Click for full articleGerald Steinberg 2 (2).


It was hard to miss the apartheid images from the recent Rio Olympics: the Egyptian judo competitor who pointedly ignored the outstretched hand of his Israeli opponent; the Lebanese team captain who forcibly blocked the Israeli team from boarding the bus to the stadium; and the Saudi athlete, in time-honoured tradition, who faked an injury to avoid the possibility of facing an Israeli in the next round.

Amid these and many more examples of anti-Israel apartheid, the silence of the self-appointed guardians of human rights, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, is striking. Indeed, they are very active in promoting the apartheid inherent in the BDS movement (boycotts, divestment and sanctions), the 21st-century version of the old economic boycott of Israel.

Perhaps more disturbing is the silence of the liberal and progressive Jewish groups claiming to be pro-Israel, such as J Street and the New Israel Fund. The campus activists who are quick to protest the appearance of discrimination against others and to fiercely attack Israeli policies regarding Palestinians are strangely blind to the many and widespread instances of anti-Israel apartheid. If these groups are serious about equality and tolerance, their voices must be heard protesting acts of hate targeting Israelis, including on college campuses.