Wash U Students for Israel hosts IFest to promote positivity in Israel talks

| News Editor

Graffiti artists from Artists 4 Israel visited IFest, Wash U Students for Israel’s annual event, to paint a Washington University-themed mural in Edison Courtyard celebrating Israel and advocating for peace Tuesday.

Artists 4 Israel (A4I) is an organization that seeks to spread awareness of Israeli issues through the arts.

Artists spray paint a canvas for IFest on Tuesday afternoon. The event featured a spray painting wall and free food, including falafel, outside the Danforth University Center.Stephen Huber | Student Life

Artists spray paint a canvas for IFest on Tuesday afternoon. The event featured a spray painting wall and free food, including falafel, outside the Danforth University Center.

Wash U Students for Israel changed the venue of the festival this year, holding it on a weekday outside the Danforth University Center instead of on the Swamp, and partnered with a dozen students groups, including fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, College Democrats, College Republicans, Wash U Israel Public Affairs Committee, Nice Jewish Queers and more. The event also attracted a greater turnout this year than in past years, sophomore and Wash U Students for Israel president Paul Felder said.

Freshman and Chabad Student Association Secretary Stephen Yoffie felt that IFest was a successful event that helped unite the University’s Jewish community.

“Whenever we get the Jewish community together—which I think should happen more often—we always enjoy it,” Yoffie said.

Hillel at Washington University in St. Louis was another group that partnered with Wash U Students for Israel to put on IFest. Miriam Ross-Hirsch, director of programming and engagement for the group, noted that A4I employs artists from diverse backgrounds who do art therapy in Israel with those who have experienced trauma. The artists also paint murals and do graffiti in various communities to spread a message of peace.

Felder estimated around 1,000 students participated in the activities in some way with the help of A4I.

“We wanted to reach as many students as we could from all different types of backgrounds and engage them with Israel, even if they’ve never even heard of it,” Felder said. “We thought Artists 4 Israel was a really great way to do that.”

Graffiti artists spray paint a mural as part of IFest Tuesday. The artists, employed by Artists 4 Israel, were on campus for IFest.Stephen Huber | Student Life

Graffiti artists spray paint a mural as part of IFest Tuesday. The artists, employed by Artists 4 Israel, were on campus for IFest.

Yoffie added that a lot of the talk surrounding Israel is negative and that event organizers hoped to create a more positive message within the surrounding discourse.

“Chabad’s goal, along with all of the other Jewish and pro-Israel groups on campus, was to cut through a lot of the negativity around Israel and to show that we could have a fun, peaceful event,” Yoffie said.

Felder noted that although this year’s event drew larger turnout than usual, Wash U Students for Israel hopes to make IFest even bigger in future years.

“Something that we couldn’t have that we really want to do in future years is bring a camel or a petting zoo,” Felder said. “We had some trouble with the administration, but we’re looking to do that in the future.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify Miriam Ross-Hirsch’s statement on A4I’s work in Israel.

  • Ganesha_akbar

    “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.

    “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa. While as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

    [PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw.]
    http://zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/extreme_mohammed/islam_3.jpg

    • OhioAhmad

      Lame quote by a nobody who nobody knows….look on any map depicting the Middle East prior to 1948.
      You’ll see it clearly labeled as Palestine.
      Palestine and Palestinians have been around for millennia.
      The true modern invention is Israel.
      Israel is the new invention.
      And no amount of your misinformed lies will change the facts

      • Ganesha_akbar

        That’s nice. Thanks for acknowledging that your Fakestinian people are a fabrication. Now here’s something we hope you’ll really like!
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EElxqoHddyo

      • Arafat

        Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them. There are two forms:

        Taqiyya – Saying something that isn’t true as it relates to the Muslim identity.

        Kitman – Lying by omission. An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills “it shall be as if he had killed all mankind”) while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of “corruption” and “mischief.”

        Tawriya – Intentionally creating a false impression.

        Muruna – ‘Blending in’ by setting aside some practices of Islam or Sharia in order to advance others.

