Official Blogs from the Anti-Defamation League » ADL Blogs
providing inside access to our work on topics ranging from anti-Semitism and extremism to anti-Israel activity and much more
May 19, 2016 0

Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Exhibition Opens

Iran’s newest “Holo­caust con­test” exhi­bi­tion opened on May 14 in a gallery in Tehran. Accord­ing to Iran­ian news reports, the con­test received over 864 sub­mis­sions from par­tic­i­pants around the world.  Of those, 150 car­toons from 50 coun­tries were accepted, with rep­re­sen­ta­tion of car­toon­ists from Brazil, China, Colom­bia, France, Indone­sia, Peru, Syria, Turkey and Yemen, among others.

Con­test orga­nizer Masoud Sho­jai Tabatabaei insisted the event was not to deny or cel­e­brate the Nazi Holo­caust, but to call out the “Holo­caust” being wit­nessed with “the big killings by the Zion­ist regime in Gaza and Palestine.”Iranian Holocaust Cartoon

Of course this is not the first such con­test held in Iran, nor the first time the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment and its organs have politi­cized, denied and abused the mem­ory of the Holo­caust and its victims.

In the exhi­bi­tion, the car­toons are divided into two themes. The first relate to the Holo­caust; the sec­ond com­pare Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu to Hitler. Pho­tos from the exhi­bi­tion reveal car­toons fea­tur­ing swastikas and other anti-Semitic imagery.

The con­test has earned the con­dem­na­tion of the State Depart­ment (“abhor­rent”), UNESCO (“goes against the uni­ver­sal val­ues of tol­er­ance and respect”) and the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry (“the mur­der of 6 mil­lion men, women and chil­dren dur­ing the Holo­caust, for which we Ger­mans bear guilt and respon­si­bil­ity, must not be aban­doned to ridicule”).

The con­test win­ners will be announced on May 30.

If you’re won­der­ing how much one can earn from a car­toon lam­poon­ing or dimin­ish­ing an act which killed six mil­lion Jews, it is reported that the win­ning car­toon will be awarded a sum of $12,000.

Tags: , , , , ,

May 13, 2016 0

New ISIS App One of Many Efforts to Indoctrinate Children

A screenshot from the ISIS app with the letter Ba for Bunduqiya, meaning rifle

A screen­shot from the ISIS app with the let­ter Ba for Bun­duqiya, mean­ing rifle

ISIS has released a mobile app designed to teach young chil­dren the Ara­bic alpha­bet while simul­ta­ne­ously indoc­tri­nat­ing them with mil­i­tant ide­ol­ogy. The app was shared via ISIS chan­nels on the chat appli­ca­tion Telegram and made avail­able on file shar­ing sites, many of which have since deleted the link.

Fea­tur­ing brightly col­ored, cheer­ful graph­ics, the appof­fers edu­ca­tional con­tent for learn­ing let­ters, such as songs designed for enabling mem­o­riza­tion. How­ever, the songs are filled with extrem­ist rhetoric, and words that begin with the let­ters shown include gun, tank, rocket and bullet.

This is not the first instance of ISIS pro­pa­ganda fea­tur­ing or tar­get­ing chil­dren. The group has released mul­ti­ple videos con­tain­ing acts of vio­lence com­mit­ted or incited by chil­dren as young as tod­dlers, as well as videos fea­tur­ing chil­dren engaged in com­bat train­ing. Many of the group’s more pos­i­tively themed videos, designed to sug­gest that ISIS is cre­at­ing a utopian com­mu­nity, have shown chil­dren play­ing, singing, and enjoy­ing ice cream and other treats. ISIS pro­pa­ganda videos are not only exported to extrem­ists out­side ISIS ter­ri­tory but also are reg­u­larly broad­cast inside areas the group con­trols. Reports have indi­cated that chil­dren within ISIS ter­ri­tory are reg­u­larly forced to watch the vio­lent pro­pa­ganda videos.

A young child in an ISIS propaganda video

A young child in an ISIS pro­pa­ganda video

But ISIS is not the only ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion to directly tar­get chil­dren. ADL has doc­u­mented sev­eral mil­i­tant online video games cre­ated for chil­dren by Hezbol­lah, which Hezbol­lah claimed were designed “to strengthen the cul­ture of resis­tance” – mean­ing, to indoc­tri­nate children.

ISIS, Hezbol­lah and other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions have also cre­ated other mobile apps aimed at adult audi­ences, with the goal of spread­ing their pro­pa­ganda on as many plat­forms as

Children eating ice cream in an ISIS propaganda video

Chil­dren eat­ing ice cream in an ISIS pro­pa­ganda video

pos­si­ble. ADL has just exposed a new app cre­ated to broad­cast Hezbollah’s al-Manar news out­let, which was made avail­able for down­load on iTunes.ISIS has also cre­ated sev­eral iter­a­tions of news apps. Cur­rently active chan­nels are fea­tured on the mobile chat app Telegram and con­tain backup mech­a­nisms so that if the ini­tial chan­nel is shut down, users are auto­mat­i­cally added to a newly cre­ated chan­nel and can con­tinue receiv­ing ISIS news and pro­pa­ganda directly onto their mobile phones.

