it is a protest “In light of the longstanding failure of the State of Israel to accord basic human rights to the Palestinian people living within its legitimate territory.” The BDS movement congratulated Chappell on her decision and urged others to follow.
Like most pro-Palestinian advocates, Chappell has never seen fit to discuss the appalling lack of basic human rights in the Gaza Strip and the only marginally better situation in the West Bank. The latest statistics of the Freedom House, which measures civil, religious, and political freedoms around the globe, gave very low marks to the PLO, which runs the West Bank, and especially Hamas, which is in charge of the Strip. Corruption, an integral part of Palestinian self-rule, is also sky-high.
Schwarzenegger’s plea would behoove the BDS movement for an open-minded dialogue as an antidote to hatred of Israel.
Anti-theory in the Philosophy of Science and Ethics
July 4, 2023 – July 6, 2023
Philosophy Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Beersheba Israel
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Talks at this conference
During the 1970s and 80s two movements emerged—one in the philosophy of science and the other in ethics—that challenged the prevailing conception of philosophical theorizing in their respective fields. In PoS, Paul Feyerabend (1970, 1975) criticized attempts to identify a scientific method and to formulate a theory of scientific rationality. Scientists, he claimed, do not—and should not—follow strict rules of a fixed method. In ethics, a diverse group of prominent philosophers questioned the purpose and value of moral theorizing. They insisted that excellent moral behavior does not consist in following strict moral principles and that organizing our lives on dictates of moral theory is morally pernicious (MacIntyre 1981; Williams 1985; Baier 1985; Taylor 1989).
Despite the undeniable differences between science and ethics, there is, nevertheless, a deep and important similarity between the two anti-theory movements—they both reject the presumption that a chief task of their field is to formulate strict principles for practical guidance. Interestingly, this principal similarity has been overlooked and the debates in the philosophy of science and in ethics have developed independently one from the other. The aim of the workshop is to bring together scholars from philosophy of science and ethics to provide a comparative assessment of anti-theory movements in the philosophy of science and in ethics and to explore ways in which insights gleaned from one subfield can shed light on the other.
Confirmed Speakers: Sophie-Grace Chappell (Open University, UK), K. Brad Wray (Aarhus University, Denmark), Nora Hämäläinen (University of Helsinki), Jamie Shaw (Leibniz Universität Hannover), Shlomit Wygoda Cohen (Polonsky Fellow, Van Leer Institute)
The workshop is organized by Dr. Uri D. Leibowitz (email@example.com) and Dr. Klodian Coko (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the Philosophy Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in conjunction with a research project funded by the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF 1943/20).
Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)
Is registration required? Yes
Registration deadline: June 15, 2023, 9:00am IST
How to register: antitheory.bgugmail.com
Scholar Sophie Grace Chappell Withdraws From Ethics Conference in Apartheid Israel
March 8, 2023
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
As Palestinians, we salute scholar Sophie Grace Chappell for her principled decision to withdraw from the Anti-theory in the Philosophy of Science and Ethics conference in apartheid Israel.
Chappell withdrew over “the longstanding failure of the State of Israel to accord basic human rights to the Palestinian people” and the “increasingly extreme, inhumane, and violently oppressive policies currently being deployed against innocent Palestinians by the Settler movement in the West Bank and elsewhere, with the connivance and at times active support of the Israeli [occupation forces] and of members of the present Israeli government.”
We appreciate the fact that Chappell chose to heed Palestinian and anti-colonial Israeli appeals urging her not to allow Israel’s decades-long apartheid regime, currently under its most racist, homo- and trans- phobic government ever, to use her name and standing as a stamp of approval.
With her withdrawal, Chappell joins the many principled scholars who are refusing to participate in complicit conferences that whitewash Israeli apartheid. It sends a message to Israel that, like apartheid South Africa, it cannot continue to commit the crime against humanity of apartheid without consequences. It also signals to Israeli institutions that are complicit in apartheid that scholars will not continue business-as-usual relations with them.
The conference host, Ben Gurion University, is deeply complicit in Israel’s system of oppression against Palestinians. As early as 2011, the University of Johannesburg in South Africa severed all institutional ties with Ben Gurion University after a fact-finding mission found it guilty of “institutional complicity and active collaboration with the Israeli military, occupation and apartheid practices.”
