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
August 25, 2015 1

When Hateful Speech Leads to Hate Crimes: Taking Bigotry Out of the Immigration Debate

By Jonathan Green­blatt
National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared on The Huff­in­g­ton Post Blog

When police arrived at the scene in Boston, they found a Latino man shak­ing on the ground, his face appar­ently soaked in urine, with a bro­ken nose.  His arms and chest had been beaten.  One of the two broth­ers arrested and charged with the hate crime report­edly told police, “Don­ald Trump was right—all these ille­gals need to be deported.”

The vic­tim, a home­less man, was appar­ently sleep­ing out­side of a sub­way sta­tion in Dorch­ester when the per­pe­tra­tors attacked.  His only offense was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The broth­ers attacked him for who he was—simply because he was Latino.

In recent weeks anti-immigrant—and by exten­sion anti-Latino—rhetoric has reached a fever pitch.  Immi­grants have been smeared as “killers” and “rapists.”  They have been accused of bring­ing drugs and crime.  A radio talk show host in Iowa has called for enslave­ment of undoc­u­mented immi­grants if they do not leave within 60 days.  There have been calls to repeal the 14th Amendment’s guar­an­tee of cit­i­zen­ship to peo­ple born in the United States, with alle­ga­tions that peo­ple come here to have so-called “anchor babies.”  And the terms “ille­gal aliens” and “ille­gals”— which many main­stream news sources wisely rejected years ago because they dehu­man­ize and stig­ma­tize people—have resurged.

The words used on the cam­paign trail, on the floors of Con­gress, in the news, and in all our liv­ing rooms have con­se­quences.  They directly impact our abil­ity to sus­tain a soci­ety that ensures dig­nity and equal­ity for all.  Big­oted rhetoric and words laced with prej­u­dice are build­ing blocks for the pyra­mid of hate.

Biased behav­iors build on one another, becom­ing ever more threat­en­ing and dan­ger­ous towards the top.  At the base is bias, which includes stereo­typ­ing and insen­si­tive remarks.  It sets the foun­da­tion for a sec­ond, more com­plex and more dam­ag­ing layer: indi­vid­ual acts of prej­u­dice, includ­ing bul­ly­ing, slurs, and dehu­man­iza­tion.  Next is dis­crim­i­na­tion, which in turn sup­ports bias-motivated vio­lence, includ­ing hate crimes like the tragic one in Boston. And in the most extreme cases if left unchecked, the top of the pyra­mid of hate is genocide.

Just like a pyra­mid, the lower lev­els sup­port the upper lev­els.  Bias, prej­u­dice and discrimination—particularly touted by those with a loud mega­phone and cheer­ing crowd—all con­tribute to an atmos­phere that enables hate crimes and other hate-fueled vio­lence.  The most recent hate crime in Boston is just one of too many.  In fact, there is a hate crime roughly every 90 min­utes in the United States today.  That is why last week ADL announced a new ini­tia­tive, #50StatesAgainstHate, to strengthen hate crimes laws around the coun­try and safe­guard com­mu­ni­ties vul­ner­a­ble to hate-fueled attacks. We are work­ing with a broad coali­tion of part­ners to get the ball rolling.

Laws alone, how­ever, can­not cure the dis­ease of hate.  To do that, we need to change the con­ver­sa­tion.  We would not sug­gest that any one person’s words caused this tragedy – the per­pe­tra­tors did that; but the rhetor­i­cal excesses by so many over the past few weeks give rise to a cli­mate in which prej­u­dice, dis­crim­i­na­tion, and hate-fueled vio­lence can take root.

Rea­son­able peo­ple can dif­fer about how we should fix our bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem, but stereo­types, slurs, smears and insults have no place in the debate.