Children in military training in an ISIS propaganda video

Chil­dren in mil­i­tary train­ing in an ISIS pro­pa­ganda video

Fur­ther­more, ISIS’s sleek and sophis­ti­cated pro­pa­ganda is reg­u­larly aimed at audi­ences not con­sid­ered tra­di­tional demo­graph­ics for extrem­ist recruit­ment. For exam­ple, the group also has a pro­pa­ganda wing that specif­i­cally tar­gets women and has put sig­nif­i­cant efforts into recruit­ing female members.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 13, 2016 Off

ADL on the Armenian Genocide

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

As the still fairly new CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), I’ve been on the job less than one year. I’m fre­quently asked about our cur­rent posi­tion on his­tor­i­cal League deci­sions. One of those cru­cial ques­tions is where ADL stands with regards to recog­ni­tion of the Armen­ian Genocide.

My fam­ily was directly impacted by the Holo­caust. Given that pro­foundly per­sonal expe­ri­ence, I appre­ci­ate the pain of those who suf­fered losses even gen­er­a­tions ago and the need to remem­ber. I am reminded daily that we must edu­cate and take action against hate in our own time, as we vow “never again.”

There­fore, only a few weeks after the 101st com­mem­o­ra­tion of the tragedy, and on the occa­sion of Yom HaShoah, the remem­brance of the Holo­caust, I am using this oppor­tu­nity to make our posi­tion clear.

ADL is a 103-year-old orga­ni­za­tion and very proud of both its his­tory and its mis­sion to not only lead the charge com­bat­ting anti-Semitism, but to also fight against all forms of big­otry. We rec­og­nize and uphold a con­nec­tion between our lead­er­ship role to stand up for the Jew­ish com­mu­nity and stand up for other minor­ity and mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties at the same time.

Our mis­sion reflects the words of the Jew­ish Sage Hil­lel from 2,000 years ago:  “If I am not for myself, who will be? And, if I am only for myself what am I?”

That con­nec­tion is both moral and prac­ti­cal: It is the right thing to do.

When we teach about the Holo­caust, we speak about the 2,000-year his­tory of anti-Semitism that made the Shoah possible.

We have a sim­i­lar respon­si­bil­ity to talk more broadly and recall that in our own life­time the world did not stand up against the hor­rors hap­pen­ing in Cam­bo­dia, Bosnia and Rwanda. Too often, the response to geno­cide has been global silence.

So, let me be crys­tal clear: the first geno­cide of the 20th cen­tury is no dif­fer­ent. What hap­pened in the Ottoman Empire to the Arme­ni­ans begin­ning in 1915 was geno­cide. The geno­cide began with the rul­ing gov­ern­ment arrest­ing and exe­cut­ing sev­eral hun­dred Armen­ian intel­lec­tu­als. After that, Armen­ian fam­i­lies were removed from their homes and sent on death marches. The Armen­ian peo­ple were sub­jected to depor­ta­tion, expro­pri­a­tion, abduc­tion, tor­ture, mas­sacre and starvation.

What hap­pened to the Armen­ian peo­ple was unequiv­o­cally genocide.

We believe that remem­ber­ing and edu­cat­ing about any geno­cide – Armen­ian, the Holo­caust, Bosnia, Rwanda, and oth­ers is a nec­es­sary tool to pre­vent future tragedies.

Our expe­ri­ence regard­ing the Holo­caust is rel­e­vant. When the first pic­tures of Auschwitz appeared at the end of World War II, there was wide­spread shame in the West­ern world at the real­iza­tion that anti-Semitism was deeply embed­ded across cul­tures and coun­tries and could pro­duce such hor­ror.  That col­lec­tive shame helped to inhibit man­i­fes­ta­tions of anti-Semitism for decades.  Now, as time moves on, as that sense of shame evis­cer­ates, it is no acci­dent that anti-Semitism has reemerged with full force. In other words, we must edu­cate each gen­er­a­tion about the tragedies of the past.

That is why I am speak­ing out today and why we would sup­port U.S. recog­ni­tion of the Armen­ian Geno­cide. Silence is not an option.

In many ways, we have made great strides in this coun­try fight­ing big­otry.  Con­sider the great gains of the civil rights move­ment; the diminu­tion of anti-Semitism that lim­ited Jew­ish life in Amer­ica; the ascen­dance of the Latino com­mu­nity; the rev­o­lu­tion in atti­tudes and laws impact­ing the LGBT com­mu­nity.  There have been set­backs and there is still tremen­dous work to be done, as exem­pli­fied by the stereo­types regard­ing Lati­nos and immi­grants as well as anti-Muslim rhetoric that has char­ac­ter­ized this unusual pres­i­den­tial campaign.

Col­lec­tively, this back­ground makes it imper­a­tive for groups who, sadly, share a his­tory of oppres­sion to stand together. When indi­vid­u­als or groups deny the Armen­ian geno­cide, as recently took place with a bill­board in Boston, ADL will speak out and denounce that denial. In that spirit, I am opti­mistic about greater coop­er­a­tion going for­ward to end all forms of hate and bigotry.

Related resource for educators:

The Strug­gle to Pre­vent Geno­cide: Geno­cide and the Global Response