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September 30, 2014 0

Deceased Congressman Had Ties to Anti-Semitic, Anti-Government Groups

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James Traf­i­cant at Free­dom Palooza 2011. Source: Amer­i­can Third Party

Obit­u­ar­ies about for­mer Ohio Con­gress­man James Traf­i­cant, who died on Sep­tem­ber 27 from injuries sus­tained in an acci­dent on his farm near Youngstown, detail his life. How­ever, nearly all failed to men­tion that in the past five years Traf­i­cant was a promi­nent and active fig­ure on the extreme right, appeal­ing both to anti-government extrem­ists of the “Patriot” move­ment as well as to white suprema­cists and anti-Semites.

The obit­u­ar­ies did, how­ever, allude to Traficant’s past crim­i­nal activ­i­ties that cul­mi­nated in a 2002 con­vic­tion on charges of rack­e­teer­ing, bribery, tax eva­sion and obstruc­tion of jus­tice.  Traf­i­cant received an 8-year prison sen­tence and became one of the few rep­re­sen­ta­tives ever expelled from Congress.

Accord­ing to one obit­u­ary, after his release from prison, Traf­i­cant “lived a quiet life on his farm.”  In real­ity, how­ever, he was far from quiet. He was a reg­u­lar colum­nist for the Amer­i­can Free Press (AFP), a conspiracy-oriented anti-Semitic news­pa­per, attended extrem­ist events, and expressed anti-Semitic views. Traficant’s alliance with the extreme right began years earlier.

Traf­i­cant was a Demo­c­rat but by the 1990s had become pop­u­lar among the extreme right.   His strong sup­port of Nazi war crim­i­nal John Dem­jan­juk drew the approval of white suprema­cists and anti-Semites.  Later, dur­ing his trial, Traf­i­cant sought to remove Jew­ish jurors, say­ing that “I have con­cern about cer­tain polit­i­cal and reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions who have tar­geted me.”

Anti-government extrem­ists liked his grow­ing anti-government rhetoric, par­tic­u­larly in the late 1990s as his own crim­i­nal trou­bles inten­si­fied.  Traf­i­cant repeat­edly invoked the stand­offs at Ruby Ridge and Waco, called Attor­ney Gen­eral Janet Reno a “trai­tor,” attacked the Fed­eral Reserve, and stated that “we have a fed­eral gov­ern­ment that Amer­i­cans fear.”

Dur­ing his trial and impris­on­ment, white suprema­cists such as David Duke spoke out on his behalf and urged peo­ple to send him money.  In par­tic­u­lar, Traf­i­cant devel­oped a close rela­tion­ship with AFP, pub­lished by Willis Carto, one of the lead­ing Amer­i­can anti-Semites.  AFP vocally sup­ported Traf­i­cant, while one of its writ­ers even wrote a book about the for­mer Congressman.

After Traficant’s 2009 release, the rela­tion­ship became closer.  AFP announced an “appre­ci­a­tion din­ner” for him, while Traf­i­cant even became a colum­nist for the anti-Semitic publication—which he con­tin­ued until his death.  In his columns, as well as else­where, Traf­i­cant railed against Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions like the American-Israeli Pub­lic Affairs Com­mit­tee and accused Israel of con­trol­ling the Amer­i­can media, the Amer­i­can econ­omy, and both houses of Con­gress.  Traf­i­cant appeared as a speaker at AFP events, some of which were orga­nized around him, such as a 2010 “Town Hall” with Traf­i­cant in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Dur­ing these years, Traf­i­cant also spoke at other extrem­ist events.  He spoke sev­eral times at “Free­dom Palooza,” an annual event in east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia run by Paul Topete, a long time anti-government extrem­ist and anti-Semite, which attracted anti-government extrem­ists and white suprema­cists.  At one such event, accord­ing to a white suprema­cist who attended, Traf­i­cant allegedly dis­cussed the “Jew­ish dom­i­nance of the press, money sup­ply, New York and Hol­ly­wood.”  Traf­i­cant also spoke at events such as Con­spir­acy Con and the Free­dom Law School, the lat­ter a group asso­ci­ated with the anti-government extrem­ist tax protest movement.

