2012 April » ADL Blogs
April 26, 2012

Norman Finkelstein to Speak at KinderUSA Fundraiser in Long Beach

Norman G. Finkelstein, an anti-Israel academic whose career has been marked by a vitriolic hatred of Zionism and Israel, is scheduled to be the “Special Guest Speaker” at the 10th anniversary celebration of KinderUSA, an organization whose stated mission is to “alleviate the suffering of children and their families in Palestine and beyond.”

The May 5 event in Long Beach, billed as: “A Decade of Giving,” is endorsed by the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). In a press release for the event, MPAC’s Senior Advisor Dr. Maher Hathout said, “I think everyone who comes will walk out informed and inspired as well…you will listen to perspectives that you will not hear on CNN or the official media that is always giving us our narrative. It’s about time to hear the narrative coming from ourselves to ourselves.”

Finkelstein, who is frequently invited to speak on campus about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has a long history of portraying Holocaust education and survivor compensation as a calculated attempt to “immunize Israel from criticism” for alleged human rights abuses.

He frequently evokes offensive comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany. On his website in 2009, for example, he re-posted a collection of images of Jewish persecution in Nazi Germany juxtaposed with images of Palestinian suffering. The title of the Web page is “The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany…”

Finkelstein has also expressed support for the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. In an interview with a Lebanese television station in January 2008, Finkelstein said, “I was of course happy to meet the Hezbollah people, because it is a point of view that is rarely heard in the United States. I have no problem saying that I do want to express solidarity with them, and I am not going to be a coward or a hypocrite about it.”

At a speaking appearance at the University of Denver in September 2011, Finkelstein attempted to legitimize Hamas by comparing the group to Gandhi: “Gandhi’s solution is the same as Hamas, word-for-word.”

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April 26, 2012

Does Jimmy Carter Endorse BDS?

It is no secret that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is harshly critical of Israeli policies in the West Bank. There are now, however, indications that Carter may have entered a new realm of anti-Israel advocacy with an implied endorsement of the campaign to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) Israel.

As quoted by Al-Jazeera in an April 25 piece, Carter states that he thinks the BDS movement has “been effective on a wide-ranging basis, otherwise the Israelis would not be so upset about it” and that it is “gaining in strength.”

Just as Carter’s 2007 book, “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” attempted to mainstream the apartheid analogy commonly used within the anti-Israel movement, his apparent validation of BDS could lead others to believe that this extreme and divisive tactic is legitimate.

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April 20, 2012

Incidents of Anti-Semitism Continue to Mark Occupy Movement

With the arrival of warmer weather, Occupy Wall Street protests around the country have begun to pick up in recent weeks. While reports of rampant anti-Semitism at last summer’s protests were overblown, two isolated incidents this week indicate that anti-Semites continue to take advantage of the Occupy movement and use it as a convenient platform to air their views.
On Monday, an African-American individual attending an Occupy protest in Washington, D.C. made several anti-Semitic comments, including loudly remarking that Jewish people “try to get ahead of Black people, like they’re better than us.”

The individual claimed to be part of a group called the United Occupy Movement. A description of the group on its Web site reads, “We are the young, old, male & female, no-D and Ph.D., Christian, Muslim, Aethiest [sic] and ethnically diverse who should have a greater voice according to our Constitution.”

And just yesterday, a harshly anti-Semitic cartoon was posted to a Facebook page that claims to be the “Community Page” for Occupy Tampa. The cartoon featured a picture of a stereotypical-looking observant Jew driving a car while holding President Obama’s head in one hand and a steering wheel in the other fashioned out of the United Nations’ logo. The image evokes classic anti-Semitic myths of Jewish control, in this case of the U.S. government and the UN. Administrators of the page have since apologized for the posting, saying they’ve had “some intrusion issues” but that the administrator who posted the image has now been banned from the page.

The very same cartoon appeared in Al Watan, a Qatar-based newspaper, on September 30, 2011 at the height of Palestinian efforts to unilaterally declare statehood at the UN. The cartoon is the work of an artist named Eliot whose anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons are regularly published in Al Watan.

ADL reported on a variety of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents that took place at Occupy protests last summer and fall. These incidents consistently appear to be the acts of individuals seeking to exploit the popular social protest movement and inject it with their own hateful views.

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