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May 11, 2012

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

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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