Shortly before his death, Traf­i­cant and AFP had begun a new joint ven­ture, “Project Free­dom USA,” intended to be an effort by “grass­roots patriots…to end the finan­cial tyranny that is stran­gling our nation.”  Among other things, the project intended to abol­ish the Fed­eral Reserve and “our com­mu­nist, pro­gres­sive income tax.”

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September 24, 2014 13

ISIS Spokesman Blames Jews For Conflict & Calls For Lone-Wolf Attacks

A speech issued by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)’s pri­mary spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani on Sun­day calls for attacks against west­ern civil­ians and sol­diers world­wide and blames Jews for the inter­na­tional oppo­si­tion the ter­ror­ist group is facing.isis-obama-jews

High­light­ing the role that anti-Semitism con­tin­ues to play in ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda and ide­ol­ogy, in his speech Adnani sug­gests that Jews are the only rea­son ISIS is being con­fronted by U.S. mil­i­tary: “The jews! (sic) The jews! Save the jews! This is the rea­son they [the U.S.] came.” Adnani also calls Pres­i­dent Obama a “mule of the Jews,” a state­ment that was fur­ther pop­u­lar­ized by ISIS sup­port­ers on Twit­ter using the hash­tag #Obamamulejews.

Adnani sim­i­larly claims that Arab coun­tries includ­ing Egypt and Syria exist as “guard dogs of the jews (sic)” ensur­ing Israel’s secu­rity against their best interests.

Address­ing ISIS sup­port­ers world­wide, Adnani calls for lone wolf attacks against civil­ians: “If you can kill a dis­be­liev­ing Amer­i­can or Euro­pean – espe­cially the…French – or an Aus­tralian, or a Canadian…kill him in any man­ner or way how­ever it may be. Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s ver­dict. Kill the dis­be­liever whether he is civil­ian or military…”

He goes on to pro­vide exam­ples of how this may be done:

“If you are not able to find an IED or a bul­let, then sin­gle out the dis­be­liev­ing Amer­i­can, French­man, or any of his allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaugh­ter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poi­son him…. If you are unable to do so, then burn his home, car, or busi­ness. Or destroy his crops.”

Some of these sug­ges­tions, includ­ing the use of cars for attacks, have pre­vi­ously been fea­tured in Inspire Mag­a­zine, an English-language ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda mag­a­zine pro­duced by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula.

This call for attacks has already been answered. On Mon­day, an Algeria-based extrem­ist group aligned with ISIS called Jund al-Khilafah kid­napped a French national, releas­ing a video warn­ing that France has 24 hours to stop its air attacks or he will be mur­dered. A por­tion of the speech was quoted in the video.

The speech was shared via Twit­ter in three lan­guages: Eng­lish, French and Hebrew. The Eng­lish and French lan­guages were likely cho­sen because the U.S. and France have been the two west­ern coun­tries to under­take airstrikes against ISIS. The Hebrew may reflect ISIS’s views, rein­forced by the speech, that Jews and Israel are also pri­mary ene­mies of the group. It also rein­forces alle­ga­tions in the speech that the U.S. and France are act­ing on behalf of Jews and Israel. This may be the first ISIS speech that was ini­tially released in Hebrew.

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September 22, 2014 3

Ferguson = Gaza: The Continued Invocation Of A False Comparison

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Vigil for Gaza at the Col­lege of Staten Island

While Gaza and Fer­gu­son no longer dom­i­nate the head­lines, these unre­lated events con­tinue to be con­nected by a num­ber of groups and indi­vid­u­als in an attempt to bring atten­tion to their activism.

