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July 11, 2014 1

“Don’t Do To Palestinians What Hitler Did To You”

On Thurs­day, July 10, anti-Israel protests took place in Cleve­land, Knoxville and Mil­wau­kee. At least 25 ral­lies are sched­uled to take place in many major U.S. cities this weekend.

Here are pho­tos from these demonstrations:

nazi-comparison-israel
Pro­test­ers in Cleve­land, OH held signs accus­ing Israel of col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment, killing Pales­tin­ian chil­dren and engag­ing in “ter­ror­ism.” One sign depicted Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mus­tache and a swastika jux­ta­posed with a Star of David. Another accused AIPAC of sub­vert­ing Amer­i­can inter­ests in favor of Israel.

anti-israel-protest-gaza
knoxville-protest-israel

 

A protest called “Stand Up for Pales­tine” in Knoxville fea­tured signs that called for an end to aid to the “racist state of Israel” and an accu­sa­tion that Israel is com­mit­ting a so-called “geno­cide” against the Pales­tin­ian people.

milwaukee-protest-israel

At a protest orga­nized by the Mil­wau­kee Pales­tin­ian Sol­i­dar­ity Coali­tion, demon­stra­tors accused Israel of “war crimes” and “geno­cide.” One young woman held a sign that read, “Don’t Do To Pales­tini­ans What Hitler Did To You.”

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July 11, 2014 0

Order in Wheaton College Case Raises More Concerns About Hobby Lobby

On the heels of the deeply trou­bling and con­tro­ver­sial Hobby Lobby deci­sion, the Supreme Court on July 3rd issued another dis­turb­ing order in a chal­lenge to the Afford­able Care Act (“ACA”) con­tra­cep­tion man­date.  This order, cou­pled with the Hobby Lobby deci­sion, indi­cates that the Court may be effec­tively strik­ing a cen­tral require­ment from an impor­tant reli­gious lib­erty law – the fed­eral Reli­gious Free­dom Restora­tion Act (“RFRA”).  That require­ment is that some­one claim­ing pro­tec­tion under the law must show that his or her reli­gious prac­tice was sub­stan­tially bur­dened.supreme-court-civil-rights

In Wheaton Col­lege v. Bur­well, a religiously-affiliated col­lege that opposes cer­tain forms of birth con­trol is chal­leng­ing the process by which they indi­cate to the gov­ern­ment that they qual­ify for an excep­tion to the con­tra­cep­tion man­date. This excep­tion allows reli­gious, non-profit employ­ers such as the col­lege, to opt out of pro­vid­ing employee health insur­ance that cov­ers con­tra­cep­tion.  But, iron­i­cally, the col­lege claims that apply­ing for this excep­tion (which involves com­plet­ing a two-page gov­ern­ment form) vio­lates its rights under RFRA, which was the same law that for-profit cor­po­ra­tions suc­cess­fully used to chal­lenge the man­date in the Hobby Lobby case.  In the July 3 order, the Court employed a rarely used legal mech­a­nism to tem­porar­ily block imple­men­ta­tion of the excep­tion while the case is still under appeal.

RFRA requires the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to demon­strate the most strin­gent con­sti­tu­tional stan­dard when it imposes a “sub­stan­tial” bur­den on a person’s reli­gious exer­cise.   As ADL pointed out in its ami­cus (friend-of-the-court) brief to the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case, RFRA’s use of the term sub­stan­tial is not an acci­dent, but was included to make clear that the statute’s strong pro­tec­tions could not be trig­gered by inci­den­tal or minor bur­dens on reli­gion.   In fact, the Sen­ate Report on RFRA states that Con­gress added the term so that the law “would not require [a com­pelling gov­ern­ment inter­est] for every gov­ern­ment action that may have some inci­den­tal effect on reli­gious institutions.”

Based on this report and other prece­dent, the brief ADL joined in Hobby Lobby argued that the sec­u­lar, for-profit cor­po­rate plain­tiffs were not eli­gi­ble for RFRA’s pro­tec­tions because, among other rea­sons, any bur­den on their reli­gious exer­cise was inci­den­tal and not sub­stan­tial.  Unfor­tu­nately, the Court did not agree with ADL’s argu­ment.  It ruled that appli­ca­tion of the con­tra­cep­tion man­date to the cor­po­ra­tions did sub­stan­tially bur­den their reli­gious exer­cise and vio­lated RFRA.

The Court’s sub­se­quent action in the Wheaton Col­lege case ren­dered this mis­guided con­clu­sion even more ominous.

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July 9, 2014 13

White Supremacist “Mantra” Literature Appears In Seattle Neighborhood

mantra-seattle-front

Post­card front

Res­i­dents of the Capi­tol Hill neigh­bor­hood of Seat­tle recently found them­selves the recip­i­ents of a white suprema­cist lit­er­a­ture dis­tri­b­u­tion. Some­one had gone up and down streets in the area on June 30, plac­ing racist post­cards on the wind­shields of cars parked along the street.

mantras-eattle-back

Post­card back

The post­cards were designed to exploit gay pride events held in Seat­tle the pre­vi­ous week­end, includ­ing the 40th annual Seat­tle Pride Parade and Seat­tle Pride­Fest 2014, the lat­ter held only a few blocks from where the post­cards were dis­trib­uted. The post­card fronts fea­tured a rain­bow image, the word “Seat­tle,” and the phrases “Rain­bow Pride” and “40 YEARS of fab­u­lous,” the lat­ter a ref­er­ence to the parade.

How­ever, the back of the post­cards was starkly dif­fer­ent, dis­play­ing in large let­ters the white suprema­cist slo­gan “’Diver­sity’ is a code word for white geno­cide.” The post­card text claimed anti-racists are “anti-white” and that they sup­port non-whites “pour[ing] into EVERY White coun­try” to inter­marry with whites, thus extin­guish­ing the white race. The pride-related front was sim­ply cam­ou­flage for the racist mes­sage on the back.

This mes­sage was not ran­dom but rather the stan­dard lan­guage used by white suprema­cist sup­port­ers of the “Mantra.” The “Mantra” is a white suprema­cist pro­pa­ganda cam­paign based on the idea of end­lessly repeat­ing cer­tain lan­guage and select slo­gans in the hopes that whites will even­tu­ally be recep­tive to them. The two most com­mon slo­gans asso­ci­ated with the “Mantra” are “Anti-racist is a code for anti-white” and “Diver­sity is a code word for white geno­cide,” both of which appear on the Seat­tle postcards.

In recent years, white suprema­cist use of “Mantra”-style pro­pa­ganda has steadily increased, as racist activists dis­play it on bill­boards, on free­way over­passes, as graf­fiti, and across the Inter­net. Just a few days after the Seat­tle inci­dent, sev­eral white suprema­cists in Port­land, Ore­gon, pick­eted the offices of an orga­ni­za­tion devoted to help­ing immi­grants and refugees, dis­play­ing signs and ban­ners that repeated the “Mantra” slogans.

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