University of new Orleans students are fighting back against anti-Israel initiatives on campus.
Pro-Israel students decided to fight back against the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment) movement, which is very active on university campuses, and launched an initiative of their own on the campus of the University of New Orleans. Their target: the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Launched by “Allies of Israel,” a group that describes itself as a “grassroots college organization dedicated to the promotion of the Jewish state of Israel as a sovereign nation rooted in Jewish principles, and serving as a haven for Jews all over the globe,” the campaign asks students to sign a petition that states:
“To raise awareness about the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority against the Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank; to call for accountability in the foreign aid given to the Palestinian Authority and ensure it is not used to persecute Palestinians or Israelis.”
Anti PA, Pro-Palestinian…and Pro-Jewish
Campaign organizer and student activist Chloe Valdary released a statement to the Salomon Center explaining the reason for the campaign. “In order to give expression to the Jewish struggle for freedom, my organization ‘Allies of Israel’ has launched a campaign to symbolically divest from the Palestinian Authority. Because we understand many Palestinians are employed by the PA, we do not wish to literally pull off the shelves products which are produced by the PA. However, we do seek to stand in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are imprisoned and persecuted by the PA. This includes Palestinian women, gays, religious minorities and political dissidents. In addition, we stand in solidarity with Jews in Israel and around the world and call upon the PA to cease sponsoring, financing, and/or encouraging the lynching of Jews and the segregation of Jews from areas that are currently off limits to Jews in Israel.”
Speaking to the Hayride, a Louisiana publication, Valdary explained that ”it’s actually pro-Palestinian, it’s anti Palestinian Authority. Specifically because we [the US] send aid to the PA and instead of using it to build infrastructure and a good community for their people, they pocket the money and actually persecute their own people. For example Palestinian political dissidents are often imprisoned as well as other minorities in the region. Honor killings are up some 200% in the West Bank, and the PA aids and abetts the situation instead of acting against it. We in the West throw money at them with no oversight.”
“Divest from the PA” held a two-day petition drive last week and is considering an online campaign to expand awareness and draw attention to the persecution of Palestinians and Israelis by PA head Mahmoud Abbas’ government, focusing on the human rights abuses perpetrated against women, gays and religious minorities.