anti-defamation league » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘anti-defamation league’
October 3, 2014 0

Sectarian Legislative Prayer – Walking In The Religious Minority’s Shoes

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent leg­isla­tive prayer deci­sion (Greece v. Gal­loway) gen­er­ally sanc­tions sec­tar­ian prayers before meet­ings of local leg­isla­tive bod­ies except for the most egre­gious cir­cum­stances.  In oppos­ing the Court’s deci­sion, Jus­tice Elana Kagan astutely con­cluded that “[w]hen the cit­i­zens of this coun­try approach their gov­ern­ment, they do so only as Amer­i­cans, not as mem­bers of one faith or another.  And that means that even in a partly leg­isla­tive body, they should not con­front government-sponsored wor­ship that divides them along reli­gious lines.”  At a recent county com­mis­sion meet­ing, a local com­mis­sioner may have expe­ri­enced the les­son of Jus­tice Kagan’s admonition.seal-of-escambia-county

The Escam­bia County, FL Com­mis­sion allows sec­tar­ian invo­ca­tions at its pub­lic meet­ings by a com­mu­nity mem­ber of any faith or reli­gion.  At the Sep­tem­ber 25th Com­mis­sion meet­ing, David Suhor, who is Pagan, recited a pagan prayer song “call­ing of the direc­tions north, east, south and west.”  Regard­ing his prayer, Mr. Suhor later stated “[i]n a way I would like for other peo­ple to expe­ri­ence what it’s like when I go to a meet­ing and am asked to pray against my conscience.”

Mr. Suhor’s prayer appar­ently offended at least one per­son in the room. Accord­ing to a news report, County Com­mis­sioner Wil­son Robert­son, “left the room because of his Chris­t­ian beliefs,” and he stated “[p]eople may not real­ize it, but when we invite some­one a min­is­ter to pray they are pray­ing for the county com­mis­sion­ers for us to make wise deci­sions and I’m just not going to have a pagan or satanic min­is­ter pray for me.”

ADL opposes sec­tar­ian leg­isla­tive prayer prac­tices because of the reli­gious exclu­sion and divi­sion result­ing from them – par­tic­u­larly for reli­gious minori­ties.  If the com­mis­sioner does not want a com­mu­nity mem­ber to pray for him in a faith that offends his con­science, per­haps he and other com­mis­sion mem­bers should adopt a moment of silence pol­icy or at least a non-sectarian invo­ca­tion policy.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

October 2, 2014 2

Details Emerge On Anti-Semitic Gathering In Tehran

As Iran’s 2nd New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence wraps up in Tehran, new infor­ma­tion is emerg­ing about con­fer­ence atten­dees, who included U.S. and inter­na­tional anti-Semites, Holo­caust deniers and anti-war activists.

In his open­ing speech, Nader Tale­bzadeh, the direc­tor of the New Hori­zon Con­fer­ence, explained the goal of the con­fer­ence as, “dis­trib­ut­ing the arti­cles and thoughts of top intel­lec­tu­als and philoso­phers world­wide among Iran­ian uni­ver­si­ties and artists,” and that, “The emer­gence of ide­ol­ogy of crit­i­ciz­ing the dom­i­nance of the Zion­ist lobby over the USA and EU, which is going to make some changes in the West, has made it an essen­tial and attrac­tive sub­ject to learn.” Tale­bzadeh added in an inter­view on the side­lines of the con­fer­ence to a Press TV cor­re­spon­dent that, “These are the peo­ple [the atten­dees] that are cen­sored in the West” for their views, which include pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries and Holo­caust denial.

Press TV also con­ducted an inter­view with Wayne Mad­sen, a U.S. anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist, who claimed that the U.S. gov­ern­ment and Con­gress are under Zion­ist con­trol, “The Israeli agenda, which the Chris­t­ian and Jew­ish Zion­ists adopt one hun­dred per­cent, is what is sold to mem­bers of Con­gress, and that devel­ops into leg­is­la­tion, res­o­lu­tions; no one votes against any­thing [the Zion­ists] put up as far as a resolution.”

Among the speak­ers on the first day of the con­fer­ence was anti-Israel jour­nal­ist Garth Porter. In his speech to the atten­dees, Porter lev­eled accu­sa­tions against Israel, the Mossad and CIA for man­u­fac­tur­ing the Iran­ian nuclear cri­sis. Brazil­ian jour­nal­ist Pepe Esco­bar echoed Porter’s mes­sage and pre­dicted that Iran will become more active in world affairs as its stature and influ­ence in the region increases.

