HRC / AVI Campus Media Fellow Published In The Toronto Sun: Irony Has Occupied Pro-Palestinian Encampment At University Of Waterloo

June 18, 2024

On June 13, 2024, one of our Campus Media Fellows, Noa Boulakia, was published in The Toronto Sun, about how the encampment at the University of Waterloo is full of irony. They claim to care about justice and human rights but make no effort to address other global crises with the same fervour as they do against Israel, using anti-Zionism as a veil for anti-Semitism.

The hypocrisy is evident. This has always been a war on Jews.


Irony Has Occupied Pro-Palestinian Encampment At University Of Waterloo

By: Noa Boulakia

The pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Waterloo raises many questions.

For a group protesting the “occupation” by Israel, it seems ironic that they are illegally occupying our university. But what are they really fighting for?

Do you think Jewish people are colonizers? Well, Israel is the ancestral land of the Jewish people, to which the Jews are Indigenous. The Jewish people arrived in Israel in at least 1200 BCE and Muslims arrived in 638. So the Jewish people are not colonizers.

Next, the encampment speaks of the “Nakba” — meaning “catastrophe” in Arabic — which leaves out crucial information. In 1948, when 151 countries announced Israel as an official state, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia united with a surprise attack on Israel. What you call the Nakba was Israel defending itself. This is remarkably similar to today, when Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, when much of the world did not care. However, as soon as Israel defended itself, the world jumped into an outcry.

The encampment claims to be against apartheid, which is the segregation of individuals based on race. How could there be apartheid in Israel when 20% of the Israeli population are Arabs with equal rights?

What about the Arabic writing on the wooden walls surrounding the Waterloo field? One would expect the people within the encampment to understand it. Unfortunately, when someone fluent in Arabic went in to inquire, not a single person could explain the writing. You should probably know what you’re fighting for, so I’ll let you know what it says: “From Lebanon to Palestine, revolution against the Zionists.”

Then there’s the large piece of wood decorated with “Queers for Palestine.” But if a queer person went into Gaza, they would be persecuted.

You shout, “All eyes on Rafah.” Yes, please, watch. Open your eyes. Do you see the terror tunnels? Do you see the bodies of hostages hidden in UN buildings? War is awful and both sides face tremendous losses that shouldn’t be wished upon anyone. I hate seeing the suffering of Israelis and Palestinians alike. But you are doing nothing. Just like how “all eyes on Rafah” is performative virtue-signalling: Posting opinions you don’t fully understand on social media to gain popularity and enhance your reputation.

The encampment sends out a daily text asking for “donations that are BDS friendly.” I sure hope you don’t use an Apple or Android phone to send that because the Intel chips in your phone were developed in Israel. But, of course, you’ll keep using your phone because it’s convenient for you.

You claim to fight apartheid, but exclude certain people. You write in Arabic, but don’t understand it. You fight “occupation” with occupation. What do you truly stand for?

All you do is try to intimidate Jewish students, but you don’t even succeed in that. You have security circling around and all your members wear masks. You hate Israel and plaster the president of our school, Vivek Goel, on a poster, labelling him “genocide Goel.” Stop attacking my school, a place where I pay to get educated.

Do you even know what’s happening in Myanmar? About 1.95 million people are displaced. Do you even know where that is? No, of course not, because it’s not about the Jews. It’s always been about the Jews. This further proves that you don’t care about what you’re protesting; you care about hurting Jews.

If you truly care about justice and human rights, why not address these other global crises with the same fervour? The hypocrisy is evident. This has always been a war on Jews.

Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. There isn’t more to it. You use anti-Zionism as a veil for anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism denies Jews the right to self-determination and self-defence — this is anti-Semitism. Criticizing Israel’s right to exist while ignoring or excusing other countries’ controversial actions is a double standard that further reveals your bias.

Your actions speak louder than your lies and it’s time to end this charade.

Noa Boulakia is a student at Waterloo University and a Campus Media Fellow with HonestReporting Canada & Allied Voices for Israel.

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