March 5, 2012

'Blackwashing' and the Israel lobby

Pro-Israel organisations sponsor trips, conferences for minorities.

The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, also known as AIPAC, and similar pro-Israel organisations have been actively encouraging students from black and Hispanic-majority universities to promote the U.S.-Israel relationship and fight claims that Israel is an apartheid state.

Critics say these tactics, known as “blackwashing”, are an attempt by Israeli interest groups to thwart human rights critics.

Others maintain pro-Israel groups provide leadership conferences and travel opportunities that students would not otherwise enjoy.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak with journalist and author Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) and Ben Shapiro (@BenShapiro), editor-at-large of Breitbart.com.

What do you think? Are these groups exploiting students’ minority status to shield themselves from human rights criticism of Israel? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #AJStream.

Here are some elements from around the web: