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March 12, 2014 3

Anti-Israel Conference Broadcast Live On CSPAN Features Anti-Semitism

An event held last Fri­day at the National Press Club and broad­cast live on C-SPAN 3 focus­ing on the U.S.-Israel rela­tion­ship fea­tured a num­ber of vir­u­lently anti-Israel speak­ers who made con­spir­a­to­r­ial claims about Zion­ism, the influ­ence of the “Israel Lobby” and much more.jeff-blankfort-summit-dc-cspan

The event, dubbed as a National Sum­mit to “Reassess the U.S.-Israel ‘Spe­cial Rela­tion­ship,’” was spon­sored by anti-Israel groups If Amer­i­cans Knew, the Coun­cil for the National Inter­est (CNI), the Insti­tute for Research: Mid­dle East­ern Pol­icy (IRmep) as well as the Wash­ing­ton Report on Mid­dle East Affairs.

Ses­sions at the sum­mit included, “How does the Israel lobby influ­ence Con­gress?” and “Does Israel and its lobby exer­cise too much influ­ence on U.S. deci­sions to wage war in the Mid­dle East?” Subtopics for those ses­sions included, “In the Israel lobby’s cross-hairs,” and “Are threats to Israel’s secu­rity inflated to jus­tify occu­pa­tion and U.S. support?”

While almost all of the speak­ers called on the U.S. to end its aid to Israel, the fol­low­ing is a sam­pling of some of the most inflam­ma­tory statements.

  • Paul Find­ley, a for­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Illi­nois and a founder of CNI, said: “The influ­ence of Israel, as of today, is so great on Capi­tol Hill that they [Rep­re­sen­ta­tives] see dan­gers of not sur­viv­ing the next elec­tion if they chal­lenge what Israel is doing.”
  • Cyn­thia McK­in­ney, a for­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Geor­gia, who spoke via Web­cast, told the audi­ence that “the pro-Israel lobby usu­ally has a whole lot of money and those of us who act of con­scious gen­er­ally don’t…they [the pro-Israel lobby] can buy and intim­i­date people.”
  • Philip Giraldi, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of CNI, talked about an Israeli con­spir­acy sur­round­ing the 9/11 attacks.  “The exis­tence of a large scale Israeli spy­ing effort at the time of 9/11 has been widely reported incor­po­rat­ing Israeli companies…Five Israelis from one of the com­pa­nies were observed cel­e­brat­ing against the back­drop of the Twin Tow­ers going down.”
  • Jef­frey Blank­fort, a radio host based in San Fran­cisco, referred to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. as “Israeli-occupied ter­ri­tory” and spoke of “AIPAC’s occu­pa­tion of Con­gress.” He also alleged that “PNAC [Project for New Amer­i­can Cen­tury] ini­ti­ated and made up of pre­dom­i­nantly Jew­ish neo­cons began pro­mot­ing regime change in Iraq.”
  • Grant F. Smith, the Direc­tor of IRmep, said that there has been Israeli espi­onage in the U.S. since the 1940s. “My con­clu­sion,” he said, “is there is no U.S. law that if it stands in the way of Israel…that can­not be thwarted [by Israel].”
  • Allan C. Brown­feld, a nation­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist, said: “What has hap­pened to Amer­i­can Judaism has com­pletely cor­rupted its reli­gious nature. What we are wit­ness­ing today — syn­a­gogues fly­ing Israeli flags, pro­grams urg­ing Amer­i­can Jews to emi­grate to Israel ‘their real home­land,’ — is a form of idol­a­try mak­ing the sov­er­eign state of Israel the object of wor­ship rather than God.” He added, “It is also my view that Zion­ism is a sub­ver­sive enterprise.”
national-press-club-summit-logo

Sum­mit logo

Dur­ing a Q&A ses­sions at the sum­mit, one of the audi­ence mem­bers stated that the “Holo­caust nar­ra­tive is still the third rail” and that teach­ing it in schools is “a vio­la­tion of con­sti­tu­tional rights. It’s a state enforce­ment of a reli­gious dogma.”

Jef­frey Blank­fort responded to that com­ment by stat­ing that, “When it comes to the Holo­caust, there’s no range of opin­ions. You teach a cer­tain line; you do not teach about the Zionist-Nazi collaboration…”

Justin Rai­mondo, the edi­to­r­ial direc­tor of Antiwar.com, inter­jected and asked Blank­fort, “What range of opin­ions could you pos­si­bly have about the Holo­caust?!” Philip Weiss, a co-founder of the anti-Israel Mon­doweiss blog, also responded to Blankfort’s com­ments and called them “repul­sive” but added that, “the West incurred a debt towards the Jews from the Holo­caust and the Pales­tini­ans paid for that.”

Dur­ing another Q&A ses­sion, an audi­ence mem­ber asked, “…why is it such a stretch for us as a body to not pub­licly say, ‘Israel had a hand in 9/11?’”

Stephen Snagoski, a colum­nist for the anti-Semitic and con­spir­a­to­r­ial Vet­er­ans News Now, responded in part: “It seems rea­son­able that they [Israel] may have known a lot about it and didn’t tell that to peo­ple who would act to pre­vent it in the United States…It looks like all the evi­dence has dis­ap­peared.” Snagoski stated that these alleged devel­op­ments were reported on, “even Fox,” which he referred to as, “one of ‘their’ channels.”

Sev­eral other speak­ers par­tic­i­pated in the Sum­mit, includ­ing Stephen Walt, Ali­son Weir, Ray­mond McGov­ern and Paul Pillar.

