Friday, May 1, 2009

Apartheid Wall at Ithaca College:

"just as Israel celebrates its independence, a day known as 'nakba,' or catastrophe, to Palestinians."

"Students act out conflict on campus"

Updated: 04/30/2009 07:20 PM

Tamara Lindstrom

On "News 10 Now"
(Channel 10 television news)

On the Web at:

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Students at Ithaca College built a mock wall and staged military checkpoints Thursday in an effort to draw awareness to the conflict in Gaza.

"There's checkpoints all over the place, but there's also checkpoints throughout the wall, which people have to struggle to get in and out of, despite the fact that much medical care and access to resources is in Israel," said Brooke Reynolds, an Ithaca College student and member of Students for a Just Peace.

The display by the pro-Palestine student group comes just as Israel celebrates its independence, a day known as "nakba," or catastrophe, to Palestinians.

"We thought it was important for both representations of that story and that piece of history to be made available to the people of Ithaca College," Reynolds said.

Students act out conflict on campus
A surprising display at Ithaca College had students crossing military checkpoints. The staged aggression was put on by students wanting to bring attention to violence in the Middle East. The students built a mock wall to represent the wall in Gaza. The demonstration drew attention, but not everyone appreciated the display. Tamara Lindstrom spoke to students on both sides of the symbolic wall.
The students have been flying the Palestinian flag all week, including during the Israeli independence celebration. And there are some who say the demonstration goes too far.

Molly Wernick is a member of Student Alliance for Israel who thinks the demonstration unfairly portrayed Israeli soldiers.

"I'm angry at the total inaccuracy of their display," Wernick said. "How am I supposed to feel safe and supported on a campus that I take so much pride in when their actions are telling me that I kill people?"

Reynolds believes the violent display was necessary.

"These are things that Palestinians have to incur every day," she said. "So for us to have to recognize their resistance for a short period of time during the lunch hour at Ithaca College, pretending and dressed up, can't possibly be conceived of as more offensive than what Palestinians go through on a daily basis...."