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August 21, 2014 0

Anti-Zionist Group Targets Jewish Institutions

Over the past two weeks, demon­stra­tors from Jew­ish Voice for Peace (JVP), the largest Jew­ish anti-Zionist group in the United States, have entered Jew­ish insti­tu­tion build­ings to directly con­front the lead­ers of major Amer­i­can Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions over their sup­port for Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

On four sep­a­rate occa­sions, mem­bers of JVP made their way into build­ings belong­ing to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions and began to protest inside. Their goal in get­ting inside the build­ings was to hand deliver an open let­ter call­ing the insti­tu­tional Jew­ish community’s sup­port for Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge “painful” and “a betrayal of our [Jew­ish] his­tory and values.”

1. New York City (August 20) – Mem­bers of JVP’s New York City chap­ter entered the UJA-Federation offices in Man­hat­tan. One of the pro­test­ers, who live-tweeted from the demon­stra­tion, wrote “Occu­py­ing UJA fed­er­a­tion office in NYC now.” The pro­test­ers even­tu­ally moved their demon­stra­tion to the side­walk out­side of the building.

2. Den­ver (August 19) – The Front Range JVP chap­ter led a group of pro­test­ers into the JEW­ISH­col­orado build­ing in Den­ver. Inside the build­ing, pro­test­ers attempted to deliver their peti­tion to JEWISHcolorado’s Pres­i­dent and CEO Doug Seser­man. After their request was denied, they moved the demon­stra­tion to the building’s lobby and then even­tu­ally out­side of the build­ing after 911 was report­edly called.

3. Durham (August 12) – A small group of pro­test­ers from JVP’s North Car­olina chap­ter inter­rupted the “Com­mu­nity Gath­er­ing in Sup­port of Israel and Peace,” which was spon­sored by the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tions of Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill. While a speaker was deliv­er­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion, mem­bers of the group inter­rupted his speech, unfolded a large ban­ner and began to make demands from insti­tu­tional Jew­ish lead­er­ship about their stance on Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

jvp-jewish-federation-philadelphia

JVP mem­bers at the Philadel­phia Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion building

4. Philadel­phia (August 8) – Pro­test­ers from JVP’s Philadel­phia chap­ter made their way into the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion offices in Philadel­phia. After gain­ing entrance, they demanded to meet with the Federation’s CEO Naomi Adler. After being told that they would not receive an appoint­ment, a small por­tion of the group refused to leave the build­ing and con­tin­ued to protest inside, report­edly lead­ing to their arrest.

Six other protests have also taken place out­side of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions over the past month, although var­i­ous groups such as Al-Awda and the newly-founded If Not Now, When?, have orga­nized those. No attempts were made to enter the Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in those cases, but like JVP, the pro­test­ers called on the Jew­ish com­mu­nity to con­demn Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

At least 25 other protests have taken place out­side of build­ings affil­i­ated with Israel or Israeli com­pa­nies. At one of those demon­stra­tions, mem­bers of JVP and Jews Say No! made their way into the offices of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF). Once inside, the demon­stra­tors began to protest and con­ducted a “die-in.” Nine pro­tes­tors were report­edly arrested.

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December 3, 2013 0

Denver Conference To Feature Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theorists

The Mus­lim Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion – Per­sian Speak­ing Group (MSA-PSG) will hold its 43rd annual con­fer­ence in Den­ver, Col­orado, which will draw the par­tic­i­pa­tion of sev­eral anti-Semites, con­spir­acy the­o­rists and Holo­caust deniers.msa-psg-iran-denver

The con­fer­ence, titled “Await­ing the Sav­ior,” is sched­uled for Decem­ber 26–29 and will include lec­tures and work­shop ses­sions with the pur­ported aim to dis­cuss “how Islam can help guide us in our await­ing time to be the true sup­port­ers of our Imam,” also known as the Mahdi, a mes­sianic fig­ure for Shi’a Muslims. 

The MSA-PGA was founded in 1970 by Mostafa Cham­ron, an Iran­ian anti-Shah activist when he was a stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia – Berke­ley. Cham­ron sub­se­quently returned to Iran after the 1979 Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion and served as defense min­is­ter and a mem­ber of par­lia­ment for the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran.