We urge all remaining speakers to follow Chappell’s ethical example by withdrawing from the conference at Ben Gurion University. Apartheid was the antithesis of ethics in South Africa, and it is the same with Israel. Organizing a conference on ethics in apartheid Israel makes a travesty of ethics.
1 March at 15:39
In light of the longstanding failure of the State of Israel to accord basic human rights to the Palestinian people living within its legitimate territory, or adjacent to that territory; in light of the increasingly extreme, inhumane, and violently oppressive policies currently being deployed against innocent Palestinians by the Settler movement in the West Bank and elsewhere, with the connivance and at times active support of the Israeli Defence Force and of members of the present Israeli government; in light of the Netanyahu administration’s continuing attacks upon the judiciary and the rule of law in Israel; in light of my perception that if I went to Israel and was arrested for protesting about these things, the probability of effective lobbying for my release from the British Government is extremely low; and in light of the advice of friends both Palestinian and Israeli; I have reached the conclusion that I must withdraw from the speaking engagement at a conference in Israel in June that I entered into last November, when consequences of the result of the last Israeli General Election that are now obvious to all, were not yet apparent to me.
I must apologise to the organisers of the conference for any inconvenience caused to them by my decision, which is not reversible except by a drastic alteration in the political situation in Israel.
Students for Justice in Palestine mark ‘Apartheid Week’
MARCH 9, 2023
A large Palestinian flag hung from a tree in the quad, waving in the sunshine as students gathered around on Wednesday to hear personal stories about life in Palestine and precautions when visiting there.
Organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, an on-campus political advocacy group for Palestinian Liberation, the teach-in was day three in a weeklong event at UC Davis known as Apartheid Week, recognized by chapters nationwide. Focused on the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the end of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank in Gaza, throughout the week, educational events also included a Hunger Banquet: Living on $1.90 a Day and work on an apartheid wall at UC Berkeley in conjunction with Bears for Palestine.
The World Bank’s previous definition of “extreme poverty”, $1.90 per person per day, was updated last September, measuring at $2.15 per person per day. According to the World Bank, about 648 million people were in extreme poverty in 2019.
President of SFJ UCD Yara (who requested her last name be withheld for safety reasons) said Apartheid Week highlights how “the system perpetuates apartheid” and how different experiences of Palestinians differ depending on gender, age, where they are geographically in Palestine. “Even within the West Bank, Palestinians, some different towns and cities are living under different forms of restrictions of movement, economic suppression, political and civil suppression from the Israeli military. So throughout the week, we’re just going to be having educational events highlighting these forms of violent oppression that Palestinians are subjected to,” she said.
The Apartheid Wall invites community members to question its symbolism. “There’s an apartheid wall in the West Bank and around Gaza right now, so people struggle to get in or leave, especially when it comes to Gaza. Palestinians can’t leave Gaza, and Palestinians can enter if they live outside,” Yara said.
Born in the U.S., Seena, the vice president of Students for Justice in Palestine, travels each summer to visit family outside of Palestine. Their village was demolished and her grandparents became refugees in Jordan and Kuwait. She returns every summer to visit family and work in the refugee camps.
“(Working in the camps) is a world within itself,” she said. “Seeing your people that way is challenging, but they have so much hope and resistance. It’s very hard coming into contact with settlers or Israeli forces, but at the end of the day, Palestinian people are the most resilient people I know. It’s a beautiful culture and a beautiful place. While everything we talked about is so sad, I always have shown and shed light on the beauty of the land and the people in the culture.”
What follows is a personal account Seena shared at the teach-in regarding her visit to Palestine last summer. It has been edited for clarity:
I got to go to Palestine for three months, see my family, see my land, and be with my people. And a big thing for me is to go pray in Jerusalem. I got the privilege of doing that this summer, and I couldn’t be more grateful. But I must say it’s not easy for me to get in as a Palestinian woman. My American passport means nearly nothing to them. When I was in Jerusalem, going through all of the little vendors selling food, shirts and little knickknacks, I was stopped by an IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) soldier. I was asked to present my visa and passport, which I did without argument.
As I waited to get those things returned to me, I had a sweet older man who asked me what village I was from. And I, of course, I’m so proud of where I’m from, and I immediately began to tell him about how the beautiful village my family is from is sadly in ruins, and he was actually able to know and understand, which was very fun and interesting for me. And then, it came time for me to get my passport back.
