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Another Pro-Israel Event Walkout

The Students for Justice in Palestine at Pennsylvania State University pulled off a nice little protest at pro-Israeli events last month.  After filling up the room for Israeli apologist-speakers, they simply left in unison.

About 30 of us attended the event and walked away in a peaceful, non-violent protest. A few stayed behind for some Q&A. The video of the walkout and Q&A can be seen at the link below. Let’s continue this trend. – SJP @ Penn State

This is just one of the many methods of protesting at talks. Pro-Palestinian activists and Palestinians who are not organized usually sit quietly, steaming and boiling, before letting loose during the Q and A.  Some people pass out fliers before and during events to offer a different perspective.

Others, such as the students at University of California, Irvine, would be disruptive, trying to shout back or interject. In some events, protesters bring in banners and signs to prop up as a way of speaking back to the presenters.

This technique, which was also done quite powerfully at the University of Michigan, is useful for showing numbers and consensus of a large coordinated group of people.  In this case, pro-Palestinian activist vastly outnumbered those in attendance.

When the entire room of a pro-Israel event empties out, it is a strong sign of what is yet to come — the demise of pro-Israel sentiments on American campuses. And the discipline, intelligence and vision of pro-Palestinian students send that message loud and clear.

The speaker, a deputy consul general, said ridiculously that they came to have a debate — then why was there no pro-Palestinian speaker?

That the whole event — intended to parade out Israel’s tolerance for gay and lesbian Israelis — was propagandistic was proven by the Philadelphia consul general’s temerity to announce the event was “fully packed” in a tweet the following day.


UPDATE – April 20, 2011

The student group wants to call out the Israeli PR campaign of “pinkwashing.” They wrote:

“Israeli pinkwashing,” in the words of Prof. Jasbir Puar, “is a potent method through which the terms of Israeli occupation of Palestine are reiterated – Israel is civilised, Palestinians are barbaric, homophobic, uncivilised, suicide-bombing fanatics.”

Last week, pinkwashing came to Penn State, with the campus Hillel chapter hosting two back-to-back talks by speakers from the Israeli Consulate General’s office in Philadelphia. First, the consulate’s Public Relations director (and former IDF Captain) Sharon Singer spoke on “Being Gay in the Israeli Army.” Much of her talk consisted of screening Youtube clips depicting gay intimacy in Israeli films and television shows.

The only thing more ostentatious than a gay parade is when Israeli PR people parade the gays to improve Israel’s image.


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