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December 3, 2014

Calls for Violence against Israel at Annual AMP Conference in Chicago

bannerCalls for violence against Israel were heard at the 7th annual American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference, which took place over Thanksgiving weekend at the Hyatt Regency Hotel outside of Chicago. The conference, billed as “Rising from Ashes: Gaza Teaches Life!,”  addressed a number of topics, such as, “Do Occupied People Have the Right to Resist their Occupation?,” “Islamaphobia and Palestine,” and “Capitalizing on the changing American sentiment toward Israeli aggression.”

AMP is the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training and education to students and Muslim community organizations in the U.S and its conference featured a number of U.S. and international anti-Israel activists as guest speakers, including Hatem Bazian, a co-founder of AMP; Josh Rubener, the National Advocacy Director for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation; and Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University and an Advisory Board member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

The most extreme comments at the conference came from Taher Herzallah, AMP’s national Campus Coordinator. During his remarks, Herzallah claimed that, “The State of Israel is a lie,” and spoke about how the “Israel lobby” works to ensure that Israel’s legitimacy is not challenged. He also claimed that the focus of anti-Israel groups should be on the younger generation and ended his comments with a call for violence, stating, “Israelis have to be bombed, they are a threat to the legitimacy of Palestine, and it is wrong to maintain the State of Israel. It is an illegitimate creation born from colonialism and racism.”

Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian triage specialist and professor of emergency medicine who recently was banned from entering Gaza by Israel, also supported a call for violence when claiming that the Norwegian people do not support Hamas or Fatah, but that they do “support the fight with arms.” Gilberts, added that the struggle in Gaza is one against racism, apartheid, and political Zionism, and he also spoke positively of rocket fire into Israel, claiming that, “When we heard of each rocket from Gaza [into Israel] that gave us hope and strength.”

One speaker, Sheikh Abdelfattah Mourou, a Tunisian lawyer who founded the Tunisian Islamic Tendency Movement, remarked that Israel was “defending itself by killing innocents” during the most recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He also stated that, “When an Israeli pilot kills a family of 25, when he knows the head of Hamas is not home, it is shameful of the whole world to accept this claim of self-defense…The claim of Israeli security is a shameful one.”

Other speakers at the conference discussed the “Israel lobby” and its alleged role in “looking to protect the Zionist narrative.” Israeli anti-Zionist author Miko Peled claimed that the lobby stretches far and that, “There are spheres of Jewish influence here in the U.S., like AIPAC and the Jewish Federation.” Following Peled’s comments, Dima Khalidi, Director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated that, “Jewish Zionists are a powerful force, not just AIPAC.”

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July 21, 2014

Weekend’s Anti-Israel Protests Feature More Nazi-Israel Comparisons

Over the weekend, close to 50 anti-Israel demonstrations were held across the United States to protest Israel’s response to the latest round of rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza. At these rallies, there were comparisons made between Israel and Nazi Germany and allegations that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people. At one of the rallies, a speaker also called for “the full liberation of the Palestinian people and the end of the Israeli state.”

Please see below for a round-up of the protests:

July 20

Houston, TX

About 75 protesters were present for a demonstration sponsored by the University of Houston’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter. Many of the protesters held signs with slogans such as “Israeli genocide, under direct US guide,” “Israel out of Palestine now,” “Stop the Palestinian Holocaust/Genocide,” “The US is complicit in genocide,” and “If 9/11 deserves a moment of silence, then Palestine deserves for us to never speak again!”

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Chicago, IL

Several hundred protesters participated in a march and demonstration with signs that stated “End this Holocaust,” “I am American and I stand with Gaza because genocide is wrong!,” “It’s not self-defense it’s genocide.”  Another sign also showed a blood-stained Israeli flag with text that stated “Stop arming the murderers of Humanity.”

chicago-anti-israel-protest

July 19

New York, NY

An anti-Israel demonstration sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine was held in Times Square on Saturday. This demonstration brought out a few hundred protesters who held signs with slogans like “Zionism=Fascism,” “New Yorkers stand with Gaza against Israeli genocide,” and “History repeats Itself, Nazism = Zionism,” (with the image of a Swastika an equal sign and the Star of David).