Immi­grants have been a fre­quent tar­get of hate, and unfor­tu­nately, prej­u­dice and vio­lence are not new.  Many of our ances­tors faced sim­i­lar prej­u­dice when they came to the United States. In the 1800s, the attacks were against Irish and Ger­man immi­grants. Next was a wave of anti-Chinese sen­ti­ment cul­mi­nat­ing with the Chi­nese Exclu­sion Act in 1882. Then the hatred turned on the Jews, high­lighted by the lynch­ing of Leo Frank in 1915.  Then came big­otry against Japan­ese immi­grants and peo­ple of Japan­ese dis­sent, which led to the shame­ful intern­ment of more than 110,000 peo­ple dur­ing World War II.  Today, anti-immigrant big­otry largely focuses on Lati­nos.  The tar­gets have changed, but the mes­sages of hate remain largely the same.  It is long past time for that to end.

ADL, as a 501©(3), does not sup­port or oppose can­di­dates for elec­tive office,but we have a sim­ple mes­sage for all pol­i­cy­mak­ers and can­di­dates:  There is no place for hate in the immi­gra­tion debate.  There is noth­ing patri­otic or admirable about hatred and hate-fueled vio­lence.  The only accept­able response to hate crimes is unequiv­o­cal, strong con­dem­na­tion.  And the same is true for the bias, prej­u­dice, and big­oted speech that have recently per­me­ated the immi­gra­tion conversation.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

August 24, 2015 1

Allegations That Israel Is Behind ISIS Emerge On Al Jazeera

al-jazeera

Screen­shot of the arti­cle as it appeared on the Al Jazeera website

Con­spir­a­to­r­ial accu­sa­tions that Israel and the Jews secretly cre­ate ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions are not uncom­mon in the Arab world. How­ever, an arti­cle pub­lished by Al Jazeera on August 19, 2015, which claimed, “Israel is behind ISIS” is still shock­ing con­sid­er­ing the news outlet’s inter­na­tional reputation.

The arti­cle, which was pub­lished on and even­tu­ally removed from the Al Jazeera Ara­bic web­site, is based on reports by the British Daily Mail and other West­ern media out­lets about a ques­tion­able doc­u­ment found in one of the tribal areas of Pak­istan, which sug­gests the emer­gence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was a response to Israel.

Unlike the orig­i­nal report in the Eng­lish lan­guage media, Al Jazeera’s Arabic’s arti­cle mis­leads read­ers to believe that Israel had a role in the actual cre­ation of ISIS.

“A British News­pa­per reported that the Amer­i­can Media Insti­tute found a clas­si­fied doc­u­ment in one of the rural tribal areas in Pak­istan indi­cat­ing that Israel is behind the emer­gence of the Islamic State,”   accord­ing to the first para­graph of the report by Al Jazeera.

Soon after pub­lish­ing the report, sup­port­ers of ISIS on Twit­ter launched a cam­paign against Al Jazeera with an Ara­bic hash­tag “Sup­port­ers of the Islamic State expose Al Jazeera.” Sev­eral com­ments attacked Al Jazeera for mis­rep­re­sent­ing the orig­i­nal report and for con­nect­ing ISIS to Israel.

While there is no evi­dence that Al Jazeera removed the arti­cle because of crit­i­cism from ISIS sup­port­ers, the impli­ca­tion of pub­lish­ing such an arti­cle and then remov­ing it with­out address­ing the errors may rein­force its con­spir­a­to­r­ial narrative.

In the past, ADL expressed con­cern over the pro­mo­tion of con­spir­acy the­o­ries in some coun­tries in the Mus­lim world con­nect­ing Jews to the cre­ation and activ­ity of the ter­ror group ISIS.

See related ADL blog posts about the topic:

Tags: , , ,

August 19, 2015 1

Holocaust Comparisons in Arab Media Examination of the Horrifying Death of a Palestinian Child

There has been intense focus on the reac­tions within Israeli soci­ety fol­low­ing the hor­rific attack on two houses in the West Bank vil­lage of Duma, result­ing in the death of tod­dler Ali Dawab­sheh, the sub­se­quent death of his father, Saed and the wound­ing of his brother and mother.  The appar­ent price tag attack, per­pe­trated by extrem­ist Israeli Jews, has led to much soul search­ing among pub­lic Israeli polit­i­cal and reli­gious fig­ures, and among the pop­u­la­tion at large.

