Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Libel That Targeted the Zionist Community

April 30, 2014

Contributed by Elliott Hamilton, the President of our CCAP group Claremont Students for Israel. This piece has been republished in The Algemeiner.

Early on a Shabbat morning, Daniel Mael was walking back with a friend to his dorm room at Brandeis University. Upon seeing a group of his peers passing by, he kindly said, “Shabbat shalom.” What resulted from his kind gesture of peace and tranquility was a war of words between a well-known Zionist activist and a board member of Brandeis’ J Street U, Talia Lepson. Talia Lepson used the opportunity to tell Mael “Jews hate you,” and subsequently calling him a “sh*t bag.” While Mael could have reacted, he took the high road and reported this case of verbal harassment to the university police. What resulted from this incident was an outpouring of support from friends and colleagues, and even an article posted in The Washington Free Beacon titled “J Street U Brandeis’ Talia Lepson Harasses Pro-Israel Student.”

Elliott Hamilton of

By Elliott Hamilton, a Liaison for our CCAP group Claremont Students for Israel

What nobody expected next was a statement from J Street itself. On April 27, on the eve of Yom HaShoah, J Street published a statement titled: “J Street and J Street U Have Zero Tolerance for Harassment of Student Leaders.” I read the title and immediately thought that it would have condemned Ms. Lepson’s inappropriate comments to Mael. However, I was gravely mistaken.

Instead of calling out Ms. Lepson for her blatantly harassing comments, they started pointing fingers at Daniel Mael. The statement said the following: “It is another to conduct a campaign of personal intimidation and harassment, which is the pattern of behavior that Daniel Mael, a student blogger at Brandeis, has established in relating to J Street U leaders.” Talk about a sweeping generalization and a quintessential example of libel.

A meme illustrating how J-Street has criticized Israel for her stances regarding the Iranian and Hamas governments, as well as its willingness to co-sponsor with SJP. Designed by Michael Behar.

A meme illustrating how J-Street has criticized Israel for her stances regarding both the Iranian and Hamas governments, as well as  J-Streets willingness to co-sponsor with SJP. Designed by Michael Behar.

How is it fathomable that J Street would defend its own student leader and turn its crosshairs on her victim? They did the unthinkable and the unforgivable by directly turning on a fellow supporter of Israel. J Street prides itself as being “pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, and pro-peace,” yet they fabricated lies against a Zionist activist in order to defend the anti-Zionist actions of their own student leader. Sure, Daniel Mael has been rather critical of J Street, J Street U, and Jeremy Ben-Ami himself, but so is the vast majority of the Zionist community. Even I have co-authored a blog post for the Zionist Organization of America with my friend and colleague, Tatiana Becker, in which we stated that Ben-Ami uses the term “pro-Israel” incorrectly when describing J Street’s mission.

However, there is something called accountability that was never played out in the minds of J Street. Instead of saving face and apologizing to Daniel Mael for their student leader’s grave misconduct, they did the opposite and have lost even more credibility because of it. With the screenings of The J Street Challenge and countless articles that are questioning J Street’s legitimacy as an interest group bent on supporting Israel’s right to exist, the least they could have done was say sorry. Instead, J Street may as well align themselves permanently with Max Blumenthal and other anti-Zionist Jews who have a penchant for demonizing not only the Jewish state, but also the activists who truly embody the pro-Israel mission. Ben-Ami and his organization threw Mael under the bus and fed him to the anti-Zionist dogs.

What makes this entire incident even more atrocious is the timing of this statement. How could a supposedly “pro-Israel” organization slander a Jewish Zionist activist on the very day the Jewish people ought to come together in unison? Yom HaShoah is supposed to be the day where the Jewish people remember the six million European Jews who were systematically murdered by the Nazis for their beliefs. We are supposed to acknowledge that flagrant propaganda can transform the minds of an intellectual civilization into a genocidal machine. And yet, J Street’s Jewish board member had the audacity to slander a fellow Jew on that day. In my opinion, this is the definition of morally disgusting. It reminds me of those stories of European Jews who collaborated with the Nazis to expose the existence of other Jews, where they were shipped out for slaughter into the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Majdanek.

