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July 23, 2015 5

Help Take ISIS Videos Off WordPress

Ansar Khilafah promotes terrorist propaganda on WordPress

Screen­shot from the site

The Anti-Defamation League con­tacted Word­Press about a web­site it hosts that fea­tures hun­dreds of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) pro­pa­ganda videos, state­ments and publications.

This par­tic­u­lar web­site includes pro­pa­ganda released by ISIS and other ter­ror groups in Eng­lish, French, Turk­ish, Dutch, Ara­bic and other lan­guages. Among the hun­dreds of items on the site are behead­ing and exe­cu­tion videos, as well as videos and arti­cles encour­ag­ing West­ern­ers to travel to join ISIS or to com­mit attacks on its behalf in their home countries.

Help us urge Word­Press to remove this web­site from its plat­form. Copy this URL and paste it into the Word­Press com­plaint form. Mark it as “abu­sive” and tell Word­Press that it’s NOT OK to sup­port ter­ror­ist content.

The pro­pa­ganda made avail­able by this web­site comes from var­i­ous ISIS media out­lets, includ­ing Al Hayat Media, Al Furqan Media, Al-I’tisam Media and Ajnad Media. The site also has a sec­tion for ISIS’ English-language mag­a­zine Dabiq.

Ansar Khilafah blog on WordPress features ISIS propaganda

Screen­shot from the site

Online repos­i­to­ries of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda are not new. In Feb­ru­ary 2015, an ISIS sup­porter cre­ated a web­site called IS-Tube. Sim­i­lar to the Word­Press site, IS-Tube pro­vided access to an archive of search­able ISIS pro­pa­ganda videos. IS-Tube was hosted on a Google-owned IP bloc, and Google quickly removed the site after ADL noti­fied the com­pany of its pres­ence. Both IS-Tube and the Word­Press site appear to have orig­i­nated in the Netherlands.

In July 2014, ISIS attempted to move its online pres­ence away from Twit­ter – where its accounts were reg­u­larly shut down – to alter­nate social media plat­forms Frien­dica and Quit­ter. ADL pub­li­cized the move and Frien­dica and Quit­ter quickly removed all ISIS pres­ence from their platforms.

If you come across such con­tent on other plat­forms, the ADL’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide pro­vides resources on flag­ging con­tent directly with host companies.

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July 21, 2015 0

Taking the First Step: Why I took the top job at ADL, and what we can do to secure fair treatment and justice for all

By Jonathan Green­blatt
National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League


A lit­tle over a year ago, I was work­ing in what, in many ways, was a dream job. After years as an entre­pre­neur, start­ing and scal­ing com­pa­nies, I was asked by Pres­i­dent Obama to join his team at the White House and lead the Administration’s efforts to use social inno­va­tion — steer­ing how we use private-public part­ner­ships, inno­v­a­tive finance, and cre­ative poli­cies to tackle prob­lems from boost­ing job cre­ation to reduc­ing recidi­vism. Then, I got the call.

Would I be inter­ested in being con­sid­ered to lead the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)?

I was flat­tered. I knew ADL from work­ing as an intern in the Boston office back in col­lege. And my wife had been an asso­ciate direc­tor in ADL’s Los Ange­les office. But the truth is that ADL had been led by the leg­endary Abe Fox­man for decades. The orga­ni­za­tion is more than a cen­tury old. Why would a ser­ial entre­pre­neur and social inno­va­tor be interested?

Yet, I was intrigued. ADL was an orga­ni­za­tion with a sto­ried his­tory and a pow­er­ful mis­sion. And today, on my first day as the new National Direc­tor of ADL, I can say that I am hum­bled and excited to lead this national insti­tu­tion deep into its next century.

The found­ing mis­sion of the orga­ni­za­tion — to stop the defama­tion of the Jew­ish peo­ple and to secure fair treat­ment and jus­tice for all — is as rel­e­vant today as it was 100 years ago. We have come far. Indeed, very far. But there is more work to be done on both of these inter­lock­ing goals.