The Arab world also paid close atten­tion to this heinous inci­dent.  And, not sur­pris­ingly, many char­ac­ter­ized the inci­dent as merely part of Israel’s long his­tory of crimes against the Pales­tini­ans (such as the burn­ing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Jews in July of 2014), or have claimed that PM Netanyahu is per­son­ally respon­si­ble for the toddler’s death, and this attack reflected Israel’s cul­ture of hate.

Some in the Arab world used Nazi imagery and Holo­caust com­par­isons, includ­ing equat­ing PM Netanyahu to Hitler and the burn­ing of the infant to the Holo­caust; and claimed that Israel has not only adopted Nazi prac­tices, but it has focused them on Pales­tin­ian children.

One car­toon, for exam­ple, appear­ing both in Gaza’s Filastin news­pa­per (Aug. 2) and cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter, shows Israeli PM Netanyahu per­form­ing a Nazi Salute with the burn­ing baby in the back­drop, fram­ing the attack as no less than a “Holocaust”.

Another, pub­lished in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Watan news­pa­per (Aug. 3) shows the arm of an ultra-orthodox Jew form­ing a swastika while hold­ing a Molo­tov cocktail.

bibi hitler

 

jew nazi

The cartoon’s head­line: “The crime of burn­ing the Pales­tin­ian infant.”

The use of such com­par­isons sim­i­larly appears in opin­ion pieces in the Arab press. “No one can deny that the Nazis are mur­der­ers and that they per­pe­trated the crime of the Holo­caust, which inno­cent Jews, some say mil­lions, fell vic­tim to.”, said one arti­cle in Jordan’s Ar-Rai news­pa­per (August 2), which went on to par­al­lel the attack with those per­pe­trated by the Nazis, even draw­ing on the Torah. “But more crim­i­nal than them is the vic­tim who imi­tated the mur­derer and who didn’t learn the lessons of his­tory: instead of react­ing to what Hitler and his gang did by treat­ing with tol­er­ance and peace­ful coex­is­tence the peo­ple whose land it force­fully occu­pied – it resorted to the same Nazi meth­ods. There­fore, this crim­i­nal who killed the Pales­tin­ian infant, burned his family’s home and gravely wounded them, con­sid­ers him­self to be a Torah “hero”…”.

The cartoon’s headline: “After the burning of the Palestinian infant Ali Dawabsheh to death”.

The cartoon’s head­line: “After the burn­ing of the Pales­tin­ian infant Ali Dawab­sheh to death”.

Other such arti­cles charged that Israel not only uses Nazi meth­ods, but it specif­i­cally focuses on Pales­tin­ian chil­dren in apply­ing them. An Egypt­ian daily (Al-Yawm As-Sabi, August 1) argued this is com­mon for Israel,  writ­ing:  “The crime of burn­ing a Pales­tin­ian infant at the hand of Israeli set­tlers yes­ter­day, Fri­day, in south­ern Nablus in the occu­pied West Bank – wasn’t the first against Pales­tine. Surely it won’t be the last, since offi­cial doc­u­ments and sta­tis­tics indi­cate that Israel is an entity which has made a habit of tar­get­ing chil­dren in every form, includ­ing the use of fire. This brings back to mind the Nazi party’s crimes known as the Holocaust.”

Another arti­cle sim­ply refers to a “Holo­caust of the chil­dren of Pales­tine”: “On Fri­day, at exactly 2:30 am, took place in Duma vil­lage south of Nablus the most loath­some crime since the burn­ing of the mar­tyr Mohammed Abu Khdeir ..… the vil­lage insisted on bid­ding farewell to another mar­tyr, the village’s mar­tyr, 18 month old Ai Saad Dawab­sheh. He was burned by set­tlers in cold blood, before the eyes and ears of the world, who stood silently in the face of the Holo­caust of the chil­dren of Pales­tine…” (August 3, Filastin, Gaza).

idf soldier nazi

Tags: , , , , , ,