When there are anti-Zionists and anti-Semites who are questioning Israel’s right to exist, it requires powerful voices to stand up against injustice. J Street had the chance to turn its distasteful image around and force the Zionist community to reconsider its portrayal of the organization. However, it fell to its own pride and decided to stab a single activist, and in turn, the entire Zionist community in the back with a serrated blade.

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If J Street wishes to eliminate the “harassment” it faces from the Zionist community and media, then J Street needs to put its money where its mouth is and either start acting like a pro-Israel organization or remove the descriptor from its mission statement and its website. It is unjust to operate in a public setting under a label that does not suit the actions and words of its leadership and student representatives. By claiming that Jews hate Daniel Mael, Talia Lepson not only made a sweeping generalization, but she also lied.

The Jewish community has graciously supported Daniel and the only amount of public support that Ms. Lepson has garnered is that of the greatest dangers to the pro-Israel community. This issue is popular to be accepted in the mixed company of Max Blumenthal, Open Hillel, Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voices for Peace, and of course, J Street, which continuously threaten the very existence of the State of Israel with their collective harassment of the true Zionist community.

Elliott Hamilton PZ ’15 is majoring in economics. He is the president of Claremont Students for Israel, a Jewish Identity Chairman of Alpha Epsilon Pi Chi Chi, and is the campus activist project liaison for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. 

Read more by Elliott Hamilton:

Setting the Pace to Finish a Marathon

Bastardized Justice in the Middle East

We Must Take Ownership of Our Own Humanity

2014 Future Leaders of Israel Conference a Great Success

April 29, 2014

CAMERA recently returned from the annual Future Leaders of Israel conference, this year in Boca Raton! Hundreds of students arrived from all over the state, and even some from other states such as Massachusetts and Kentucky, converging for a three day conference all about Israel and how best to educate others.

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CAMERA’s campus coordinators Samantha Mandeles and Gilad Skolnick were there to represent the organization. The CAMERA booth attracted crowds of students interested in various programs and literature. Our breakout session on Sunday attracted over 30 participants, with the highest attendance of the four simultaneously occurring breakout sessions. In our role playing breakout session, students had a chance to practice debating techniques.

Check out this piece about the conference in the Jewish Press.

Learn more about the Future Leaders of Israel conference!

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Laurentian CCAP Participate in Model UN

April 28, 2014

For CANIMUN, Canada’s countrywide University-level Model United Nations competition, students from Laurentian University Jewish Student Association (LUJSA) represented the delegation from Israel. Many students simply interested in the Model UN event participated and were educated about Israel, its history, and its politics.  Participants across the event experienced in the first hand the complex intricacies of international relations between global states and the political dynamics of each working group. The event was a great opportunity to be leaders for Israel and against anti-Israel activists across Canada and to meet like-minded students.

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LUJSA

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Contributed by CAMERA intern Aaron Marks.

A Win Against The BDS Movement at Cornell

April 25, 2014

Last Thursday, April 10th, the Student Assembly of Cornell University, with a 15-8-1 majority, voted to table Resolution 72 indefinitely thanks in part to members of the pro-Israel and CAMERA supported CCAP group on campus, CIPAC, who made a strong case.

R. 72 is a resolution that was drawn up by Cornell’s anti-Israel group “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) asking that the University “end its complicity with the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and divest its holdings from… companies…that profit directly from Israeli military occupation.”  The resolution calls for the University’s divestment from companies like SodaStream (whose spokesperson Scarlett Johansson recently stated that the reason behind attempts to boycott the company was that “there’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there“), Tata Motors, Raytheon, etc.

Soda Stream

Soda Stream

SJP states that this is not an extension or variant of the BDS movement because, unlike boycotting Israeli companies, resolution 72 “simply names six companies that benefit from the occupation, only one of which is Israeli.” This claim is merely a technicality that the SJP is resting on so as not to seem anti-Israel.  These companies directly support Israel and divestment from these companies has the same effect on the nation as that of an Israeli company.

