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Discourse analysis of “Israel Apartheid Week”: Where’s the peace?

On the Wednesday of Israel Apartheid Week, the daily email announcements from the University included the following:

Palestinian Solidarity, Anti-Zionism, and BDS

Join us for our first event of Israeli Apartheid Week at Hopkins. We will be having members from Jewish Voice for Peace and Hopkins Students for Justice in Palestine speak about anti-Zionism, Palestinian solidarity, and BDS (JHU “Today’s Announcements,” via email, 2/25/2014; italics in original).

In the space of these fifty words, I was struck by the divisiveness and violence of the use of “Anti-Zionism;” conflicted about the invocation of apartheid; strongly opposed to but not at all offended by the advocacy of boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions on Israel and Israelis (BDS); and, if Palestinian solidarity means caring about the lives and futures of the Palestinian people, then broadly supportive.

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