Peace with Realism

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University of Western Ontario

This banner graced the community center at the University of Western Ontario. It featured graffiti including "Stop Killing Children," "Stop the Genocide," and "Another South Africa." The banner was erected by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR).

Twenty thousand people pass through the center every day, which houses shops, food outlets, student services, and recreation facilities. One graduate student called it "a pretty uncomfortable situation," saying that "the banner claimed to be about human rights, but there was no neutrality and no mention of terrorism against Israeli civilians." She noted that while a need for dialogue exists, all this banner accomplished was to get people screaming at each other.

The University Student Council approved the banner, and an officer from the hate crimes unit declared it legal. But there is a double standard at the university. Last year the Israel Action Committee withdrew some flyers because some students found them offensive. The IAC even issued an apology. It entered a verbal agreement with the SPHR not to engage in "any confrontational and potentially offensive advocacy." Nevertheless, over the past year anti-Israel propaganda comparing Israelis to Nazis has been appearing on the campus. It doesn't get much more "confrontational and potentially offensive" than that. This banner is just one recent example.

The Palestinian students' banner blatantly distorts the truth. It fails to mention that the "wall" (which is actually a fence for the great majority of its length) would never have been built had it not been for Palestinian terrorism, and that its construction has dramatically decreased the number of terrorist attacks inside Israel. As for apartheid, the charge is slanderous and baseless - see elsewhere on this web site. As for children, it is only Palestinian terrorists who murder children intentionally. It is only Palestinian terrorists who pursue a campaign to massacre as many civilians as they possibly can, and to destroy the other side completely.

What if the IAC decided to put up a banner with a large photo of a masked Hamas gunman with graffiti saying:

"Stop killing children!"

"Stop the genocide!"

"Another Holocaust!"

Do you think the university would approve?


Morgan, Anna. "Anti-Israel Graffiti at Western Ruled Legal." Canadian Jewish News, December 9, 2004.

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