Cornell University

Cornell University

Furthermore, the SJP‘s intentions are supposedly to save the world from an oppressive people and human rights violators, but if so, it is absurd to focus solely on Israel. It is hypocritical for students concerned about human rights to focus on Israel and not on other countries with a worse human rights record.  Also, if they are concerned with justice for Palestinians, why aren’t they pushing any resolutions regarding Syria where thousands of Palestinians have been killed, or regarding Jordan where their rights are limited, or other countries like these? The focus on Israel alone is clearly indicative of a misinformed anti-Israel group with the goal of delegitimizing a population and a nation.

Our Fellow at Cornell

Our Fellow at Cornell

Not only is the resolution hypocritical, but the vote on whether or not the Student Assembly will review such legislature was hastily assembled by the SJP with the hopes that it would catch the pro-Israel groups off guard.  The SJP brought this resolution to the assembly with the hopes that the motion would pass within 48 hours and proceed to be voted on the following week—on Passover.  The SJP undoubtedly knew that because of the upcoming holiday, if the motion was passed, many of the people petitioning against this resolution would be away from campus and therefore not present to oppose it.  It is appalling that a group who allegedly fights for justice and democracy would be so unjust and undemocratic in terms of its means for getting this resolution passed.

On the day of the vote, the assembly room was packed with both a majority of pro-Israel students and a bit over a dozen anti-Israel students. The assembly’s vote tabled the resolution indefinitely without discussion. Once the vote was cast, about a dozen anti-Israel advocates walked out and proceeded to boo and jeer as the pro-Israel students remained seated and applauded the decision.

William Jacobson, a clinical professor at Cornell Law School, wrote on his Legal Insurrection blog that the “intention to bring the resolution to the Student Assembly was not made in regular order [and] was concealed from Jewish and pro-Israel groups on campus even though it has been in the works for weeks.”

After the vote, Cornell student Jacob Glick writes in the Cornell Daily Sun that “the administration would never have truly divested from companies benefiting from Israel’s presence in the West Bank.” The need for dialogue is evident but those cannot exist if, when an unfavorable decision or remark is made, the anti-Israel students walk away from the table as they did on the day of the vote.  The assembly was right to thwart this attempt by SJP as delegitimizing.

Had these students been truly concerned about the welfare of Palestinians, they would have pushed to enhance cooperation between Israel and Cornell. As Cornell student Adam Schlussel ’16, writes in Boycotting Israel Hurts Palestinians, “Cornell is associated with Israeli academia and businesses, both of which actually benefit Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians. Twenty percent of the Technion’s students are Israeli Arabs, who are major contributors Israel’s high tech culture. Many Palestinians are employed by Israeli companies, and they almost always receive better wages than they would in Palestinian cities.”

Contributed by CAMERA intern Sabrina Fried.

Israel, a Hub for Diversity

April 24, 2014

The following piece was written by our Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Brett Hausler. It was originally published on April 22nd in The Daily Collegian, and was republished in The Algemeiner on April 30th, 2014.

Brett Hausler

Brett Hausler

One of the most misunderstood facts about Israel is that it fosters diversity and works diligently to develop respectful relationships with all minorities within the country. That promise begins in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, which was approved on May 14, 1948 by the Jewish People’s Council, several months after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish state:

“THE STATE OF ISRAEL […] will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Roughly 24 percent of Israel’s population – 1.8 million people – is made up of non-Jewish citizens, including Muslim Arabs, Bedouin Arabs, Christian Arabs, the Druze, the Circassians and many other identities. According to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel exists as a “mosaic made up of different population groups coexisting in the framework of a democratic state.”

Similar statements and declarations cannot be found elsewhere in the Middle East, such as in the Gaza Strip, a land governed by Hamas, which claims, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

Israel has struggled since its independence in 1948 for overall justice and peace with its neighbors and shows its solidarity by accepting minorities as Israeli citizens with the full rights granted to all citizens. Israel has also established Arabic as an official language; it can be seen on all street signs, official forms and as subtitles on many television shows. Arabs also represent 40 percent of all pharmacists in Israel and are quite represented in the medical field.

The actual history of these populations prove interesting considering Israel’s stigma by some as a supposed “apartheid state.” Israel is nestled into the Middle East and serves as a safe haven for many minorities that continue to be oppressed by other countries. Israel is not the perfect country, but what country is?

