It’s as if each walkout takes it one step further and no matter how much they prepare for it, Israel’s propagandists just can’t seem to stop what I see as a national campus awakening.
After Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UCLA organized a groundbreaking Palestine Awareness Week on campus, Bruins for Israel and StandWithUs responded by inviting two Israeli soldiers, Shai Bernstein and Lital Shemesh, to speak about Israel’s noble role in the invasion of Gaza. Their version of events was, expectedly, a whitewashed smear of reality in which they intentionally disregarded the international law violations and human rights abuses perpetrated by the military brigades the soldiers represented.
At the onset of the event, the soldiers immediately recognized the possibility of a walkout and urged the audience to stay for “dialogue”, a term they dropped three times in less than twenty seconds. Needless to say, the audience mobilized and more than fifty students silently stood up, taped a list of the names of those killed in Israel’s invasion, and walked out. Comprised of SJP members and their allies, the students made their point: any attempt to whitewash injustice will be rejected and then corrected.