        • OhioAhmad

          Islamophobic lately? Unconditionally love Israel so much you don’t mind throwing American taxes and soldiers under the bus?
          Have you even opened up a Quran book or do you get all your news from Sheldon Adelson and Michael lucas’ lap?
          Go that way if you can’t comprehend that Palestinians have a right to defend themselves from illegally armed immigrants trying to steal their land

          • Arafat

            You really are nuts, aren’t you?
            Just a head’s up, Achmed, Israel is a legally sanctioned country despite your fantasy world view of events.
            I know that as a Muslim you believe all lands belong to Islam. I know that as a Muslim you have no problem when Muslim jihadists commit genocide against the helpless Animists of Sudan, or against the Christians of Nigeria, or against the Hindus of Pakistan, because under Sharia law when Muslims commit genocide it’s all good. But when a legally created state like Israel exists and it impacts Muslims you go all Charlie Hebdo on us.
            I get it Achmed. All lands belong to Islam in your worldview and you’ll never lift a finger when Muslims gang-rape helpless Coptic women, nor will you say a word in protest when Muslims burn children alive, or behead journalists. But instead, you’ll sneeringly call me an Islamophobe for simply writing the truth. Good luck, Achmed if Muslims conquer the world because anyone with half a brain know that if that happens they will turn their guns on one another instead and that means you’ll have to watch your back.

          • Arafat

            You really are nuts, aren’t you?
            Just a head’s up, Achmed, Israel is a legally sanctioned country despite your fantasy world view of events.
            I know that as a Muslim you believe all lands belong to Islam. I know that as a Muslim you have no problem when Muslim jihadists commit genocide against the helpless Animists of Sudan, or against the Christians of Nigeria, or against the Hindus of Pakistan, because under Sharia law when Muslims commit genocide it’s all good. But when a legally created state like Israel exists and it impacts Muslims you go all Charlie Hebdo on us.
            I get it Achmed. All lands belong to Islam in your worldview and you’ll never lift a finger when Muslims gang-rape helpless Coptic women, nor will you say a word in protest when Muslims burn children alive, or behead journalists. But instead, you’ll sneeringly call me an Islamophobe for simply writing the truth. Good luck, Achmed if Muslims conquer the world because anyone with half a brain know that if that happens they will turn their guns on one another instead and that means you’ll have to watch your back.

          • OhioAhmad

            Look at the history.
            Israel was agreed upon at the United Nations by force of coercion by a majority of western countries.
            Totally not the UN of today.
            And nothing else you say in your racist rant is true

          • Arafat

            A moral voice at the United Nations, No, A room
            full of liars and lovers of self. Self-serving monsters who subject others to
            barbarism and tyranny. The home of apologists for barbarism where human rights
            are judged by the very evil doers who cover for each other’s deeds and double
            standards. The anti-free, the bloated dictators, the wacko islamists. If you
            want humanity you came to the wrong place.

          • Arafat

            A moral voice at the United Nations, No, A room
            full of liars and lovers of self. Self-serving monsters who subject others to
            barbarism and tyranny. The home of apologists for barbarism where human rights
            are judged by the very evil doers who cover for each other’s deeds and double
            standards. The anti-free, the bloated dictators, the wacko islamists. If you
            want humanity you came to the wrong place.

          • OhioAhmad

            Look at the history.
            Israel was agreed upon at the United Nations by force of coercion by a majority of western countries.
            Totally not the UN of today.
            And nothing else you say in your racist rant is true

        • OhioAhmad

          Islamophobic lately? Unconditionally love Israel so much you don’t mind throwing American taxes and soldiers under the bus?
          Have you even opened up a Quran book or do you get all your news from Sheldon Adelson and Michael lucas’ lap?
          Go that way if you can’t comprehend that Palestinians have a right to defend themselves from illegally armed immigrants trying to steal their land

  • OhioAhmad

    Did they bring their apartheid roads and towns, or claim falafel as their own?
    Maybe they highlighted the forced birth control Israel does to Ethiopian women without their knowledge?
    I heard South Africa also used to go out of it’s way to try and make their colonial settlements look nice and shiny.
    Funny no mention of any of the oppression and destruction done to Palestinians and their lands and culture

    • Ganesha_akbar

      Egyptian-Arabs in Hamastan have already ethnically cleansed Gaza of every ethnic Jew. Meanwhile, Jordanian-Arabs of The Palestinian Authority demand boycotts to affect removal of “settlements” and that no Jewish communities be allowed in Judea (the so-called “West Bank“).

      It would appear that people demanding the ethnic cleansing of Jews from these disputed territories envision one country (Israel) where Jews, Muslims and others may live as equals; and another (Palestine) where Jews are verboten.

      If that isn’t Islamo-supremacist Apartheid, I don’t know what is.

      Victims of anti-Semetic propaganda have proven Joseph Goebbels right– if lies are repeated often enough, then people will come to believe them.

      Genocide in Western Europe… it’s coming.
      https://youtu.be/K6BKXkxvIhY

      • OhioAhmad

        You seem like you don’t know reality.
        The current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbass has spoken as nauseam about how he welcomed Jewish citizens in the new state of Palestine.
        Why are you trying to scare people?
        Why can’t Jewish people live in Palestine and pay taxes and respect Palestine laws?
        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/01/will-jews-be-able-to-live-in-a-future-palestinian-state/251059/
        Palestinians have always wanted a multicultural, secular society free from racism.
        It is the nationalists from Europe who imported their brand of seperation politics and subververted the will of the indigenous Palestinians with their colonial-settler ways.