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March 4, 2014 3

SJP Member Appears On Press TV To Promote BDS Movement

Kumars Salehi, a mem­ber of New York University’s Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter, appeared last week on Press TV, Iran’s government-run English-language satel­lite news net­work, to pro­mote the Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment against Israel.kumars-salehi-sjp-presstv-iaw

Dur­ing the inter­view, Salehi claimed that BDS, “tar­gets the state of Israel, insti­tu­tions within Israel that refuse to be against their government’s poli­cies, as well as com­pa­nies that profit from the occu­pa­tion and Israel’s occu­pa­tion econ­omy.” Salehi made sure to also point out his sup­port for a full boy­cott of Israeli goods, stat­ing that the BDS cam­paign is against, “not just those prod­ucts that are made in the settlements.”

Press TV has emerged as the Iran­ian government’s pri­mary pro­pa­ganda tool to pro­mote a wide range of per­ni­cious anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries in Eng­lish to a world­wide audi­ence. Press TV has pro­vided a plat­form for some of the most well-known anti-Semites, includ­ing anti-Semite David Duke, anti-Semitic colum­nist Kevin Bar­rett, and Holocaust-denying book pub­lisher Michael San­tomauro, among others.

Salehi’s inter­view coin­cided with the start of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which is tak­ing place in var­i­ous cities around the world. SJP has orga­nized many IAW activ­i­ties in the U.S., includ­ing the dis­tri­b­u­tion of mock evic­tion notices at Ohio State Uni­ver­sity, Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina, and North­east­ern University.

Dur­ing Salehi’s appear­ance last week, the program’s host described the U.S. Con­gress being “con­trolled by the likes of AIPAC and the other pro-Israel lob­bies” as a hur­dle to the suc­cess of BDS.

Salehi has appeared on Press TV at least four times since Decem­ber 2013. Dur­ing his Decem­ber inter­view, Salehi alleged that Israel is sab­o­tag­ing the ongo­ing peace nego­ti­a­tions in order “to con­tinue killing Palestinians”and build set­tle­ments in the West Bank.

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February 27, 2014 0

Eviction Notices At Northeastern Kick-Off Israeli Apartheid Week

Update: Feb­ru­ary 27 — Yes­ter­day, mem­bers of the Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina (UNC) SJP chap­ter, dis­trib­uted hun­dreds of mock evic­tion notices in res­i­dence halls on the UNC cam­pus. Just like at North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity, where the stu­dents began to use the hash­tag “#Boston­Mock­E­vic­tion” on Twit­ter after post­ing them, at UNC they began to use “#UNC­Mock­E­vic­tion.” The mock evic­tion notices were also used to pro­mote UNC’s Israeli Apartheid Week, sched­uled to take place on the cam­pus from March 3 to March 7.

Mock evic­tion notices were slid under res­i­dence hall doors of many stu­dents at North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity ear­lier this week. Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) took respon­si­bil­ity for the action and claimed that these notices were posted to kick off Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which is tak­ing place this week on dozens of col­lege cam­puses across the United States.northeastern-iaw-eviction-2014-sjp

The notices at North­east­ern stated that the affected dorm rooms would be demol­ished in three days and that “evic­tion notices are rou­tinely given to Pales­tin­ian fam­i­lies liv­ing under oppres­sive Israeli occu­pa­tion for no rea­son other than their eth­nic background…to cleanse the region of its Arab pop­u­la­tion, and cre­ate space for set­tle­ments.” In real­ity, some Pales­tini­ans in the West Bank receive evic­tion notices if their homes were built ille­gally or need to be demol­ished because of Israeli secu­rity con­cerns, not because of the res­i­dents’ “eth­nic background.”

Lan­guage in the notice echoed many of the themes of IAW, includ­ing alle­ga­tions of Israeli racism and apartheid, calls for Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against Israel, and claims that Israel is com­mit­ting war crimes such as eth­nic cleans­ing against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. North­east­ern SJP later issued a com­ment on Twit­ter that “some stu­dents don’t like fac­ing uncom­fort­able facts about Israeli apartheid.”northeastern-iaw-eviction-2014-2-sjp

The notice, var­i­ous ver­sions of which have been dis­trib­uted at sev­eral other col­lege cam­puses in recent years, was also made to appear as if it was issued by a munic­i­pal court, mak­ing the threat of demo­li­tion seem more real to the stu­dents who received them.

In the past year, anti-Israel stu­dent groups at the fol­low­ing uni­ver­si­ties have cir­cu­lated mock evic­tion notices:

  • Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, Decem­ber 2013 – Over 1,000 stu­dents received mock evic­tion notices posted by mem­bers of the stu­dent group “Stu­dents Allied for Free­dom and Equal­ity” at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, Ann Arbor.  These notices claimed that Israel evicts Pales­tini­ans from their homes for the pur­pose of “mak[ing] life so mis­er­able for the Arabs that they leave.”
  • Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity, Octo­ber 2013 – Stu­dents from the Rutgers-New Brunswick SJP chap­ter posted mock evic­tion notices in res­i­dence halls to “edu­cate” stu­dents about the expe­ri­ence for some Pales­tini­ans whose homes are demol­ished. Text on the mock evic­tion notices read, “Your suite is sched­uled for demo­li­tion in the next three days… If you do not vacate the premise within this time frame, we reserve the right to destroy all remain­ing belongings…This may seem like unre­al­is­ti­cally harsh treat­ment, but this is the actual state of affairs in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
  • San Diego State Uni­ver­sity, March 2013 – Mock evic­tion notices were posted on stu­dents’ res­i­dence hall room doors by mem­bers of the SDSU SJP chap­ter. The notices, which claimed that “$30 bil­lion US tax dol­lars have been used to fund Israeli apartheid in the past decade,” were meant to raise aware­ness over Israel’s alleged human rights vio­la­tions against Palestinians.

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