On the sec­ond day of the con­fer­ence, Art Olivier, a U.S. 9/11 con­spir­acy the­o­rist and film­maker, pro­moted his upcom­ing film about the life of pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Cor­rie. The film, Olivier said, will allow young Amer­i­cans “to see the real­ity of Rachel’s life which hap­pened 11 years ago and are going to real­ize the atroc­ity of Zion­ist actions against Pales­tini­ans and the peo­ple of Gaza.” Olivier also pro­moted the anti-Semitic canard that the U.S. film indus­try and Hol­ly­wood in par­tic­u­lar are under the dom­i­na­tion of Zionists.

medea-benjamin-new-horizon-conference-interview

CODEPINK co-founder Medea Ben­jamin inter­viewed on Iran­ian state media

Other U.S. par­tic­i­pants also gave brief inter­views to Farsi-language media dur­ing panel breaks, includ­ing CODEPINK co-founder Medea Ben­jamin, who told IRIB Chan­nel 1 that some of the top­ics at the con­fer­ence addressed U.S. fund­ing for war at expense of pro­vid­ing ade­quate health­care for Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, and that, “These con­fer­ences should lift the pres­sure off of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple.” Also present at the con­fer­ence was Rev­erend Stephen Sizer, a vicar in the Church of Eng­land who, accord­ing to the UK-based Com­mu­nity Secu­rity Trust (CST), has been accused of pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic links on his website.

Some of the notable panel dis­cus­sions held dur­ing the three-day con­fer­ence included “Zion­ist fin­ger­prints on the 9/11 cover-up;” “The Gaza war & BDS Move­ment against the Zion­ist regime,” which Medea Ben­jamin was part of; “US-Israeli dual cit­i­zens work­ing in the inter­est of Israel: the case for treach­ery;” and “The ‘Islamic’ State meme, its pre­cur­sors, & the US-Israel-Saudi triangle.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 2, 2014 5

Anti-Semitic Flyers At UC-Santa Barbara Blame Jews for 9/11

Anti-Semitic fly­ers alleg­ing that “9/11 was an out­side job” and that “9/11 was Mossad” were posted on the cam­pus of the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Santa Bar­bara last week. The fly­ers included the addresses of two web­sites that pro­mote the idea that Israel and Jews were behind the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks. The flyer also included the web address of a group that accuses Israel of inten­tion­ally attack­ing an Amer­i­can ship and influ­enc­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment to cover up the attack. At this point it is unclear who dis­trib­uted the flyers.911-flyer-ucsb-september-2014

The three web­sites listed are:

Redis­cover 911

“Redis­cover 911” is one of the most vir­u­lent web­sites devoted to pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic 9/11 con­spir­acy the­o­ries. The site is run by a small group of peo­ple active in the “9/11 truth move­ment” who pro­mote anti-Semitic views. They accuse Israel and Jews of being behind the ter­ror­ist attacks.  Re-Discover 9/11 not only blames the Israeli gov­ern­ment for car­ry­ing out the 9/11 attacks as a “false flag” oper­a­tion, but also demo­nizes Jews and spreads anti-Semitic stereotypes.

911missinglinks

The 2008 anti-Semitic con­spir­acy video “Miss­ing Links:The Defin­i­tive Truth About 9/11,” as well as updated ver­sions, also blames Jews and Israel for car­ry­ing out the attacks.  The video is divided into var­i­ous sec­tions, all of which present Jews as evil and duplic­i­tous. Pro­duced by Mike Delaney, “Miss­ing Links” invents a myth­i­cal group, the sayanim, described in the video as a net­work of every­day Jews who carry out nefar­i­ous deeds to serve Israel and the Jews. The video pro­motes numer­ous anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries that blame Israel and Jews for the 9/11 attacks as well as other inci­dents and paints var­i­ous Jews who worked for the U.S. gov­ern­ment as criminals.

USS Lib­erty

The web­site USSLiberty.org makes the con­spir­a­to­r­ial alle­ga­tion that Israel attacked the USS Lib­erty ship in 1967 know­ing that it was an Amer­i­can ship and that they were killing Amer­i­can ser­vice­men. While the web­site claims to sep­a­rate itself from anti-Semitic posi­tions and groups, it pro­motes the idea that there is a pow­er­ful pro-Israel lobby made up of “anti-American apol­o­gists.” The web­site claims that the U.S. gov­ern­ment helped Israel cover-up the USS Lib­erty inci­dent because of alleged Israeli con­trol over the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary struc­ture. It also makes the claim that U.S. elected offi­cials have been “unwill­ing to chal­lenge Israel’s inter­ests when they con­flict with Amer­i­can interests.”

Tags: , , , , , , ,