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August 28, 2014 3

Ferguson = Gaza: Manufacturing A False Comparison

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Pro­test­ers on the Man­hat­tan Bridge

As events in Gaza and high pro­file police bru­tal­ity cases have con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate recent head­lines, a num­ber of groups and indi­vid­u­als have tried to find a con­nec­tion between these unre­lated events in an attempt to bring atten­tion to their activism.

Sev­eral anti-Israel groups have couched their hos­til­ity towards Israel in social jus­tice terms by link­ing the con­flict in Gaza to the events in Fer­gu­son in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of sup­port. For example:

  • Brook­lyn Col­lege Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine adver­tised a Sep­tem­ber 2 event on Face­book: “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, racism, injus­tice and human rights vio­la­tions are being com­mit­ted against peo­ple of color.”
  • The Ohio Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Group spon­sored an August 25 demon­stra­tion at Ohio State University’s African Amer­i­can and African Stud­ies Com­mu­nity Exten­sion Cen­ter, “to show our love and sup­port for mem­bers of our Colum­bus com­mu­nity who have lost inno­cent loved ones in Gaza in recent Israeli attacks, to stand in sol­i­dar­ity with Michael Brown, John Craw­ford, and vic­tims of racism and police bru­tal­ity all over the US…”
  • At protests in Oak­land on August 23, anti-Israel pro­test­ers report­edly shouted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” co-opting the chant used at Fer­gu­son protests
  • An adver­tise­ment for an August 22 Indi­ana Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity event on Face­book read: “The dis­re­gard and dis­re­spect for black bod­ies and black life is endemic to the white suprema­cist sys­tem that rules the land. Your strug­gles through the ages have been an inspi­ra­tion to us as we fight daily for the most basic human dig­ni­ties in our own home­land against the racist Zion­ist regime that con­sid­ers us less human.”
  • On August 20, the Pales­tin­ian BDS National Com­mit­tee issued a state­ment say­ing, “We rec­og­nize those tac­tics being used in Fer­gu­son and the men­tal­ity behind them…the meth­ods of unbri dled vio­lence and con­trol being used by secu­rity forces are all too famil­iar to Pales­tini­ans liv­ing under Israel’s decade-old occupation.”
  • On August 20, pro­test­ers on the Man­hat­tan Bridge chanted, “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, occu­pa­tion has got to go.” At least one pro­tester held a sign that read “We are FERGUSON We are GAZA, because We are Human.”
  • In an August 20 press release, Jew­ish Voice for Peace stated, “We rec­og­nize that the devalu­ing of African-American lives built into the fab­ric of US gov­ern­ment and soci­ety is mir­rored in Israel’s unequal treat­ment of Palestinians…It’s also not sur­pris­ing to see the sim­i­lar­ity in the tac­tics and tech­nolo­gies of repres­sion against those who are ris­ing up non­vi­o­lently in both places.”
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Protest in Staten Island

While some are sim­ply try­ing to rouse sup­port for an anti-Israel agenda by attract­ing like-minded activists, oth­ers have gone so far as to imply that Israel is to blame for the vio­lence in Ferguson.

This alle­ga­tion sur­faced in a tweet by Trita Parsi, head of the National Iran­ian Amer­i­can Coun­cil (NIAC). On August 14, Parsi tweeted, “Won­der­ing why the exces­sive police vio­lence? Here’s a guess: #Fer­gu­son police chief got train­ing in Israel…#Gaza.” An August 15 arti­cle from San Fran­cisco Bay View titled “Israel-trained police ‘occupy’ Mis­souri after killing of Black youth” echoed this sentiment.

Sim­i­lar com­par­isons have appeared at protests regard­ing other high pro­file police bru­tal­ity cases, such as at an August 23 rally call­ing for jus­tice in the death of Eric Gar­ner, who was unarmed when killed by an NYPD offi­cer ear­lier this sum­mer. Among the posters seen at the protest were “Google It!!! Israel trains the NYPD.”

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August 26, 2014 5

Claims That ISIS Has Jewish Roots Grow In Muslim World

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Car­toon pub­lished on Al-Iraq Agency News website

Sev­eral promi­nent pub­lic fig­ures in parts of the Mus­lim World, includ­ing reli­gious fig­ures, elected offi­cials and schol­ars, are pro­mot­ing a con­spir­acy sug­gest­ing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)was cre­ated by the Jews and Zion­ists to tear Islam apart.

ISIS has engaged in a mur­der­ous ter­ror­ist cam­paign and has con­quered sig­nif­i­cant ter­ri­tory stretch­ing between Iraq and Syria over the past sev­eral months. In June it declared its advances to be the lat­est Caliphate and renamed itself the Islamic State.

The fol­low­ing are some exam­ples that demon­strate the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the absurd accu­sa­tion that Jews and Israel are respon­si­ble for the cre­ation and rise of ISIS.