Before giving my passport back, I was asked to recite the opening verse of the Quran. I was asked, as a Muslim woman, why I was there. Upon being asked to recite the opening verse in the Quran, I couldn’t really bite my tongue, and I looked at him, and I said, “Are you kidding me? Because in what way are you to make me feel so low? It makes me feel as though I have to prove myself as a Muslim woman, on my ground and land, to pray in a mosque for my people?”
And not long after the second those words left my mouth, the environment around me completely changed. He had a gun larger than me on him. He began to explicitly tell me, “Do you understand where you are? I don’t care if you’re from California. This isn’t California. I will have you forcibly removed. I will have you arrested, and I will not allow you to pray in your mosque.” This all happened to me in 10 minutes with my cousin right next to me in absolute and utter shock that I was being treated this way.
But at the same time, I expect nothing less. I expect nothing less of this military occupation. It is something that I do not fear. I do not fear these soldiers. I do not fear these people because, at the end of the day, their main basis, their main foundation, is absolutely nothing. It’s empty words. It’s empty promises. So at the end of the day, I looked at him and said “really” again, and he was starting to get very frustrated. I saw his hand moving to his gun, and I knew that they shoot before they ask.
And, immediately, all I could think about was my family. My mother, my cousin who is a martyr, and at that moment, I knew I couldn’t do that to my family. The countless stories you hear of them shooting up Palestinians are devastating. At that moment, my cousin and I began to recite the verse. And at that moment, he gave us our passports back. But I wasn’t going to go without that being said. Midway through the recitation, he asked me to stop after giving me my passport. I continued with my recitation.
I could see the anger on his face because he could tell that I was not bothered. He could tell that there was no effect on me. I walked away with a smile because, at the end of the day, I was still home. That’s my home. I have the right to return to my home, and I wish nothing but that for every Palestinian brother and sister.
My story is no different than thousands of others. My story is not the worst; if anything, it’s a great story. I’m here to tell you about it today. But I want you to know that this is ongoing. Palestinians face going through checkpoints through these interactions, just getting into Palestine. All of that is a struggle for us. But we continue to go because we know that’s home that will forever be home. I am sharing one of my many stories of Palestine’s beautiful land and beautiful people, and I am so proud to call it home.
Student activists for Palestine host ‘apartheid week’
VICTOR CORONA | STAFF
Events began Monday and continued throughout the week.
MARCH 11, 2023
“Apartheid week” is being held this week, hosted by student groups Bears for Palestine, or BFP, and Berkeley Law Students for Justice in Palestine, with the goal of covering “the origins of Israeli apartheid and how it affects Palestinians today.”
Events began Monday and will continue throughout the week, ending with an “apartheid wall assemble” Friday.
“Apartheid week” was planned in collaboration with various Palestinian clubs across campuses in the United States and Canada, said a BFP representative who wished to remain anonymous due to security reasons, in an email.
They noted that the topics and discussions brought up during this week are important to Palestinian Americans and international students, since many have family members who have been “directly affected by the occupation.”
“This year, the United States has already given $3.8 billion to Israel. It’s only March. Since the year started, we have heard reports almost every week about different villages Israeli Defense Forces have been raiding,” the BFP representative said in the email. “We’re constantly worried that the next person we hear about dead will join our long list of family members who have passed at the hands of the regime.”
On Monday, they hosted a workshop discussing the debate around “greenwashing” in Palestine.
Tuesday’s event, titled “Apartheid: The Matrix of Control,” consisted of a workshop with Palestine DeCal facilitators, covering how Israel “controls” Palestinians in occupied territories, the representative said.
On Wednesday, they hosted a screening of “Farha” and had a Q&A with the director Darin Sallam. Thursday’s event, titled “Youth: The Yearn for Return,” consisted of a workshop about Palestinian activism over the years, the representative said, along with a panel discussing questions accumulated throughout the week.
Friday’s planned event consists of a makeshift wall, which they plan to plaster on campus. The BFP representative added that the event and wall were supposed to represent the separation of Palestinians.
“As Palestinians, we’re always attacked when we try to speak about our injustices. The truth is hard to hear, and many choose to be ignorant,” the BFP representative said in the email. “We’re just asking for our basic human rights. We demand our right to return and live in our ancestral homeland without the constant fear of death and erasure.”