  • While Jews are in posi­tions of pres­tige and power in the U.S. that were unimag­in­able at the turn of the last cen­tury, anti-Semitism per­sists. And, in some places, it is surging.
  • While an African-American sits in the White House, we still see the tragedies in places like Fer­gu­son, Bal­ti­more, and Charleston, which have high­lighted the very real prob­lems of racism that per­sist in our country.
  • While the Supreme Court has affirmed that any­one can marry, our friends and fam­ily in the LGBT com­mu­nity can be fired from a job or denied hous­ing sim­ply because of who they love.
  • While the Jew­ish state of Israel is strong and thriv­ing, there is a grow­ing move­ment — on our col­lege cam­puses and in many world cap­i­tals — to dele­git­imize and demo­nize it.
  • And there are nations like the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran and non-state actors like ISIS that ped­dle vir­u­lent ide­olo­gies, finance and prop­a­gate ter­ror, and assault the rights of women and minori­ties within their midst and beyond.

Just as the Jew­ish Bible inspired America’s founders, both inspire the work of ADL. We are moti­vated by Judaism’s endur­ing call of “jus­tice, jus­tice you shall pur­sue,” and we are pro­pelled by our nation’s quest for a “more per­fect union.” When fair treat­ment is secured for all, democ­racy is strength­ened and that is good for its Jews and other minori­ties. And when Jews and other minori­ties can live safely and securely, that is good for our country.

This is not some abstract notion for me. I learned it as a child.

Below is a pic­ture of my grand­fa­ther, taken in 1938. Before his fam­ily was taken to the ghetto, before most of them were slaugh­tered, my grand­fa­ther — thank­fully — came to this coun­try as a refugee. He came to Amer­ica with­out lan­guage and with­out resources. Despite the obsta­cles, he forged a sort-of middle-class life in Bridge­port, Connecticut.

My grandfather, Bernard Greenblatt, in a picture taken in the mid-1930s in Germany.

My grand­fa­ther, Bernard Green­blatt, in a pic­ture taken in the mid-1930s in Germany.

What amazed me is that he never lost his sense of opti­mism. He never lost his sense of hope. This helped to inspire me as a kid to par­tic­i­pate in a small way in the grass­roots move­ment in the late 1970s and 1980s to free the Soviet Jews who were not allowed to prac­tice their faith or emi­grate. We walked down Park Avenue in Bridge­port hold­ing plac­ards. There were letter-writing cam­paigns. And march after march, let­ter after let­ter, it started to make a dif­fer­ence — and then it worked. They were freed.

Now, I never was so naïve to think that I alone affected this change, but par­tic­i­pat­ing in the move­ment gave me the sense that every per­son could change the world. It was that spark that first took me into pub­lic ser­vice and then into the field of social entre­pre­neur­ship. I focused on cre­at­ing brands and build­ing com­pa­nies that were all about doing well by doing good — find­ing ways to cre­ate eco­nomic value and social ben­e­fit. Some refer to this as a “dou­ble bottom-line.” I think it’s just a model that works — and makes sense.

ADL is a nat­ural exten­sion of the work I have done, not just because of its illus­tri­ous his­tory, but because ADL’s mis­sion is so crit­i­cal today.

Con­sider two reports that ADL just issued.

In the first, our “With Hate in their Hearts: The State of White Supremacy in the U.S.,” we found there has been a resur­gence of white suprema­cists and the vio­lence gen­er­ated by them which rivals what we saw in the era of Okla­homa City bomb­ing two decades ago. The report lays out how white suprema­cists have used the Inter­net to engage with each other with­out hav­ing to join an orga­ni­za­tion or even leave their couch. As the report says:

White suprema­cist dis­cus­sion forums like Storm­front allow huge num­bers of white suprema­cists to net­work and con­verse with each other with­out belong­ing to a group. The social net­work­ing rev­o­lu­tion that began around 2006 ampli­fied this trend; today, it is easy for white suprema­cists to con­nect, even on a one-to-one basis, on social media plat­forms like Face­book. These inter­ac­tions need not be solely vir­tual, as on-line inter­ac­tions often lead white suprema­cists to meet-ups and inter­ac­tions in the real world.

In the sec­ond report, a follow-up to ADL’s study of anti-Semitism in 19 coun­tries called the Global 100 Index, despite find­ing sig­nif­i­cantly lower lev­els of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in France, Ger­many and Bel­gium where there were tragic inci­dents of vio­lence against Jews, ADL found increases in anti-Semitic atti­tudes over the past year in some of the other most devel­oped Euro­pean coun­tries. This occurred despite pub­lic con­dem­na­tions by Euro­pean lead­ers. Dis­turbingly, ADL found that on aver­age more than half the Mus­lims liv­ing in Bel­gium, France, Ger­many, Italy, Spain, and the UK hold very strong anti-Semitic views. Many have been exposed to anti-Semitic stereo­types by hate­ful speech spread via the Internet.