In addi­tion to pre­vi­ously reported exam­ples, more recent anti-Israel events con­tinue to link the con­flict in Gaza to the Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri shoot­ing and its after­math, couch­ing hos­til­ity towards Israel in social jus­tice terms in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of support.

Recent exam­ples of anti-Israel events that draw par­al­lels between Fer­gu­son and Gaza include:

  • Exis­tence is Resis­tance and the Cam­paign to Bring Mumia Home are adver­tis­ing an event sched­uled for Octo­ber 11 at the Mal­colm X and Betty Shabazz Cen­ter in north­ern Man­hat­tan to address “the global sys­tems that oppress us, from Fer­gu­son to Gaza.” The event will fea­ture speak­ers such as Remi Kanazi, an orga­niz­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber of the US Cam­paign for the Aca­d­e­mic and Cul­tural Boy­cott of Israel (USACBI).
  • A panel dis­cus­sion titled “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine: Con­nect­ing Strug­gles” is sched­uled to take place at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas-Austin on Sep­tem­ber 24 accord­ing to the event’s Face­book page. The event, spon­sored by the Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Com­mit­tee, will fea­ture at least two UT-Austin professors.
  • The City Uni­ver­sity of New York (CUNY) Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter is host­ing a panel dis­cus­sion at the CUNY Grad­u­ate Cen­ter titled “CUNY Stands for Jus­tice: From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine” on Sep­tem­ber 22 fea­tur­ing “an evening of poetry, speak­ers, and dis­cus­sion around repres­sion and resis­tance from Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri to Gaza, Pales­tine,” accord­ing to event flyers.

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    SJP “die-in” at Brook­lyn College

  • The Col­lege of Staten Island SJP chap­ter hosted a vigil for Gaza on Sep­tem­ber 17 at which the group adver­tised on Face­book that it would “read the names of the lives lost, give speeches, and stand in sol­i­dar­ity from Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine…” The group also stated that it shares the anger of those in Fer­gu­son because “Pales­tini­ans know what it means to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity.”
  • Accord­ing to a post on an anti-Israel Face­book page, mem­bers of the Direct Action Front for Pales­tine attended protests in Fer­gu­son and spoke to peo­ple there about Gaza. On Sep­tem­ber 8, it held a meet­ing in Brook­lyn, New York to share what they “learned in Ferguson…to become more effec­tive in our resistance…”
  • Mem­bers of the Inter­na­tional Jew­ish Anti-Zionist Net­work (IJAN) protested out­side ADL’s San Fran­cisco office on Sep­tem­ber 3 with a ban­ner that read “From Oak­land to Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, The US and Israel, A Deadly com­bi­na­tion” and “Stop police brutality…Stop the ADL.” IJAN is a coali­tion formed in 2008 that seeks to facil­i­tate global anti-Israel activ­ity on the part of anti-Zionist Jews.
  • On Face­book, Brook­lyn Col­lege SJP adver­tised a Sep­tem­ber 2 “die-in” on the Brook­lyn Col­lege cam­pus to “raise aware­ness about israel’s [sic] lat­est mas­sacre” and to remem­ber “all the vic­tims of white supremacy and insti­tu­tion­al­ized racism in the U.S., the lat­est being #Mike­Brown and #EricGarner.”

Events link­ing Fer­gu­son and Gaza have also been orga­nized by some uni­ver­sity depart­ments. At UCLA, the Law School’s Crit­i­cal Race Stud­ies Depart­ment spon­sored a Sep­tem­ber 18 event called “From Gaza to Fer­gu­son,” which accord­ing to pub­lic­ity mate­ri­als, explored “the rela­tion­ship between race, the rise of mil­i­ta­rized polic­ing and the response to dis­sent in the United States and con­sider its impli­ca­tions in a global con­text.” The panel included Hedy Epstein, a Holo­caust sur­vivor who has com­pared the Israeli treat­ment of Pales­tini­ans to the Nazi treat­ment of Jews.

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