Campus, News

Students dedicate week to back peaceful resolution in Israel

School of Education senior Arielle Adler (from left), CAS junior Bryan Zaramba, and SMG freshman Joel Udwin, members of the Hillel house, kick off the campus wide Israel week on Tuesday. MATT GOLDBERG/ Daily Free Press Staff

From the environment to human rights, Boston University Students for Israel members have used different themes to “showcase Israel’s dedication to peace” for Israel Peace Week.

The week will feature a series of lectures and events in support of peace in Israel and the Middle East.

“I believe that this week is important for students to engage in because we are here to educate,” said BUSI co-president and College of Arts and Sciences junior Rachelle Rubin in an email.

“Israel is the only partner the U.S. has in the Middle East with a complete dedication to the same values,” she said. “I don’t think most students realize how parallel the values and democracies of the United States and Israel are.”

School of Education senior Arielle Adler, who helped think of the idea for Israel Peace Week, said the BUSI’s goal to show students the “different things that Israel does that the world needs.”

Daryl Temkin, the founder of the Israel Institute, kicked off Israel Peace Week on Tuesday by giving a lecture emphasizing Israel’s environmental efforts at the Hillel House.

Temkin stressed the importance of ending the United States’ dependency on foreign oil and adapting alternative energies, such as solar power and wind energy.

“Energy is a major thing in reference to peace,” he said. “The United States spends about $700 billion on foreign oil.”

Temkin said that the affect of dependency on foreign oil runs deeper than United States foreign policy.

“We are probably about 35 percent dependent on countries who hate our existence for our oil,” Temkin said. “The impact of that on our lives can be dramatic.”

Temkin connected the development of cars to Israel’s investments in alternative energy. Henry Ford, Temkin said, wanted cars to be electric because he thought there was not enough oil in the world.

Temkin said Israel realized it could not become dependent on foreign oil coming from hostile countries, and has begun to focus on environmentally friendly energy sources.

“All the major solar energy facilities in California—and California is the leading state of the United States for solar energy—all built by Israeli companies,” he said.

Temkin noted the benefits of other environmentally friendly technologies that originated in Israel, including drip irrigation, solar water heaters and silently spinning windmills.

Tuesday’s theme focused on Israel and the environment. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., BUSI members were in the George Sherman Union, offering students the opportunity to plant a plant for free.

Adler said BUSI sold T-shirts to raise money for the Israel-based organization Save a Child’s Heart, which performs heart surgeries on children around the world.

Upcoming Israel Peace Week themes include human rights and technology.

11 Comments

  1. You’re not fooling anyone. Expensive public relations firms and flashy t shirts won’t make your message about planting trees relevant in the face of occupation- what about all those uprooted Palestinian olive trees. I assume THOSE aren’t the ones you’re replacing?

    • Just as much of the rant against Israel Peace Week which follows, the facts are just simply incorrect. If you did any research into the fact- that fancy PR firm, which you refer to is in fact Zarketing, A BOSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENT! And although, you are correct that this student is extremely talented and he deserves to be recognized among the great PR firms of the world – this statement, along with those of the olive trees and occupation, lack integrity to facts and truth.

  2. Israel Peace Week is the most Orwellian name I have ever heard for a country which has recently been involved in multiple wars in Lebanon, has bombed Iraq and Syria, and killed 1400 people in Gaza. The youth of today dont take this double-think seriously.

    • This is not double think. What does need to double is the amount of time you spend thinking before speaking. Why the recent war in Lebanon and 1400 dead in Gaza? Because of the relentless shelling of innocent Israeli citizens by Hezbolah and their henchmen. Bombing Iraq and Syria? I shudder to think of the consequences to be paid if either of them became armed with nuclear weapons. We won’t even mention the suicide bombers that have plagued Israel over the years. What other country would show such incredible restraint against nations violating its borders and killing its citizens?

  3. Maybe next year Students for Israel will spend less money on silly bands, custom fortune cookies, and social networking strategy firms and present a week of events that doesn’t distort Israel’s record of ethnic cleansing, occupation, and human rights abuses.