Findings from ADL’s Global 100 Survey

Find­ings from ADL’s Global 100 Survey


These trends point to the need for vig­i­lance — at home and over­seas — to pro­tect the inter­ests of the Jew­ish peo­ple and to use mod­ern tools and new strate­gies to com­bat the threats that con­front the Jew­ish com­mu­nity and other minor­ity groups.

The world is increas­ingly inter­con­nected and online. Social media cer­tainly can be a source of divi­sive­ness and a vehi­cle for hate, but it also is among the most pow­er­ful inno­va­tions that the world has ever seen. The medium offers extra­or­di­nary oppor­tu­ni­ties for impact, bring­ing peo­ple together and build­ing com­mu­ni­ties across bor­ders. There is so much that can be done.

So whether through new tech­nol­ogy or just old-fashioned orga­niz­ing, we need to com­mit our­selves to bring­ing peo­ple together so they and we can appre­ci­ate our dif­fer­ences and our com­mon­al­ity, and thus we also must stand up for one another. As the sage Hil­lel taught, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I?” And, as we know from our Amer­i­can tra­di­tion, e pluribus unum: out of many, we become one.

Inspired by ADL’s his­tory, I will work fero­ciously to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred and big­otry, and I will labor tire­lessly to expand the organization’s reach and part­ner­ships — to ele­vate ADL as a vehi­cle for change and progress. My ambi­tion is to ensure that ADL makes as big an impact over the next 100 years as it has made in its first 100 years.

I know this will be dif­fi­cult. It will be a long jour­ney. I know that progress is some­times incre­men­tal, slow, and even frus­trat­ing. It’s too easy for peo­ple to give up, turn against each other, or turn a blind eye.

But in my life­time — whether it’s free­dom for Soviet Jews or rights for the LGBT com­mu­nity, we have seen extra­or­di­nary progress. I am inspired by ADL’s her­itage and have faith that its legacy will lead us for­ward. Indeed, as Dr. King said, “Faith is tak­ing the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

I hope you will join me and ADL as we take this first step.

July 20, 2015 0

Rising Anti-Semitism in Europe: History Repeating Once Again

By Abra­ham H. Fox­man
National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared on The Huff­in­g­ton Post Blog

The anti-Semitism news from Europe in over the past year has been ter­ri­ble: Jews mur­dered in Paris and Copen­hagen, syn­a­gogues attacked by mobs and fire­bombed, and increas­ing Jew­ish emi­gra­tion attrib­uted to fear of more attacks.

A new poll on anti-Semitic atti­tudes, how­ever, may offer some rea­son for opti­mism amid an oth­er­wise bleak picture.

The Anti-Defamation League poll, a follow-up to our 2014 sur­vey of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in more than 100 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries, found sig­nif­i­cant decreases in big­oted views toward Jews in France, Bel­gium, and Ger­many, where anti-Semitic vio­lence has been a promi­nent issue.

The sur­pris­ing results in these three coun­tries prompted us to look deeper into pos­si­ble rea­sons and to con­firm the results.  The ini­tial results were con­firmed and the new data we obtained sug­gest pos­si­ble explanations.

What did we find in all three coun­tries?  Respon­dents had height­ened aware­ness and con­cern about vio­lence against Jews and a stronger sense of sol­i­dar­ity with the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties.  Over half of French respon­dents had heard polit­i­cal lead­ers con­demn anti-Semitism, and majori­ties in all three coun­tries noted their gov­ern­ments had been more active in com­bat­ting anti-Semitism.

For decades, ADL has urged pub­lic fig­ures in Amer­ica and around the world to denounce anti-Semitism when inci­dents occur. In the U.S., lead­ers at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment make such state­ments and we have seen decreases in anti-Semitic atti­tudes here in our decades of domes­tic polling.