One example of the integration available in the country is the Druze community, of which 100,000 members call Israel their home. Since Israel’s acceptance of this minority in 1957, they have attained high-level positions in the Israeli political, public and military departments and serve in the Israel Defense Forces: Fares Hamud Falah served as the first Druze judge in Israel, Kamal Mansour was the Arab Affairs advisor to the President of Israel and Salah Tarif became Israel’s first non-Jewish government minister when appointed by Ariel Sharon in 2001.

I had the pleasure of visiting a Druze community in 2008 and I was moved by their appreciation for Israel and their love for protecting the Jewish State. Although Israel is seen as just a home for the Jewish people, it is also a place of comfort for the Druze. These facts should be recognized and learned in order to get a more appropriate understanding of the cultures, religions, ideologies and future of Israel.

If you would like to learn more about minorities within the State of Israel, please join the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, UMass Hillel and the Student Alliance for Israel on April 28 at 7 p.m. as we welcome to campus Ishmael Khaldi, Israel’s first Bedouin Diplomat.

Laurentian University hosts Israel Jeopardy

April 23, 2014

On February 27, Laurentian University Jewish Students Association hosted the Israel Jeopardy Challenge. The event consisted of over $500 worth of prizes, including a laptop. With over twenty attendees, students were able to successfully learn about Israel while having fun at the same time. Putting students in an environment of jeopardy, where knowledge can be combined from multiple different fields, enabled the students to become more educated about Israel in the time leading up to Israel Apartheid Week. The event enabled students to act as ambassadors for Israel, and continued to be discussed a few days after the event, so its effect was apparent.

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Contributed by CAMERA Intern Eli Cohn.

Bastardized Justice in the Middle East

April 14, 2014

This piece was contributed by Elliott Hamilton, a Liaison for our CCAP group Claremont Students for Israel. It was originally published on April 11th in The Student Life.

Last semester, following the publication of my Nov. 15, 2013 article, “We Must Take Ownership of Our Own Humanity,” addressing dialogue on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, I waited patiently for someone to approach me to discuss the complexities of the conflict in a respectful setting. Five months later, no one from the other side of the aisle has approached me directly, but I have seen an influx of articles about the conflict in campus publications. To my surprise, and great satisfaction, it has resulted in the start of a dialogue between individuals who write from both sides of the issue.

CAMERA staff meets with Elliot Hamilton and Ellie Rudee,(our 2013-2014 Fellow).  Left to right: Gilad, Elliot, Ellie, Samantha.

CAMERA staff meets with Elliot Hamilton and Ellie Rudee (our 2013-2014 Fellow).
Left to right: Gilad, Elliot, Ellie, Samantha.

In its first issue of this semester, TSL published two articles focusing on the American Studies Association’s (ASA) boycott of Israel and the reasons Pomona College and the rest of the Claremont consortium should embrace the boycott’s rationale. A month later, the Claremont Independent released a critique of a column written by Matt Dahl PO ’17 in support of the boycott. The critique pointed out the double standard therein: The boycott criticizes Israel, but fails to mention atrocious violations of human rights by other states such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria.

Most recently, the April 4 issue of TSL included a response to the Independent’s article written by a columnist from my hometown. What is rather ironic about this coincidence is that our hometown of Newton, Mass., was recently in the news because of allegations that public school teachers had purposefully omitted key aspects of the Hamas charter that highlighted its intent to destroy the Jewish state. This was a move that raised eyebrows in a predominantly Jewish city outside of Boston.

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In a similar way, this columnist had also omitted some key variables in his defense of the ASA boycott, ones that I believe should be mentioned. Having been to Israel and the West Bank, I can make a solid case for why it is problematic to delegitimize Israel while refusing to acknowledge the Palestinian Authority’s laundry list of problems.

First and foremost, Israel is not perfect. No country has a blank track record when it comes to social problems and international conflicts. The Israeli-Arab conflict is more than 60 years old, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on since 1964, and each side has been guilty of crimes against the other.