    Maybe next year Students for Israel won’t try to tell us that Israel bulldozes Palestinian olive trees because they need the space for greenhouses (which are “more environmentally friendly”)

    Maybe next year the distortions, lies, and excuses for war crimes will stop.

    Doubtful. There’s a reason that every day more and more young Jews (and non-Jews) reject the Zionist state. There’s a reason huge foundations are throwing money at campus groups like Students for Israel. It’s because you are losing, and they know it.

    -Another Jew Against the Occupation

    • Peace, not hypocrisy.

      Jeff, in order to achieve peace both Israel and the Palestinian sides need to be truthful about their actions. Israel is an open democracy that promotes self-evaluation, whether that be through their legal system or the required reports that are filed after any form of military action. Any individual who feels wronged can access the Israeli political system and is accorded and fair trial. Hamas’ form of justice? Murdering gay individuals, oppressing women and socializing children to engage in violence. I, and the Israeli people, understand that the innocent civilians in Gaza are being oppressed. But who is the oppressor? Israel who engages in “ethnic cleansing” or Hamas who systematically murders their opposition and runs a tyrannical government that limits any civil rights? Instead of trying to put blame on Israel, stop and recognized who is actually harming the Palestinian and Israeli people. The sole oppressor is Hamas. Unless, you are willing to be truthful about Hamas’ actions there is no chance for peace. As a fellow Jew, I am embarrassed by your ignorance. Hitler’s Nazi Germany engaged in ethnic cleansing. Heinrich Himmler’s ‘Final Solution’ asked for systematic murder of European Jewry. THAT is ethnic cleansing. How could you possibly compare this to Israel? A country that provides millions of dollars in aide to Gaza, provides medical treatment to Gaza’s citizens and full citizenship to any Arab who lives in Israel’s border. Israel provides all of this welfare for an entity that is run by Hamas, a group recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, who’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel and explicitly calls for the murder of all Jews! How can you say a county like Israel doesn’t want peace? Israel wants a peaceful neighbor, but until then she has the right to defend herself. It is clear that you are misinformed so as “another jew against the occupation”, please think before making dramatic statements. Realize that the reason we’re able to have Israel Peace Week is because our message and facts are clear and simple: Israel wants peace.

  4. Great job, guys! Israel + America = forever.

  5. I think it is important to remember that all that anybody wants, at least I hope, is peace. It would be truly wonderful if we did not have to table at the GSU about how Israel’s efforts towards the environment lead to peace. The truth is that countries who want peace and who support peace spend money on things like environment friendly technology. It is a terrible, terrible thing that olive trees are being bulldozed. It is a terrible terrible thing that before going into any public restaurant or mall or store in Israel I have to have my bag checked and my dad has to be checked to make sure that we don’t have any explosives.

    Maybe next year, Students for Justice in Palestine and Students for Israel will sit down together and promote coexistence. Hate never got anybody anywhere. Together, I think a real difference could be made. Together, with both sides compromising, I really think that peace can be achieved. And I hope it will.

    The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion said “These two semitic peoples, Jews and Arabs, share one mission in this corner of the world. The Jew will not budge hence, nor will the Arab change his place. History has pronounced us neighbors; and it is not merely a geographical proximity. There is much nearness in language, culture and history…. It is feasible only on a basis of equality, mutual respect and reciprocal aid”

  6. Congrats to the supporters of Israel Peace week.
    And to those critics the old saying is true:
    If the Arabs put down their weapons there will be no wars…
    If Israel puts down her weapons there will be no Israel.

  7. Characterizing the Israeli-US relationship as one of “complete dedication to the same values” is perhaps historically true — both countries have stridently and bullishly defied international law (be it in the form of Security Council or General Assembly resolutions, international boundaries or rulings from the International Court of Justice). Perhaps if the US leads toward greater adherence to the international legal framework it toiled so arduously to fashion post-WWII (and which spawned Israel itself), our allies will follow suit.

  8. Your article is amazing! Hope can be useful for others who need to solve the problem. Thank you.