A campus sophomore, who wishes to remain anonymous for safety concerns, said in an email that it was “wonderful” to see many people on campus coming together to discuss Palestine.
The source added that the events serve as a reminder of the reality of the “trauma, difficulties, and hardships” Palestinians face.
“It’s incredibly heartbreaking that people have become so desensitized to violence, specifically violence occurring in the MENA region,” the source said in the email. “These events not only bring people together, but they educate us on what a free Palestine really is, and challenges us to unlearn false narratives that have been embedded in our education system and the general media.
Contact Victor Corona at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter at @victorcoronas.
March 12, 2023
Israeli Apartheid Week Begins! #UnitedAgainstRacism
Israeli Apartheid Week kicks off next week! For the 18th time, thousands of events and actions are organized worldwide under the banner of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) and #UnitedAgainstRacism.
Numerous panel discussions, demonstrations, workshops, film evenings, etc. will also be organized in the Netherlands this year. The Hague, Groningen, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Utrecht and Leiden are #UnitedAgainstRacism
Support #IAW23 with a donation
Inspired by the ongoing resistance in Palestine, we hope to contribute to the Palestinian liberation struggle with Israeli Apartheid Week 2023. We have listed all events. View them below in the IAW Calendar.
Activists, students, organizations and everyone else making #IAW23 possible: You are amazing!
The goal of IAW is to highlight Israel’s regime of settler colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people, and mobilize global action to help dismantle it. Thanks in part to IAW, it is becoming increasingly difficult for apartheid Israel to hide the institutionalized racism and systematic oppression of the Palestinians.
IAW fuels the unstoppable growth of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
- [Celbridge] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods Action
Sat, 4 March 2023, 11:00AM
(Outside Castletown Gates)
[Celbridge] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods ActionSat, 4 March 2023, 11:00 Outside Castletown GatesAs part of #IsraeliApartheidWeek 2023, the North Kildare Branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will hold a Boycott Israeli Goods information stall outside Castletown Gates on Saturday 4th March from 11:00am, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli products on sale in Irish stores.The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aims to apply economic pressure through people power, on the Israeli state to compel it to comply with international law and end the apartheid regime it imposes upon the Palestinian people.
- [Dublin] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods Action
Sat, 4 March 2023, 12:30PM
(Outside the old Debenhams Shop, Henry Street, Dublin 1)
[Dublin] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods ActionSat, 4 March 2023, 12:30 Outside the old Debenhams Shop, Henry Street, Dublin 1As part of #IsraeliApartheidWeek 2023, the Dublin Branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will hold a Boycott Israeli Goods leafleting action, meeting outside the old Debenhams shop on Henry Street in Dublin on Saturday 4th March from 12.30pm, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli products on sale in Irish stores.The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aims to apply economic pressure through people power, on the Israeli state to compel it to comply with international law and end the apartheid regime it imposes upon the Palestinian people.
- [Ennis] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods Action
Sat, 4 March 2023, 11:30AM
(Tesco and Aldi, Frances Street, Ennis) [Ennis] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods ActionSat, 4 March 2023, 11:30 Tesco and Aldi, Frances Street, EnnisAs part of #IsraeliApartheidWeek 2023, the Clare Branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will hold a Boycott Israeli Goods leafleting action at Tesco and Aldi in Ennis on Saturday 4th March from 11:30am, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli products on sale in these stores and others such as Dunnes Stores, Lidl etc.The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aims to apply economic pressure through people power, on the Israeli state to compel it to comply with international law and end the apartheid regime it imposes upon the Palestinian people.
- [Wexford] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods Action
Sat, 4 March 2023, 2:00PM
(The Bullring, Wexford)
[Wexford] Israeli Apartheid Week – Boycott Israeli Goods Action
Sat, 4 March 2023, 14:00 The Bullring, Wexford
As part of #IsraeliApartheidWeek 2023, the South East Branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will hold a Boycott Israeli Goods leafleting action at The Bullring in Wexford on Saturday 4th March from 2pm, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli products on sale in Irish stores.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aims to apply economic pressure through people power, on the Israeli state to compel it to comply with international law and end the apartheid regime it imposes upon the Palestinian people