  • August 7: The World Asso­ci­a­tion for Al-Azhar Grad­u­ates, an umbrella group based in Egypt for schol­ars con­nected to Al-Azhar Uni­ver­sity, Egypt’s top reli­gious author­ity, pub­lished a state­ment on its web­site describ­ing how ISIS and other extrem­ist groups are “[a] Jew­ish prod­uct under var­i­ous names that change every now and then.” The state­ment cites the head of the association’s chap­ter in Pak­istan, Sheik Sahib Zadeh Aziz, as say­ing, “The ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion ISIS is a Zion­ist plot which aims to mur­der Mus­lims, shed their blood, and rape [their] women and girls.”
  • August 6: Dur­ing an inter­view with Dijlah, an Iraqi-based satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, pop­u­lar scholar Ahmed al-Kubbaisi said, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [ISIS leader]…..is no more than a Jew­ish agent… and even Muham­mad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wah­habism is a hun­dred per­cent Jew­ish prod­uct.” He added, “I am respon­si­ble for this state­ment before the lord. [I swear] by God, this is an orga­nized Jew­ish move­ment to tear apart the Ummah [Islamic Nation] and it did tear it apart.” In response to his attack on the founder of Wah­habism, the offi­cial ver­sion of Islam imple­mented in Saudi Ara­bia and a num­ber of other Arab-Gulf states, the Mufti of Saudi Ara­bia and other promi­nent schol­ars in the region attacked al-Kubbaisi for affil­i­at­ing ibn Abd al-Wahhab with the Jews — an ulti­mate insult in the Arab world. Con­se­quently, a Saudi lawyer sub­mit­ted charges to the Dubai police, which sub­mit­ted the com­plaint to the attor­ney gen­eral in Dubai.
  • August 4: Iran’s Sec­re­tary of the Expe­di­ency Dis­cern­ment Coun­cil, Mohsen Rezae, said dur­ing a TV inter­view with the Tehran-based Alalam TV that the “Zion­ist Entity” is behind ISIS. He said that because there is a small num­ber of “Zion­ists” world­wide, they usu­ally try to get rid of oth­ers by mak­ing them fight each other. “There is infor­ma­tion that al-Baghdadi him­self [ISIS leader] received train­ing and instruc­tions at the Israeli Entity,” Rezae said.
  • July 29: A promi­nent Shia’a cleric in Iraq, where ISIS has con­quered sig­nif­i­cant ter­ri­tory over the past few months and killed many Shia’a Mus­lims, Aya­tol­lah Sayed Mor­tada Al-Qazwini, report­edly described ISIS dur­ing an Eid ser­mon in Ker­bala as “a Jew­ish Israeli orga­ni­za­tion, estab­lished to tear apart the land of Muslims.”

Sev­eral Arab news­pa­pers and TV sta­tions have also cir­cu­lated a story claim­ing that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a Jew­ish Mossad agent by the name of Simon Elliot. This claim orig­i­nally appeared in the anti-Semitic and con­spir­a­to­r­ial Amer­i­can pub­li­ca­tion Vet­er­ans Today. In addi­tion, an ad cam­paign against ISIS appear­ing on Afaq, an Iraqi satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, showed a snake with the mark of ISIS com­ing out of the Jew­ish Star of David.

Even the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitism of a group such as ISIS is not enough to pre­vent some in the Mus­lim world from claim­ing Jews are respon­si­ble for the ISIS reign of ter­ror in Iraq and Syria.

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August 21, 2014 0

Anti-Zionist Group Targets Jewish Institutions

Over the past two weeks, demon­stra­tors from Jew­ish Voice for Peace (JVP), the largest Jew­ish anti-Zionist group in the United States, have entered Jew­ish insti­tu­tion build­ings to directly con­front the lead­ers of major Amer­i­can Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions over their sup­port for Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

On four sep­a­rate occa­sions, mem­bers of JVP made their way into build­ings belong­ing to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions and began to protest inside. Their goal in get­ting inside the build­ings was to hand deliver an open let­ter call­ing the insti­tu­tional Jew­ish community’s sup­port for Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge “painful” and “a betrayal of our [Jew­ish] his­tory and values.”

1. New York City (August 20) – Mem­bers of JVP’s New York City chap­ter entered the UJA-Federation offices in Man­hat­tan. One of the pro­test­ers, who live-tweeted from the demon­stra­tion, wrote “Occu­py­ing UJA fed­er­a­tion office in NYC now.” The pro­test­ers even­tu­ally moved their demon­stra­tion to the side­walk out­side of the building.

2. Den­ver (August 19) – The Front Range JVP chap­ter led a group of pro­test­ers into the JEW­ISH­col­orado build­ing in Den­ver. Inside the build­ing, pro­test­ers attempted to deliver their peti­tion to JEWISHcolorado’s Pres­i­dent and CEO Doug Seser­man. After their request was denied, they moved the demon­stra­tion to the building’s lobby and then even­tu­ally out­side of the build­ing after 911 was report­edly called.

3. Durham (August 12) – A small group of pro­test­ers from JVP’s North Car­olina chap­ter inter­rupted the “Com­mu­nity Gath­er­ing in Sup­port of Israel and Peace,” which was spon­sored by the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tions of Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill. While a speaker was deliv­er­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion, mem­bers of the group inter­rupted his speech, unfolded a large ban­ner and began to make demands from insti­tu­tional Jew­ish lead­er­ship about their stance on Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

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JVP mem­bers at the Philadel­phia Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion building

4. Philadel­phia (August 8) – Pro­test­ers from JVP’s Philadel­phia chap­ter made their way into the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion offices in Philadel­phia. After gain­ing entrance, they demanded to meet with the Federation’s CEO Naomi Adler. After being told that they would not receive an appoint­ment, a small por­tion of the group refused to leave the build­ing and con­tin­ued to protest inside, report­edly lead­ing to their arrest.

Six other protests have also taken place out­side of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions over the past month, although var­i­ous groups such as Al-Awda and the newly-founded If Not Now, When?, have orga­nized those. No attempts were made to enter the Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in those cases, but like JVP, the pro­test­ers called on the Jew­ish com­mu­nity to con­demn Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

At least 25 other protests have taken place out­side of build­ings affil­i­ated with Israel or Israeli com­pa­nies. At one of those demon­stra­tions, mem­bers of JVP and Jews Say No! made their way into the offices of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF). Once inside, the demon­stra­tors began to protest and con­ducted a “die-in.” Nine pro­tes­tors were report­edly arrested.

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