By Jules Parmer
University of Texas-Austin organization Palestine Solidarity Committee kicked off its annual Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of Texas this past Tuesday as part of a struggle to educate students on the oppression faced by the Palestinian people and to confront the annual Israeli Block Party.
The block party, set up by the Zionist group Texas Hillel, celebrates the Israeli identity, and in so doing glorifies settler-colonialism and glosses over the harsh oppression of Palestinians, including the seizure of lands, indiscriminate bombings, travel restrictions, and racist discrimination. In 2017, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared Israel “the nation-state of the Jewish people—and only it.”
“Our aim is to change the cultural and material narrative of how people view Palestine,” a member of PSC said. “[We] advocate liberation by any means necessary.”
Events like Israeli Apartheid Week challenge the propaganda of Texas Hillel and other pro-Israeli groups. Mixing direct action and education, PSC leads protests against the block party, sets up mock walls with facts about Palestinian oppression, presents panels and films, and hosts a performance called Café Resistance.
PSC also incorporates other struggles into their presentations, including a panel on “Mass Incarceration from Texas to Palestine.”
The efforts of PSC have not been met without resistance from Zionist groups. People affiliated with anti-communist organizations like Turning Point USA and reactionary news outlets like Infowars have been known to taunt protesters at these events.
According to PSC, “Last year, a group of Israeli military reservists were flown in from overseas and elsewhere in the United States for the specific purpose of standing near our mock wall and interrupting our efforts to educate people about the atrocities committed against Palestinians by the state of Israel.”
During this year’s block party protest, members of fascist group Texas Nomads showed up to antagonize the protesters and support the Zionists. Members of the militant group Popular Women’s Movement-Movimiento Femenino Popular (PWM-MFP) led an agitation against the fascists.
International solidarity with Palestine is a movement growing both on US campuses and in general. So long as Israel and its imperialist backers continue to oppress the Palestinian people, international solidarity with the Palestine liberation movement is imperative.