That being said, it is rather unfortunate that nobody in the consortium likes to talk about the crimes committed against Israelis by the Palestinians. For example, nobody likes to talk about the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s numerous hijackings of planes carrying Israeli citizens, which led to the Entebbe raid that killed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s older brother in 1976.

In addition, the consortium does not discuss the rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip following Israel’s disengagement from the region in 2005, and how Israeli kindergartners are being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder at a rate of almost 74 percent as a result.

And on top of that, nobody likes to mention the fact that key figures in the Palestinian solidarity movement and the Palestinian faction governments do not wish to have peace with the Jewish state.

Let’s start with Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, of which the ASA boycott is a part. In an interview with the Electronic Intifada, he was quoted saying, “I am completely and categorically against bi-nationalism because it assumes that there are two nations with equal moral claims to the land and therefore, we have to accommodate both national rights.”

This is not a man with peaceful ambitions to create two states for two peoples; this is a man who would rather eliminate the Israeli narrative entirely. It is illogical to claim that supporting BDS is essential for protecting free speech when its outspoken leader does not support the right for the Israeli narrative to exist. Considering that we once had prominent Israelis like Shimon Peres, Yitzchak Rabin, and Netanyahu who accepted the Palestinian narrative as legitimate, we must ask the question: Which party is more willing to coexist in the region?

Finally, I wish to address the statements of Abbas Zaki, a senior official in Fatah and close friend of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. A month ago, following Netanyahu’s address regarding the Iranian weapons shipment that the Israeli Defense Forces thwarted, Zaki discussed the situation on the PA’s national television. At one point during the broadcast, Zaki stated, “I believe that Allah will gather them so we can kill them.”

While it seems that the media and many politicians place blame on Israel for the fading peace talks, very few noticeable figures have called out Zaki for this disturbing statement about killing Israelis. I am not saying that individual Israelis have not made similar remarks about the Palestinians, but rather that it is worrying that a prominent Palestinian politician can go on record with this kind of commentary and have no one hold him responsible. I have to wonder how committed the Palestinian governments are to the idea of establishing a true, lasting peace with Israel. If conspicuous figures such as Barghouti and Zaki cannot be held responsible for their war cries, then the existence of an anti-Israel double standard cannot be ignored.

Therefore, I encourage members of the Claremont consortium to really consider what we’re putting in jeopardy when we consider policies like the ASA boycott. What are the true intentions of such movements? Are there other nations that are undergoing similar scrutiny? Are such movements beneficial to the goals we seek to accomplish?

In my opinion, the BDS movement, including the ASA boycott, is a bastardization of the concept of social justice. Unlike my fellow Newton native, I firmly believe that both Israelis and Palestinians should be held to the same standard. We cannot have a fair peace without treating both sides equally.

Elliott Hamilton PZ ’15 is majoring in economics. He is an executive board member of Claremont Students for Israel, and is the campus activist project liaison for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

Double Standard and Hypocrisy in Action at Brandeis University

April 11, 2014

Facing growing pressure from their faculty members, Muslim student groups, and outside opposition, Brandeis University is rescinding its decision to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a women’s rights activist and critic of Islam because they were “unable to overlook her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

Aayan Hirsi Ali at the annual CAMERA gala in NYC.

Aayan Hirsi Ali at the annual CAMERA gala in NYC.

The Somali-born activist’s work has focused on exposing the barbaric mistreatment of women under Islamic law.  Known for her criticism of the ties between violence and fundamentalist Islam, she has advocated against the practice of female genital mutilation, forced marriages, honor killings, and is outspoken on issues of the refugee status of Muslim women in the West who have fled abusive patriarchal, political and social situations.

Brandeis, historically a Jewish university, has always been predicated upon the idea of free and open discourse. In fact, past commencement speakers and honorees have included playwright Tony Kushner and South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, both of whom are known for making anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements.

Recent comments from Daniel Mael, a student at Brandeis and a CAMERA contributor, reflect those of many who are dismayed by the University’s double standard and who feel that the University’s actions highlight the narrow view and shallow commitment to “justice” at Brandeis. “I am appalled by the hypocrisy of the University administration and their inability to distinguish between Hirsi Ali’s view on Islam and her efforts in this world,” he says.  “She was not being honored for her views on Islam, but for her commitment to women’s rights and real justice.”

