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May 11, 2012 Off

California Arabic Newspaper Says Israel Abuses Memory of Holocaust

The April 27 issue of Watan, an Ana­heim, California-based Arabic-language news­pa­per, fea­tured an arti­cle accus­ing Israel of inten­tion­ally using the mem­ory and his­tory of the Holo­caust to mask Israeli crimes com­mit­ted against the Pales­tin­ian people.

The arti­cle, “The ‘Holo­caust’ Indus­try,” asks, “How could crimes against a group become a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for that same group to com­mit crimes against another group?” Sim­i­larly, the arti­cle accuses “the Zion­ist entity” of com­mit­ting the heinous crimes against the Pales­tini­ans all “in the shad­ows of cel­e­brat­ing the mem­ory of the Holo­caust through the last century.”

The Watan arti­cle also pro­motes the con­spir­a­to­r­ial view that Israel’s pur­pose in pre­serv­ing the mem­ory of the Holo­caust is to be able to use it as a tool “against politi­cians, intel­lec­tu­als and oth­ers who dare to whis­per oppo­si­tion to Israeli poli­cies,” a charge that has fre­quently been used by anti-Israel schol­ars, activists and orga­ni­za­tions to stave off accu­sa­tions of anti-Semitism.

Watan, which claims to have a cir­cu­la­tion in Cal­i­for­nia of 30,000, con­sis­tently prints anti-Semitic edi­to­ri­als and car­toons. The car­toons, orig­i­nally pub­lished in the Arab press, have been inter­na­tion­ally syndicated.

Another California-based com­mu­nity news­pa­per, Al Akhbar, pub­lished an arti­cle in March fea­tur­ing anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives and com­par­isons of Israeli poli­cies to Nazi ideology.

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April 20, 2012 Off

Incidents of Anti-Semitism Continue to Mark Occupy Movement

With the arrival of warmer weather, Occupy Wall Street protests around the coun­try have begun to pick up in recent weeks. While reports of ram­pant anti-Semitism at last summer’s protests were overblown, two iso­lated inci­dents this week indi­cate that anti-Semites con­tinue to take advan­tage of the Occupy move­ment and use it as a con­ve­nient plat­form to air their views.

On Mon­day, an African-American indi­vid­ual attend­ing an Occupy protest in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. made sev­eral anti-Semitic com­ments, includ­ing loudly remark­ing that Jew­ish peo­ple “try to get ahead of Black peo­ple, like they’re bet­ter than us.”

The indi­vid­ual claimed to be part of a group called the United Occupy Move­ment. A descrip­tion of the group on its Web site reads, “We are the young, old, male & female, no-D and Ph.D., Chris­t­ian, Mus­lim, Aethi­est [sic] and eth­ni­cally diverse who should have a greater voice accord­ing to our Constitution.”

And just yes­ter­day, a harshly anti-Semitic car­toon was posted to a Face­book page that claims to be the “Com­mu­nity Page” for Occupy Tampa. The car­toon fea­tured a pic­ture of a stereotypical-looking obser­vant Jew dri­ving a car while hold­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s head in one hand and a steer­ing wheel in the other fash­ioned out of the United Nations’ logo. The image evokes clas­sic anti-Semitic myths of Jew­ish con­trol, in this case of the U.S. gov­ern­ment and the UN. Admin­is­tra­tors of the page have since apol­o­gized for the post­ing, say­ing they’ve had “some intru­sion issues” but that the admin­is­tra­tor who posted the image has now been banned from the page.

The very same car­toon appeared in Al Watan, a Qatar-based news­pa­per, on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2011 at the height of Pales­tin­ian efforts to uni­lat­er­ally declare state­hood at the UN. The car­toon is the work of an artist named Eliot whose anti-Semitic and anti-Israel car­toons are reg­u­larly pub­lished in Al Watan.

ADL reported on a vari­ety of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel inci­dents that took place at Occupy protests last sum­mer and fall. These inci­dents con­sis­tently appear to be the acts of indi­vid­u­als seek­ing to exploit the pop­u­lar social protest move­ment and inject it with their own hate­ful views.

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