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December 21, 2012 1

“Violent Resistance” Makes Comeback in Wake of Pillar of Defense

Through­out Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense, the recent clash between Israel and Hamas oper­a­tives in Gaza that came to an end almost a month ago, anti-Israel activists expressed sup­port for Hamas and vio­lent resis­tance against Israel. Ral­lies across the U.S. included chants of “intifada, intifada” and hos­tile mes­sages posted on Face­book and other social media plat­forms also sided with Hamas and joy­fully announced that the “resis­tance has reached Tel Aviv!”

Inter­est­ingly, this sort of extreme rhetoric has not fully ebbed since the lat­est oper­a­tion came to a close. At an event on Wednes­day called “Resis­tance and Rev­o­lu­tion: Gaza, the Arab Spring, and the new Mid­dle East,” which was held in down­town Brook­lyn, sev­eral pan­elists acknowl­edged that vio­lence is a nec­es­sary part of the “rev­o­lu­tion” against Israel.

Lamis Deek, a founder of Al-Awda, even crit­i­cized the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s lead­er­ship in Egypt for seiz­ing and con­fis­cat­ing an arms ship­ment en route to Gaza from Libya, using it as an exam­ple of Egypt’s exces­sive “pro-Israel” posi­tion. She also included in her remarks, which were titled “Pales­tine and the Right of Resis­tance,” praise for the lan­guage of the cease­fire agree­ment between Israel and Hamas pre­cisely because the text did not include a call for the recog­ni­tion of the state of Israel.

Sherry Wolf, an activist with the Inter­na­tional Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion and the event’s spon­sor, sim­i­larly claimed that out­siders “can’t dic­tate the type of resis­tance” used by Pales­tini­ans and that there should be no expec­ta­tion of a “resis­tance ‘Dream Team.’” Wolf has pre­vi­ously advo­cated an explic­itly pro-terrorist posi­tion. On Novem­ber 20, a day before the cease­fire was declared, Wolf pub­lished an arti­cle on the Social­ist Worker’s web­site titled, “Gaza’s Right to Resist Israeli Ter­ror.” In the arti­cle, she called “Hamas’ mil­i­tary resis­tance” a “source of tremen­dous pride” and said that those who stand with the oppressed ought to defend the “right of Pales­tini­ans to resist the ter­ror of the Israeli mil­i­tary machine.”

Wolf has been invited to speak on sev­eral col­lege cam­puses in recent weeks, includ­ing at New York Uni­ver­sity and Williams Col­lege in Mass­a­chu­setts. Her appear­ances are gen­er­ally spon­sored by social­ist stu­dent groups and Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine.

There is also evi­dence of increased sup­port for Pales­tin­ian resis­tance beyond the U.S. At the Uni­ver­sity of Lon­don tomor­row, an event called “Gaza: Refo­cus­ing Resis­tance, How the resis­tance in Gaza has refo­cused the Arab Spring” will take place. Speak­ers sched­uled to appear at the event include Roshan Muhammed Salih, a cor­re­spon­dent for Iran’s government-run Eng­lish lan­guage news net­work PressTV, and Sukant Chan­dan, a London-based activist who sup­ports Hezbol­lah and praised the sec­ond intifada dur­ing his speech at an Al Quds Day rally in Lon­don last August.

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August 9, 2012 0

Anti-Semitism Ever Present on Al-Awda’s Anti-Israel Listserve

One of the old­est and best-known pro-Palestinian orga­ni­za­tions in the U.S. main­tains a list­serve that reg­u­larly dis­trib­utes anti-Semitic pro­pa­ganda and con­spir­acy the­o­ries to its members.

On Tues­day, the orga­ni­za­tion, Al-Awda, dis­trib­uted an arti­cle via the list­serve called “Zion­ist Media Dom­i­na­tion: The Jew­ish Sui­cide Bomber That You Never Heard of.” The arti­cle was writ­ten by a 9/11 con­spir­acy the­o­rist who claimed that an unsuc­cess­ful ter­ror­ist attack on the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the early 1980s was cov­ered up in the media because the per­pe­tra­tor was an Israeli and Zion­ist Jews have “supreme control…over the Amer­i­can press.” The author, Mar­tin Iqbal, also repeated his long­stand­ing con­spir­acy the­ory that the Israeli Mossad “took part in the 9/11 attacks.”

This arti­cle was sent to the listserve’s sub­scribers twice, once by a Pales­tin­ian activist from the UK who reg­u­larly dis­trib­utes anti-Semitic con­tent and once by a North­ern California-based activist named Paul Larudee. Larudee has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the domes­tic anti-Israel move­ment, includ­ing co-founding the Inter­na­tional Sol­i­dar­ity Move­ment and the Free Gaza Move­ment, which was largely respon­si­ble for the May 2011 Gaza flotilla.

Larudee has occa­sion­ally sent extreme mes­sages to the list­serve, includ­ing a mes­sage sev­eral days ear­lier con­tain­ing what is described as “a list of a 100 Israeli Air-Force pilots under active duty” replete with pho­tos, their ID num­bers and dates of birth. The mes­sage describes the sol­diers as “war crim­i­nals” who have been pro­vided with a “con­trived veil of anonymity [that] enables their crimes with­out them suf­fer­ing any fear.” The next line reads, “Please use and spread this infor­ma­tion as widely as possible.”

On the day of the Bul­garia ter­ror­ist attack that killed five Israeli tourists, the list­serve, which is hosted by Yahoo! Groups, con­tained an arti­cle by well-known Holo­caust denier Michael Hoff­man. The arti­cle, titled “Israeli false flag/black op in Bul­gar­ian ter­ror attack?” artic­u­lated con­spir­a­to­r­ial Iran­ian claims that Israel would carry out ter­ror­ist attacks against its own cit­i­zens abroad in an attempt to frame Iran.

Older mes­sages also con­tain nasty imagery about Jews and Israel. A par­tic­u­larly offen­sive arti­cle dis­trib­uted to the list­serve in 2010 described Israel as a soci­ety of “racists, can­ni­bals and Nazi-minded mur­ders and child killers” and alleged that the then-ongoing cam­paign for Gilad Shalit’s release was being “pub­li­cized by the Jewish-controlled media in Europe and North America.”

E-mails in 2009, which ADL reported on at the time on our Web site, were marked by claims that Israel secretly orches­trates Pales­tin­ian sui­cide bomb­ings, that Jews are guilty of engag­ing in organ traf­fick­ing and that it is sen­si­ble to “doubt” the verac­ity of the Holo­caust. One mes­sage referred to FOX News and CNN as “Zion­ist Jew network[s]” that are con­trolled by “Jew Zion­ist masters.”

And in 2007, Al-Awda dis­trib­uted com­mu­niqués from the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine (PFLP). Nearly all of the com­mu­niqués expressed sup­port for ter­ror­ist activ­ity, extolling “mar­tyrs,” encour­ag­ing the “resis­tance,” and detail­ing vio­lence against Israeli troops.

While each mes­sage posted to Al-Awda’s list­serve includes a dis­claimer stat­ing that it rep­re­sents “the views of their authors and not nec­es­sar­ily those” of the orga­ni­za­tion, the listserve’s set­tings state that all post­ings require approval by a group mod­er­a­tor in order for them to be sent to list recip­i­ents. It seems that the mod­er­a­tors of the Al-Awda list­serve will­ingly approve these mes­sages of hate and conspiracy.

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