Tour promo strikes a sour note
The April 2013 issue of the Bulletin featured an advertisement for “a tour of timeless Israel” [Oct. 15–26] from the Alumni College Abroad office. This tour violates the growing international boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS) movement to bring the Israeli government into compliance with international law. The movement—recently supported by British physicist Stephen Hawking—is for a comprehensive economic, academic, and cultural boycott comparable to the efforts that helped end apartheid in South Africa. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu was quoted as saying in The Nation in 2002, “The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure—in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.”
For those who take this trip to the Holy Land, please keep in mind that the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 was founded upon the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Planned stops on the Swarthmore tour include Ein Kerem (originally ‘Ayn Karim) and Ein Hod (originally ‘Ayn Hawd), two of the more than 400 Palestinian villages depopulated by Jewish militias to make room for Jewish immigrants. Also, when you visit the grounds of the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem, you can look north to see the remnants of Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, armed Zionists entered this village of several hundred people, killing more than 100. Zionist leaders then used the story of this massacre to induce terror in other Palestinian villages and encourage their inhabitants to flee, according to Israeli scholar, Ilan Pappe. Timeless wonders, indeed.
Dahlia Wasfi ’93