Over the past year, we have also seen strong and sus­tained denun­ci­a­tions of anti-Semitism in France by Prime Min­is­ter Manuel Manuel Valls and Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande, where the most pro­nounced drop in anti-Semitic atti­tudes was found among the Euro­pean coun­tries sur­veyed.  In Ger­many, Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel head­lined a rally against anti-Semitism in Sep­tem­ber.  Bel­gian Prime Min­is­ter Charles Michel, who took office in Octo­ber, has been out­spo­ken against anti-Semitism and hon­est about lax­ity of pre­vi­ous governments.

Such actions should be emu­lated by all Euro­pean leaders.

It is cer­tainly pos­si­ble that peo­ple were sim­ply less will­ing to express agree­ment with anti-Jewish state­ments, while still har­bor­ing such atti­tudes. Respon­dents reported sim­i­lar lev­els of anti-Semitism among peo­ple they know com­pared with 2014, a per­cep­tion which is often a proxy for peo­ple hold­ing anti-Semitic views them­selves.  Even if that is the case, greater ret­i­cence to express anti-Semitism would still be a pos­i­tive development.

The good news must be tem­pered by the sober­ing con­cern that we do not know how deep and last­ing these pos­i­tive shifts will be.  The trau­matic effects of the recent vio­lence in France, Bel­gium and Ger­many may fade and the reluc­tance to express anti-Semitic atti­tudes may recede.  Addi­tional polling over time will tell us.

Other poll results showed how much anti-bias work remains to be done.

For the first time, the ADL poll mea­sured Mus­lim atti­tudes in Bel­gium, France, Ger­many, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.  An aver­age of 55 per­cent of West­ern Euro­pean Mus­lims har­bored anti-Semitic atti­tudes. Accep­tance of anti-Semitic stereo­types by Mus­lims in these coun­tries was sub­stan­tially higher than among the national pop­u­la­tion in each coun­try (rang­ing from 12 to 29 per­cent), though lower than cor­re­spond­ing fig­ures of 75 per­cent for Mus­lims in the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA) in ADL’s 2014 poll.

The index is made up of 11 clas­si­cal stereo­types about Jews.  In con­sul­ta­tion with schol­ars, ADL set a stan­dard in which respon­dents had to agree with six or more of these stereo­types in order to be described as har­bor­ing anti-Semitic atti­tudes.  To be sure, any one ques­tion may be sub­ject to dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tions.  How­ever, agree­ing with at least six of these state­ments makes clear one’s biased atti­tude toward Jews.

On most conspiracy-related state­ments, e.g. “Jews have too much con­trol over global affairs,” results for Euro­pean and MENA Mus­lims showed lit­tle dif­fer­ence.  How­ever, on neg­a­tive state­ments about Jew­ish char­ac­ter, e.g. “peo­ple hate Jews because of the way they behave” and “Jews think they are bet­ter than other peo­ple,” Euro­pean Mus­lims scored sub­stan­tially lower than MENA Muslims.

Reduc­ing vio­lent attacks on Jews and Jew­ish insti­tu­tions must clearly be the first pri­or­ity in the bat­tle against anti-Semitism, but chang­ing atti­tudes counts.  While we do not see a cor­re­la­tion between high num­bers of vio­lent inci­dents and high lev­els of anti-Semitic beliefs, Jews feel freer to live openly as Jews when they are con­fi­dent of being accepted in their soci­eties, not just in the absence of secu­rity concerns.

The fight against anti-Semitism must be waged in the pub­lic square and at schools, as well as by law enforce­ment.  Polit­i­cal lead­ers must set the tone and devote the polit­i­cal cap­i­tal to encour­ag­ing every sec­tor of soci­ety to engage together to com­bat the scourge of anti-Semitism.  Civil soci­ety and the busi­ness com­mu­nity, edu­ca­tors and jour­nal­ists, reli­gious lead­ers and stu­dents, par­ents and chil­dren, law enforce­ment offi­cers, pros­e­cu­tors and jurists must all join the battle.

Large majori­ties of respon­dents in Bel­gium (68 per­cent), France (77 per­cent), and Ger­many (78 per­cent) agreed that, “Vio­lence against Jews in this coun­try affects every­one and is an attack on our way of life.”  We should not set­tle for less than 100 per­cent, and that requires clear and con­sis­tent rein­force­ment that threats to Jews are assaults on the well-being and sense of secu­rity for the whole society.

Let us hope the improve­ments found in our poll grow in effect, expand across Europe, and even­tu­ally through the rest of the world.

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