Yasmine Kamel, a representative from the International Socialist Organization (ISO), addressed the crowd at the protest and called for the destruction of Israel, stating, “This is part of a 66 year-old occupation; a 66 year-old history of abuse, of crimes, of murder of children; of an occupation…We have to continue to resist the Israeli occupation beyond today and beyond this assault on Gaza. We have to work for the full liberation of the Palestinian people and the end of the Israeli state and the return of all Palestinian refugees.”

new-york-anti-israel-protest

Fort Lauderdale, FL

About 100 protesters demonstrated at the U.S. Federal Courthouse at a demonstration sponsored by Al-Awda, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the National Lawyers Guild South Florida, Students for Justice in Palestine-Florida, and the Broward Green Party.

Many of the protesters were holding signs that read, “This is not war it’s GENOCIDE,” “One Holocaust doesn’t justify another,” “1948+1967 = PALESTINE,” and “”ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE!” A number of slogans were chanted, including “From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, Palestine will be free,” “Hey Obama shame on you! Kids are dying ‘cause of you!,” “Occupation is a crime, from Iraq to Palestine!,” and “All the walls have got to go, from Iraq to Mexico!”

ft-lauderdale-anti-israel-protest

July 18

Philadelphia, PA

Approximately 100 protesters gathered outside the Israeli Consulate holding signs that contained slogans such as “Israel praises Moses, but acts like Pharaoh,” “Stop Israeli Holocaust against Palestinians,” “No more racism, No more Zionism, No more Fascism,” and “Do you think that Israel is a victim? Zionism = Nazism” (with the Swastika and Star of David shown next to one another).

philadelphia-anti-israel-protest

San Diego, CA

Around 150 protesters attended a demonstration sponsored by the San Diego chapter of Al-Awda. The protesters held signs with slogans such as “Stop Gaza genocide,” “This Jew does not support Israel’s GENOCIDE,” and “Blaming Palestine for firing rockets at Israel is like blaming a woman for punching her rapist.”

Many of the protesters engaged in chants of “Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” “From the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, Palestine forever!,” “Long live the Intifada, intifada, intifada,” and “Brick by brick, wall by wall, Israeli apartheid has to fall!”

san-diego-anti-israel-protest

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May 23, 2014

Anti-Muslim Group Uses Hitler Imagery In Latest Anti-Muslim Ad

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AFDI’s “Islamic Jew-Hatred” ad in Washington D.C.

Pamela Geller and her anti-Muslim organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), has taken its hateful anti-Muslim message once again to the public in the form of paid advertisements on public transportation.

The latest controversy is just one of many inflammatory advertising campaigns sponsored by Geller and her organization in a bid to influence public discourse on the difficult issues of religion and the Middle East conflict.

Geller’s newest ad campaign, which began appearing on buses in the Washington D.C. Metro area, states, “Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran.” The ad also includes a 1941 photo of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, having a conversation with Adolf Hitler.

Geller has a long history of promoting her bigoted anti-Muslim views through inflammatory messages in public spaces, stretching back at least to 2010. These ad campaigns are designed to expose Americans to what Geller and her organization consider the biggest threats posed by Islam.

Some notable examples include:

  • July 2012: Geller submitted an ad that ran on 75 Metro North train stations stating, “19,250 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11/01 and counting. It’s not Islamophobia. It’s Islamorealism.”
  • September 2012: After a New York federal district court ruled that the New York City MTA violated Geller’s First Amendment right, AFDI’s “Savage” ad appeared in subway stations. The inflammatory ad read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
  • 2010 “Honor Killing Awareness Campaign”: A series of ads were placed on buses and taxi cab tops purportedly to address young Muslim women facing threats from their family for rejecting Muslim values or becoming “too Americanized.” The campaigns appeared under several names, including “Refuge From Islam” and “Leave Islam Safely.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has criticized Geller and AFDI for “consistently vilifying the Islamic faith under the guise of fighting radical Islam;” however, acknowledges that the ads are protected political speech under the First Amendment. ADL is also on the record stating that “Pro-Israel doesn’t mean anti-Muslim. And support for Israel is not built on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes.”

Geller’s latest ad campaign is in response to an April 2014 anti-Israel ad by the virulently anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). AMP also has a history of promoting extreme anti-Israel views through inflammatory ads on public transportation aimed at demonizing and delegitimizing Israel. In March 2013, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, AMP unveiled an ad on several New York City Metro North stations falsely accusing Israel of “apartheid.”

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