        • Ganesha_akbar

          ^deeply delusional

          AbbASS is a serial liar and devout taqiyya vendor. Try harder to avoid defending the indefensible.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ByJb7QQ9U

        • Arafat

          In 539 BC, King Belshazzar of Babylon saw a dismembered hand-written four prophetic words on the wall. This “handwriting on the wall” was finally interpreted by the prophet Daniel as predicting the fall of the kingdom. He was right. Babylon fell to the Medes-Persians that very night.

          Like the “handwriting on the wall” that Prophet Daniel had interpreted, there are four Arabic words, which could lead to submission of the entire world to Islam, if non-Muslims do not fully understand their meaning and implications. Those words are takiyya, tawriya, kitman, and muruna.

          Each of these words describes a different style of deception used by Muslims when discussing Islam or their activities as Muslims. Muhammad famously said, “War is deceit.” (Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 268) The Quran boasts that Allah is the “master of all scheming” (Surah 13:42) and that he is “profound in his machinations” (Surah 8:30). Western civilizations are not accustomed to dealing with people, who have developed deception into an art form. Knowledge is power, and the best way to combat the Islamist agenda is to say, “We are wise to your shenanigans. Knock it off!”

          • OhioAhmad

            And in the year 2016 the Palestinians continue to steadfastly resist the illegal Zionist colonization and occupation of their ancestral lands.
            Palestinians are real Semites. Genetics prove Palestinians are direct descendants of ancient Hebrews and Jews.
            Whereas most European Jews,Ashkenazi,are related to Germans and Russians.
            Looks like someone needs to study up a little more before joining this adult talk.
            Whoopi Goldberg might be Jewish but she has no right to steal land from a Palestinian

          • OhioAhmad

            And in the year 2016 the Palestinians continue to steadfastly resist the illegal Zionist colonization and occupation of their ancestral lands.
            Palestinians are real Semites. Genetics prove Palestinians are direct descendants of ancient Hebrews and Jews.
            Whereas most European Jews,Ashkenazi,are related to Germans and Russians.
            Looks like someone needs to study up a little more before joining this adult talk.
            Whoopi Goldberg might be Jewish but she has no right to steal land from a Palestinian

    • Arafat

      There are several forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted to Muslims, the best known being taqiyya. These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause of Islam – in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.

      • OhioAhmad

        Go read Jewish History,Jewish Religion by the author Israel Shahak for a concise illustration of how Non-Muslims have been behaving.
        You might like the part about spitting on Christian cemetaries and raping non-Jews.

      • OhioAhmad

        Go read Jewish History,Jewish Religion by the author Israel Shahak for a concise illustration of how Non-Muslims have been behaving.
        You might like the part about spitting on Christian cemetaries and raping non-Jews.

        • Arafat

          I’d rather read Marvel Comics as they are just as accurate as the BS you’re recommending but people know their fiction whereas you’re stupid enough to actually believe Shahak’s lies are truth.
          I’m just curious did your father marry his first cousin? I know this is common among Muslims.

          • OhioAhmad

            There are plenty of books on the subject but Israel Shahak is a good on. There is also The General Son and Orientalism and the Ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Even the Transfer Agreement book is a good one.
            Oh I forgot you only read Israeli-Firster comics oops my bad. Maybe one day there will be a coloring book for you to learn from

          • Arafat

            “Never argue with an idiot (like Achmed). They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

            ― George Carlin

          • Arafat

            “Never argue with an idiot (like Achmed). They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

            ― George Carlin

          • Zev_disqus

            “Israel Shahak is a good one”

            Why would anyone choose to learn Jewish History and Jewish Religion from a chemist?

          • Zev_disqus

            “Israel Shahak is a good one”

            Why would anyone choose to learn Jewish History and Jewish Religion from a chemist?

          • OhioAhmad

            There are plenty of books on the subject but Israel Shahak is a good on. There is also The General Son and Orientalism and the Ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Even the Transfer Agreement book is a good one.
            Oh I forgot you only read Israeli-Firster comics oops my bad. Maybe one day there will be a coloring book for you to learn from

        • Arafat

          I’d rather read Marvel Comics as they are just as accurate as the BS you’re recommending but people know their fiction whereas you’re stupid enough to actually believe Shahak’s lies are truth.
          I’m just curious did your father marry his first cousin? I know this is common among Muslims.