THE LANGUAGE we use and the way in which we frame a situation defines our everyday reality.
If we frame something in the positive as opposed to the negative, it is very likely to change the outcome of the situation. That, in principle, is one of the underlying issues that I have with the week known as “Israeli Apartheid Week”.
Putting aside the fact that the claim that Israel is analogous to apartheid South Africa is an insult to the very real struggle the South African people underwent during apartheid (in addition to being utterly false) the very title “Israeli Apartheid Week” presents a foregone conclusion that completely excludes the dialogue it claims to support.[pullquote]”It merely incites more hatred and violence and the cycle continues.”[/pullquote]
This week, rather than promoting a constructive dialogue regarding how a constructive solution can be reached in the Middle East, incites hatred, violence and anti-semitism.
Now don’t misunderstand me: I am not saying there are no issues in the Middle East nor that differences of opinion are not desirable.
However, creating a week of hate doesn’t solve any problems. It merely incites more hatred and violence and the cycle continues.
Every year on campus many students dread this infamous week because during it they feel that it provides a platform where criticisms evolve into discrimination. Hence, this year, the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) is running a campaign called “Give peace wings”.
In the spirit of constructive dialogue we implore all students not to fall prey to the myth that hating those with a different opinion to yours is the only way to solve a conflict.
In the words of Nelson Mandela: “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy, then he becomes your partner.”
So, don’t fall prey to the rhetoric. Rather join SAUJS Wits in giving peace wings.
Ariela Carno is the national chairperson of the South African Union of Jewish Students.