The real issue here is not that Hirsi Ali’s honor was rescinded unfairly, or even why. More importantly, we should ask why Brandeis officials don’t feel that her work to improve the lives of others doesn’t reflect the core values of the University.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali established the AHA Foundation in 2007, in response to the ongoing abuses of women’s rights. Her organization is dedicated to protecting and defending the rights of women in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture.

Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s response or see her interview on Fox News.

Contributed by CAMERA intern Nikki Teperman.

Uplifiting Dinner at Laurentian University

April 10, 2014

On February 28, at an off-campus event targeted towards student leaders at Laurentian University, students prepared for the imminent Israel Apartheid Week. Over twenty students participated to encourage a sense of community and social cohesion. Students enjoyed both the social experience as well as the food, talking about the event afterwards. The event attracted students from many different academic backgrounds, such as sociology, political science, but also from more math and science related fields, such as computer science and the sciences. Because the event attracted student leaders, those student leaders were able to mobilize and counter Israel Apartheid Week activities at the Laurentian campus.

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 Contributed by CAMERA intern Eli Cohn.

Queer Concordia Bows to Anti-Israel Pressure

April 9, 2014

This piece was originally published in The Concordian on April 8th 2014. Our CAMERA Fellow at Concordia, Michelle Soicher, organized the event described below.

It was meant to be a non-political snapshot of Israel’s sexual minorities for the purpose of fostering dialogue and widening viewpoints. Yet the documentary ‘Out in Israel’, hosted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and featuring noted speaker and activist Jayson Littman, instead caused protests and a last-minute pull-out by sponsor Queer Concordia.

People take part at the annual Gay Pride parade in Tel Aviv

“As soon as the event went live [on Facebook], people went nuts. There were really inflammatory posts, there were accusations of pinkwashing, and very very quickly the topic shifted from LGBTQ rights to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” said CAMERA fellow, Concordia student, and event organizer Michelle Soicher.

Pinkwashing is a term that refers to when a corporate entity or state brings attention to its LGBTQ-friendly policy for the purpose of drawing attention away from other abuses. In the past, Israel has been accused of pinkwashing to distract from its track record with Palestinian human rights. Littman, an activist in both Jewish and gay communities and a worker with the organization A Wider Bridge, was on hand to speak of pinkwashing and Israeli LGBTQ experiences in general.

The pressure caused Queer Concordia, invited to co-sponsor the event as it touched upon issues of interest to its membership, to pull out.

Concordia's mascot.

Concordia’s mascot.

The event carried on as scheduled only to be intruded on physically by a small group of very vocal protesters, allegedly claiming to be affiliated with Queers against Apartheid, a group in solidarity with Palestine. For some half hour or so, the dozen or so individuals chanted and protested before leaving.

“What I expected was a bunch of people with contrasting views. I expected a great Q&A,” Soicher said in reaction to the disruption, clearly disappointed with the protesters who hadn’t stayed for the event and left as swiftly as they came.

Though Soicher insisted the event wasn’t political, she did have an opinion on pinkwashing.

“The LGBTQ rights in Israel are the results of LGBTQ fighting for them. They weren’t handed to [them] — you can’t create a culture of tolerance to distract from something else. As Jayson [said] it, Israel sells itself as LGBT friendly for tourism [purposes] and nobody is distracted from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.”

When reached for comment, Queer Concordia reiterated the negative reaction to the event was behind their cancellation.

“After discussing the situation as a board and considering the feedback we received from other on-campus organizations we work closely with, we decided participating in this event would not be a good representation of our organization,” said Queer Concordia Communication Coordinator Emmett Anderson. Other QC members were unable for comment.

Despite the negative attention, Soicher said it is important to have such conversations, regardless of their sensitive nature, in an effort to give depth to what she calls “a very complicated, long-standing conflict.”

“I think Concordia students owe it to themselves and owe it to the student body to have two sides —at least— of what’s going on.”

The Concordian attempted to reach Queers against Apartheid but received no response.