From Johannesburg to Jerusalem: Anti-Apartheid Organizing in the US

Monday, March 2nd, 7 pm
St Mary’s Episcopal Church, 521 West 126th Street, NYC

Showing of critically acclaimed film Have You Heard from Johannesburg? Apartheid And The Club Of The West, followed by a discussion with David Wildman of the United Methodist Church and Sam Anderson, anti-apartheid activist, educator, and founding board member of The Malcolm X Museum.
Event organized by the IAW New York Organizing Coalition

NYU-Tel Aviv University: A Partnership in Occupation

Tuesday, March 3rd, 8 pm
Kimmel Center, NYU (Room 802), 60 Washington Square South (between Thompson and Laguardia), NYC

Panel discussion on NYU’s relationship with Tel Aviv University, featuring award-winning novelist Elias Khoury, New York University professor Andrew Ross, and Nir Harel, member of Israel’s Anarchists Against The Wall.
Event organized by NYU Students for Justice in Palestine
Identification required to enter building

The Impact of Occupation: This Body Is A Prison

Wednesday, March 4th, 7:30 pm
Kimmel Center, NYU (Room 914), 60 Washington Square South (between Thompson and Laguardia), NYC

Screening of the critically acclaimed This Body Is A Prison, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Dylan Bergeson.
The film addresses the psychological impacts of growing up under occupation in different areas of the West Bank, exploring how isolation and violence existentially impact the way that children construct their sense of self.
Organized by NYU Students for Justice in Palestine & the Arab Student Association at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)
Identification required to enter building

The Art of Resistance: Culture and the Boycott of Israel

Read a special invitation from the organizers here:


Friday, March 6th, 7 pm
Judson Memorial Church, 243 Thompson St., just off of Washington Square Park, NYC 

Panel discussion with best-selling author Ahdaf Soueif, founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel Omar Barghouti, and NYC poet Remi Kanazi; moderated by Brooklyn College Professor Moustafa Bayoumi.
Event organized by the IAW New York Organizing Coalition

The Israeli attack on Gaza: What is needed for a just solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict?

Saturday, March 7th, 3 pm
Judson Memorial Church Assembly Hall, 239 Thompson St. (1/2 block south of Washington Square Park), NYC

Israel’s three-week-long attack on Gaza in December and January left over 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis killed and thousands of Palestinians wounded. Israel’s bombardment left the infrastructure in Gaza in a shambles, with schools, hospitals, mosques destroyed, while Israel continues to blockade needed supplies of food, electricity and water.

– Riham Barghouti, Adalah-NY, Coalition for Justice in the Middle East
– Nellie Hester Bailey, Harlem Anti-War Coalition
– Joel Kovel, Committee for an Open Discussion of Zionism & Author of “Overcoming Zionism”
– Dorothy Zellner, Center for Constitutional Rights & “Jews Say No”
– Steve Bloom, Activist Poets’ Roundtable
– Moderator: Justine McCabe, Co-Chair, Green Party U.S. International Committee
Event organized by the West Side Green Party

Party Against Apartheid

Saturday, March 7th, 9 pm
Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor (bet. Broad & Broadway), NYC

Event organized by the IAW New York Organizing Coalition


Sexton himself acknowledges as much: “Our strategy arises organically from New York City itself, which is the first miniaturization of the world.” In fact, to hear him talk, NYU’s expansion to the Middle East is almost a moral imperative: the logical extension of his quest to make NYU “the university of the other.” 

Reading about NYU’s planned expansion in Abu Dhabi, I can’t help feeling that this is insane… Who does NYU’s president John Sexton think he is? Some kind of superhero? Like Samir Geagea, talking about metaphysical experiences and ‘glocal’ educational powerhouses. He is, unfortunately not the first to co-opt the liberal arts to use it as a branding strategy. My own alma-mater, Bard College at Simon’s Rock recently opened up a branch of Al-Quds University in Ramallah. 

Sexton is unwilling to concede that he is in thrall to petrodollars. But the Sorbonne, which opened a campus in Abu Dhabi in 2006, is quite open about having sold itself to the highest bidder. “It is a pity, but I must say that we are only in Abu Dhabi because Abu Dhabi proposed to pay for all of our expenses,” says Daniel Balland, director-general of the Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi. “If we got the same offer from Doha or Cairo, we probably would have said yes, too.”

I see now that it is so easy for the tools of the culturally aware to be co-opted by the elite and turned into strategies to enhance one’s wealth and/or prestige. Sexton’s “ecumenical gift” as a strategy of cross-cultural understanding is quite frankly nauseating. It is the level of the idea which looks great on paper, or sounds great when you announce it at a board meeting, but in the end, the losers will be the small details. The workers who will build this new shining campus will, in the global market, probably earn less than $1 a day, not to mention work in conditions of near slavery like other construction workers in the petro-economies of the Gulf. 

This article was written in April, before the global economic meltdown. I just can’t believe that all these otherwise smart, well-educated, professional people actually believed that economic growth and expansion could continue indefinitely? The world population could reach 8 billion, 10 billion, 12 billion; oil prices could reach $147 a barrel, $189 a barrel… funding the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world from oil consumers in the U.S. and Western Europe to the kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Qatar. If this is all a little too Syriana for you, I understand… I am overwhelmed too. What are we supposed to think, to do when faced with arrogance of this global magnitude? 

NYU students are protesting, following their fellow New School members who staged an occupation in late November. 

from Al-Akhbar: So let us put aside the empty and meaningless speeches about loving our country (because, after all, love kills) and then we will find that the common factors between the two teams are real and are not mere mirages and that the country can fit everyone whether Sunni, or Shi’i or Druze or Christian… http://www.al-akhbar.com/ar/node/119615 (courtesy of MidEastWire.com) 


Here is the official NYU statement: