2012 July » ADL Blogs
July 5, 2012

Jewish Voice for Peace Lobbying Hard for Church Divestment

Update: The Presbyterian Church voted against divestment late Thursday evening, July 5. While ADL welcomed the decision, we are troubled that the issue was decided on such a narrow vote (333-331 with 2 abstentions) and that the debate was biased from start to finish with vehement anti-Israel sentiment.  

Jewish Voice for Peace has been a highly visible and vocal advocate in the General Assembly in favor of the Presbyterian Church’s consideration of a virulently anti-Israel divestment resolution. The resolution, which calls for the church to divest from three companies that allegedly profit from Israel’s occupation (Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard), will be voted on later today by the full plenary after it was passed in committee earlier this week.

There is much to criticize about the problematic nature of the resolution itself, but one of the more disturbing elements of this campaign has been Jewish Voice for Peace’s aggressive lobbying for it.

The group invested significant time and resources to send a delegation of activists to the General Assembly who reportedly testified on the committee floor in favor of divestment and are live-tweeting the conference. A large portion of Twitter chatter about the resolution has been generated by JVP using the hashtag “#churchdivest” to provide updates on the resolution. Of tweets using that hashtag in the last 36 hours, approximately 25% have been generated by JVP and two of its staff people.

JVP activists have also created and distributed a flier called “Divest from Violence. Invest in Peace” which contains several statements from Christians who support divestment, and is circulating a petition that calls on Presbyterians to support divestment. The petition claims that the international community has failed in its efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and it is clear that BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is now the only option left. The petition ends with, “Can you tell Presbyterians we’ve got their back?”

It is clear that JVP believes it has a very critical role to play in the domestic anti-Israel agenda: JVP promotes itself as representing the views of American Jews and can be seen as trying to provide cover against claims that the Presbyterian divestment initiatives are anti-Semitic. Nobody should be fooled. JVP is a fringe organization with its own anti-Israel agenda.

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July 5, 2012

Iran Media Uses Erroneous But Widely Circulated Holocaust Myth To Deny Authenticity Of The Holocaust

A Iranian news website sympathetic to the regime in Tehran published an article denying the Holocaust by pointing to an erroneous Holocaust story that claims the Nazis manufactured soap from their Jewish victims. For this website, Mashregh News, this dubious story was all the evidence needed to prove that the Holocaust is a myth and that it must be exposed as a historical falsity.

The article is an example of an often-used tactic by neo-Nazi groups and prominent Holocaust deniers. By their logic, if the soap story is a fabrication, consequently all historical facts concerning the authenticity of the Holocaust are nothing more than “Jewish myths” promoted by an “international Jewish organization.”

The current Iranian regime is no stranger to Holocaust denial. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for “experts” to investigate the veracity of the Holocaust. In December 2006, Iran played host to a Holocaust denial conference, “Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision,” which was attended by a diverse group of anti-Semites, including neo-Nazi, radical anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian activists, and Islamic fundamentalists.

One month prior, Iran’s Culture Ministry hosted a cartoon contest that sought entries deriding Jews and mocking the Holocaust. The winning cartoon was submitted by a Moroccan artist who depicted Israelis constructing a wall around the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, with the panels of the wall reflecting an image of the infamous railway leading to the gates of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Although Mashregh News is not directly affiliated with or run by the Iranian government, it nonetheless staunchly promotes the government’s ideology and features articles and interviews with top officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

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July 3, 2012

Farrakhan Leads Audience in Anti-Semitic Tirade

Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan used his platform at the NOI’s Mosque Maryam in Chicago on Sunday to lead his audience in an anti-Semitic tirade.

Towards the end of his remarks, Farrakhan made a bizarre comparison between the study of ants and white people. “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says to study [white people]. They’re successful. They make no excuses for their failures. They work hard in a collective manner like the ant….Their long coevolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships.”

He then brought Jews into the comparison:

Go back to the Secret Relationship[Between Black and Jews] …White people are wise and the wisest of white people are the members of the Jewish community…They are wise and they are the guards of their own world. Are you mad with me for saying that? [Audience: “No sir!”] You can’t go nowhere in their world without paying obeisance to them.

Farrakhan then engaged in a disturbing call-and-response with his audience:

Farrakhan: How many of you are lawyers? Only have one in the house? No wonder we go to jail so much, brother. But at the top of the law profession, who are the top in law?
Audience: Jews.
Farrakhan: Sorry I didn’t hear you.
Audience: Jews!
Farrakhan: Any doctors in the house? Ain’t got no doctors? Oh there’s one way in the back. At the top of the medical profession, the top in that are members of the Jewish community. Anybody in media? Who’s the top in that field?
Audience: Jews.
Farrakhan: Anybody a rapper in the house? There’s rappers. You can rap, ain’t nothing wrong with that, but at the top of that are those that control the industry. Any of you have Hollywood ambitions, Broadway ambitions… Who’s the top of that?
Audience: Jews.
Farrakhan: Same people! They’re masters in business. Well I’m not a businessman I’m a banker. Well who’s the master of the bankers?
Audience: Jews.
Farrakhan: TALK TO ME!
Audience: Jews!
Farrakhan: You don’t discredit them because they’re masters, you discredit them by the way they use their mastery.
Audience: [applause]
Farrakhan: Now, I close.

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