2012 September » ADL Blogs
September 24, 2012 0

“Zionism” Blamed for Anti-Islam Film At Protests in Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Protests held in Hous­ton, Los Ange­les and Wash­ing­ton D.C. last Fri­day and Sat­ur­day accused Zion­ists of hav­ing a hand in the pro­duc­tion of the anti-Islam film, Inno­cence of Mus­lims.

The ral­lies, which were spon­sored by the Mus­lim Con­gress, a Shi’a orga­ni­za­tion founded in 2005, also fea­tured plac­ards and slo­gans accus­ing the Amer­ica and other West­ern nations of har­bor­ing dou­ble stan­dards regard­ing what con­sti­tutes free­dom of speech.

Sign at Mus­lim Con­gress protest in Houston

Pro­test­ers at the Hous­ton rally, which was co-sponsored by the Islamic Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter (IEC), a Houston-based Shi’a mosque and pri­vate school with a record of employ­ing stereo­typ­i­cal anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives in its pub­li­ca­tions, held a ban­ner that read: “Insult of Islam = Free­dom of Speech? Inquiry on Holo­caust= Anti­semitism? Dou­ble Stan­dards!” Pro­test­ers also chanted slo­gans blam­ing Zion­ists for the film’s pro­duc­tion and held posters with “Yes to Moses, Yes To Jesus, Yes to Muham­mad, No to Zion­ism” writ­ten on them.

Although they were billed as “peace­ful protests” to “honor Divine Prophets, includ­ing Abra­ham, Moses, Jesus and Muham­mad,” a Mus­lim Con­gress press release issued after the events called the film “a by-product of a cul­ture cre­ated by … war-profiteers, and the Zion­ist lobby.”

The same release included a res­o­lu­tion call­ing for lim­its on free­dom of speech and asked for “all Amer­i­cans of faith [to] stand together against the plans of the Zion­ist to dis­unite us, as the Zion­ists respect nei­ther Judaism, Chris­tian­ity or Islam.”

The Mus­lim Con­gress has reg­u­larly fea­tured anti-Semitic speak­ers such as Abdul Alim Musa of the extrem­ist As-Sabiqun group and Moham­mad al-Asi at its annual conventions.

Sim­i­lar to the protest in Hous­ton, pro­test­ers in front of the Los Ange­les Fed­eral Build­ing held up posters denounc­ing the film and blam­ing the vio­lence seen in sev­eral Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries on Zion­ism. One poster read, “Yes to Torah, Yes to Bible, Yes to Quran, No to Zionism.”

PressTV, the Iran­ian government’s pri­mary medium for pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries to English-speaking coun­tries, described the Los Ange­les protest as a reac­tion to the anti-Islam film pro­duced “thanks to Jew­ish dona­tions total­ing USD five million.”

The false claim that the film was the work of an “Israeli Jew” ini­tially spread when the film­maker said in inter­views that his project had 100 Jew­ish back­ers who had invested $5 mil­lion to pro­duce it. It was later revealed that the film was cre­ated, pro­duced and pro­moted by sev­eral Chris­t­ian anti-Muslim activists con­nected to a net­work of anti-Muslim organizations.

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September 24, 2012 0

Anti-Israel Teach-in Held During Occupy Wall Street “Free University Week”

A work­ing group affil­i­ated with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) move­ment held a teach-in over the week­end on advo­cat­ing for and sup­port­ing Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against Israel. The group, known as the “Global Jus­tice Work­ing Group,” used the ses­sion to demo­nize Israel and to demon­strate how the pro-BDS agenda goes hand-in-hand with the goals of OWS.

A sign at the Occupy BDS teach-in New York

The event was held on Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 22, as part of an OWS-organized week­long pro­gram in New York called “Free Uni­ver­sity Week.”

Speak­ers dur­ing the event con­demned Israel as a “Euro­pean set­tler move­ment” and Israeli pol­icy as extremely oppres­sive. Riham Bargh­outi, a found­ing mem­ber of the Pales­tin­ian Cam­paign for the Aca­d­e­mic and Cul­tural Boy­cott of Israel (PACBI) and activist with Adalah-NY, a local pro-boycott group, described the sit­u­a­tion for Pales­tini­ans as a “strug­gle of indige­nous peo­ple against col­o­niz­ing set­tler tac­tics.” Another speaker accused Israel of hav­ing “vio­lated every arti­cle in the 4th Geneva Con­ven­tion.” The speak­ers rep­re­sented a vari­ety of domes­tic anti-Israel groups, includ­ing Adalah-NY, Punks against Apartheid, New York­ers against the Cornell-Technion Part­ner­ship and CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty” cam­paign, which calls for a boy­cott of AHAVA products.