The orga­ni­za­tion has a his­tory of invit­ing anti-Semitic speak­ers and extrem­ists to its annual con­fer­ence. Among the list of speak­ers invited this year, and in pre­vi­ous years, are Muham­mad al Asi and Abdul Alim Musa. Al Asi and Musa are fre­quently invited to speak at anti-Israel events on cam­pus where they engage in anti-Semitic rhetoric dur­ing their speeches and lec­tures. Addi­tion­ally, both indi­vid­u­als have pub­licly sworn alle­giance to Iran’s supreme leader, Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei. Musa is also the leader of Sabiqun, an anti-Semitic Mus­lim group that advo­cates for the cre­ation of a global Islamic state.

Anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rists Mark Glenn and Mark Dankof are also invited to speak at this year’s event. At the 2012 annual MSA-PSG con­fer­ence, Dankof made a series of con­spir­a­to­r­ial and anti-Semitic claims that Mus­lims and Chris­tians are under threat by Zion­ists. More­over, Dankof made a series of alle­ga­tions that Jews are in con­trol of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, eco­nom­ics and media, and that Jew­ish con­spir­a­cies are behind impor­tant U.S. events, such as the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy and the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks.

The orga­ni­za­tion, which is pri­mar­ily based in Los Ange­les, adheres to the strict prin­ci­ples of Twelver Shi’a Islam and the vir­u­lently anti-Semitic and anti-West ide­ol­ogy of the founder of the Islamic Repub­lic, Aya­tol­lah Ruhol­lah Khome­ini. Con­trary to its name, mem­bers of the MSA-PSG are not nec­es­sar­ily stu­dents. Many mem­bers are of Pak­istani or South Asian ori­gins who have pre­vi­ously spent time at Iran­ian sem­i­nar­ies and reli­gious insti­tu­tions. Pre­vi­ous years’ con­fer­ences have pri­mar­ily been held in Hous­ton and Chicago.

Another sched­uled speaker is Hamza Soda­gar, an Iranian-born cleric. At the 2010 Mus­lim Con­gress (MC) con­ven­tion, Soda­gar made sev­eral con­spir­a­to­r­ial charges, includ­ing one where he alleged Zion­ist con­trol over U.S. Muslims.

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March 14, 2012 12

Anti-Israel Billboards Surface in Denver and Detroit

Pay much atten­tion to the bill­boards you see on the high­way? Well, some anti-Israel groups in the United States are bet­ting you do and pay­ing to adver­tise their mes­sage on promi­nent billboards.

Last week, three anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tions  – If Amer­i­can Knew, Deir Yassin Remem­bered and Jew­ish Wit­nesses for Peace and Friends – responded to a pro-Israel bill­board in Detroit by secur­ing bill­board space of their own with the mes­sage, “$8 million/ Day to Israel? Our money is needed in Amer­ica!” Another bill­board that recently appeared in Den­ver read, “Tell Con­gress: Spend Our Money at Home Not on the Israeli Mil­i­tary.” The Den­ver bill­board was paid for by the Coali­tion to Stop $30 Bil­lion, a New Mexico-based group that first dis­played a sim­i­lar mes­sage on a bill­board in Albu­querque in 2009.

In addi­tion to these new bill­boards, anti-Israel signs and adver­tise­ments have reg­u­larly appeared  on buses and sub­ways in large met­ro­pol­i­tan areas since 2010, includ­ing New York City, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., San Fran­cisco and Chicago. The ads, which call for an “End [to] U.S. mil­i­tary aid to Israel,” were orga­nized by a coali­tion of national anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tions oper­at­ing under the umbrella of a cam­paign called “Be On Our Side.”

It seems likely that the activists pay­ing for and plac­ing these ads are newly opti­mistic that their mes­sage will res­onate in light of the frag­ile state of the U.S. econ­omy and the national debt. The Coali­tion to Stop $30 Bil­lion, for exam­ple, explains: “All this money is flow­ing away while Amer­ica is suf­fer­ing the worst finan­cial col­lapse since the Great Depression.”

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