Yale Students for Justice in Palestine held a mock “check-point” today on cross campus as part of their “Right to Educate Week,” in order to simulate what Palestinian citizens go through when traveling within the West Bank. Students from Yale Friends of Israel were also present, and stood to the side of the performance to hand out flyers about checkpoints as a form of counter protest.
Omar Mumallah ’12, a coordinator for Yale Students for Justice in Palestine, said that check points, “define life in the West Bank in a lot of ways,” and cited restricted access to medical care and an unequal division in the educational system as a direct impact. Mumallah also said that these checkpoints do not only affect university students, but also people going to work and children going to school.
The Yale Friends of Israel defended the check points as necessary protections for Israeli citizens, and that Israel has drastically reduced the number of checkpoints in the West Bank since 2003, when there were more than 100 check points, to only 13 today.
Throughout the day, students could go through a checkpoint, where “guards” wearing sunglasses and holding cardboard machine guns interrogated students as they passed through. As part of the performance, actors checked the bags of participants, asked them if they were part of any political organizations and if they knew any terrorists or criminals.
Yale Students for Justice in Palestine will be holding a “talk back,” or a forum to discuss the performance and student reactions to it, tonight at 7:30 p.m.
A video of the protest was posted to YouTube on Wednesday.