The activists also repeat­edly sought to demon­strate that  the goals of OWS and the BDS move­ment are inter­con­nected. One OWS speaker, for exam­ple, warned the par­tic­i­pants that Israel trains Amer­i­can law enforce­ment and equips police with weaponry and riot con­trol tools. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Occupy Oak­land move­ment then delib­er­ately “con­nected the dots,” alleg­ing that the “same type of tear gas being used against them [Occupy Oak­land] is being used against the Palestinians.”

Saturday’s event rep­re­sents the lat­est effort by anti-Israel activists to inject their cause into the now year-old OWS social protest move­ment. Up until now, these efforts – which included wav­ing anti-Israel signs and chant­ing anti-Israel slo­gans at OWS demon­stra­tions – were not offi­cially sanc­tioned by OWS or any of its affil­i­ated groups. In what could be a pos­si­ble shift, the teach-in was spon­sored by a group for­mally tied to OWS and was pro­moted on the offi­cial New York Gen­eral Assem­bly web­site, which hosts con­tent from “dozens of groups work­ing together to orga­nize and set the vision for the #occu­py­wall­street move­ment.

While one might imag­ine that a group called “Global Jus­tice Work­ing Group” would focus on a vari­ety of issues of global injus­tice, the group seems to main­tain a sin­gu­lar focus on crit­i­ciz­ing Israel. Indeed, its Face­book page and web­site are reg­u­larly updated with anti-Israel con­tent, includ­ing claims that Israeli check­points are a “tool of sup­pres­sion” and calls for the Red Hot Chili Pep­pers to refuse to per­form in Israel. [The con­cert was held as planned on Sep­tem­ber 10.]

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September 20, 2012 1

Tattooed Shootout Suspect is White Supremacist

Alaskan Jason Bar­num has been charged with three counts of attempted mur­der fol­low­ing a mid-September shootout at an Anchor­age hotel in which Bar­num allegedly opened fire on police offi­cers inves­ti­gat­ing a string of bur­glar­ies (wound­ing one of them).

Fol­low­ing the mid-September arrest in Anchor­age, pho­tographs of Bar­num under­stand­ably went viral on the Inter­net.  Bar­num has many strik­ing tat­toos, espe­cially on his head, where a skin­less jaw is tat­tooed on the right side of his face.  Most notable of all is Barnum’s right eye­ball, which is itself tat­tooed black.

Now, ADL research has uncov­ered evi­dence that Bar­num is also a white supremacist.

Bar­num has at least two white suprema­cist tat­toos on his body:  a curved swastika and the white suprema­cist ver­sion of the Celtic Cross.  He has also worn white suprema­cist jew­elry, such as a neck­lace with a swastika super­im­posed on an Iron Cross, which appears on Bar­num in a pic­ture he posted to his Face­book pro­file in 2011.

In com­ments on other people’s Face­book pro­files, Bar­num has used com­mon white suprema­cist codes such as “1488” (the 14 stands for the “Four­teen Words” white suprema­cist slo­gan, while the 88 stands for “Heil Hitler”).  Bar­num also includes as one of his Face­book “likes” the Broth­er­hood Motor­cy­cle Club, while one of his Face­book friends is a rank­ing mem­ber of that group.  The “Broth­er­hood” is short for the Aryan Broth­er­hood and the group is actu­ally an off­shoot of the Indi­ana Aryan Broth­er­hood that is active in Indi­ana and Oregon. 

Some of Barnum’s other Face­book friends are also white suprema­cists.  An exam­i­na­tion of these indi­vid­u­als and their rela­tion­ships to Bar­num and each other reveals that most or all of them knew Bar­num from shared time spent at the max­i­mum secu­rity Spring Creek Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter in Alaska, where they seem to have com­posed a small white suprema­cist prison clique.

Last Jan­u­ary, Bar­num com­plained on his Face­book pro­file that “[too] many peo­ple like to look at me & all­ways [sic] think that im about to do them harm.  When on the real im a friendly guy.”

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