Rutgers University was one of at least 12 campuses across North America targeted by an annual campaign portraying Israel as a racist “apartheid” country in which the Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinians is compared to the infamous oppression of blacks by the white minority in South Africa.
The campaign — called Palestine Awareness Week at Rutgers — features anti-Israel rhetoric and calls for renewed boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns against the Jewish state and issues allegations that Israel is committing war crimes and genocide against the Palestinian people, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Several events on the New Brunswick campus took place the week of Feb. 28-March 4 staged by BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice, which supports efforts to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza and has often focused on Israel’s role in the deadly flotilla incident last May. Events included a program stressing the parallels between “apartheid in Israel” and South Africa and a concrete barrier set up in Brower Commons with “Berlin 1961-1989 and Palestine 2003-2011” written in red paint, drawing an analogy between the Berlin Wall and Israel’s security fence.
BAKA has organized or endorsed other events throughout the semester that have raised the ire of Rutgers Hillel and other Jewish groups.
Hillel executive director Andrew Getraer said the group was allied with Students for Justice Palestine, which is confirmed on BAKA’s website. The group, with chapters on college campuses throughout North America, “promotes justice, human rights, liberation, and self-determination for the Palestinian people,” according to its website, and employs many of the delegitimization tactics criticized by pro-Israel groups.