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August 28, 2014 3

Ferguson = Gaza: Manufacturing A False Comparison

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Pro­test­ers on the Man­hat­tan Bridge

As events in Gaza and high pro­file police bru­tal­ity cases have con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate recent head­lines, a num­ber of groups and indi­vid­u­als have tried to find a con­nec­tion between these unre­lated events in an attempt to bring atten­tion to their activism.

Sev­eral anti-Israel groups have couched their hos­til­ity towards Israel in social jus­tice terms by link­ing the con­flict in Gaza to the events in Fer­gu­son in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of sup­port. For example:

  • Brook­lyn Col­lege Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine adver­tised a Sep­tem­ber 2 event on Face­book: “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, racism, injus­tice and human rights vio­la­tions are being com­mit­ted against peo­ple of color.”
  • The Ohio Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Group spon­sored an August 25 demon­stra­tion at Ohio State University’s African Amer­i­can and African Stud­ies Com­mu­nity Exten­sion Cen­ter, “to show our love and sup­port for mem­bers of our Colum­bus com­mu­nity who have lost inno­cent loved ones in Gaza in recent Israeli attacks, to stand in sol­i­dar­ity with Michael Brown, John Craw­ford, and vic­tims of racism and police bru­tal­ity all over the US…”
  • At protests in Oak­land on August 23, anti-Israel pro­test­ers report­edly shouted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” co-opting the chant used at Fer­gu­son protests
  • An adver­tise­ment for an August 22 Indi­ana Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity event on Face­book read: “The dis­re­gard and dis­re­spect for black bod­ies and black life is endemic to the white suprema­cist sys­tem that rules the land. Your strug­gles through the ages have been an inspi­ra­tion to us as we fight daily for the most basic human dig­ni­ties in our own home­land against the racist Zion­ist regime that con­sid­ers us less human.”
  • On August 20, the Pales­tin­ian BDS National Com­mit­tee issued a state­ment say­ing, “We rec­og­nize those tac­tics being used in Fer­gu­son and the men­tal­ity behind them…the meth­ods of unbri dled vio­lence and con­trol being used by secu­rity forces are all too famil­iar to Pales­tini­ans liv­ing under Israel’s decade-old occupation.”
  • On August 20, pro­test­ers on the Man­hat­tan Bridge chanted, “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, occu­pa­tion has got to go.” At least one pro­tester held a sign that read “We are FERGUSON We are GAZA, because We are Human.”
  • In an August 20 press release, Jew­ish Voice for Peace stated, “We rec­og­nize that the devalu­ing of African-American lives built into the fab­ric of US gov­ern­ment and soci­ety is mir­rored in Israel’s unequal treat­ment of Palestinians…It’s also not sur­pris­ing to see the sim­i­lar­ity in the tac­tics and tech­nolo­gies of repres­sion against those who are ris­ing up non­vi­o­lently in both places.”
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Protest in Staten Island

While some are sim­ply try­ing to rouse sup­port for an anti-Israel agenda by attract­ing like-minded activists, oth­ers have gone so far as to imply that Israel is to blame for the vio­lence in Ferguson.

This alle­ga­tion sur­faced in a tweet by Trita Parsi, head of the National Iran­ian Amer­i­can Coun­cil (NIAC). On August 14, Parsi tweeted, “Won­der­ing why the exces­sive police vio­lence? Here’s a guess: #Fer­gu­son police chief got train­ing in Israel…#Gaza.” An August 15 arti­cle from San Fran­cisco Bay View titled “Israel-trained police ‘occupy’ Mis­souri after killing of Black youth” echoed this sentiment.

Sim­i­lar com­par­isons have appeared at protests regard­ing other high pro­file police bru­tal­ity cases, such as at an August 23 rally call­ing for jus­tice in the death of Eric Gar­ner, who was unarmed when killed by an NYPD offi­cer ear­lier this sum­mer. Among the posters seen at the protest were “Google It!!! Israel trains the NYPD.”

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August 26, 2014 0

Nation Of Islam Exploits Gaza Conflict To Spread Anti-Semitism

The Nation of Islam (NOI) is using Israel’s mil­i­tary response to Hamas in Gaza to pro­mote anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries sug­gest­ing that Israel was respon­si­ble for the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks.

The NOI Research Group (NOIRG), which claims to serve as the NOI’s “his­tor­i­cal research depart­ment,” tweeted on August 24 that “Israeli airstrike in #Gaza lev­els 7-story build­ing. Their last airstrike was on Sept 11, 2001.” The tweet is accom­pa­nied by a photo of smoke bil­low­ing from the World Trade Center. noi-tweet-gaza

This is not the first time the NOIRG has used social media to spread the anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­ory blam­ing Jews for 9/11. In Decem­ber 2013, for exam­ple, the NOIRG tweeted that “#Israel has an ugly his­tory of deadly false flag oper­a­tions, includ­ing 9/11…”

NOI leader Louis Far­rakhan also weighed in on the cur­rent con­flict in his August 17 ser­mon at Mosque Maryam in Chicago. Far­rakhan jux­ta­posed the tense sit­u­a­tion in Gaza with the shoot­ing of Michael Brown in Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, inter­lac­ing his address with a num­ber of anti-Semitic claims.

Far­rakhan told the con­gre­ga­tion that in Israel “there can never be any peace struc­tured on injus­tice, thiev­ery, lying, and deceit, using the name of God to shield your dirty religion.”

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August 15, 2014 5

New Black Panthers Inflame Michael Brown Incident In Missouri

The lead­ers of the New Black Pan­ther Party (NBPP), the largest orga­nized anti-Semitic and racist Black mil­i­tant group in Amer­ica, trav­eled to Fer­gu­son, Mis­souri, inflam­ing the already tense sit­u­a­tion fol­low­ing the fatal shoot­ing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by police.black-panther-nzinga-shabazz-ferguson-missouri

The NBPP’s lead­er­ship, includ­ing Chair­man Hashim Nzinga, Chief of Staff Chawn Kweli, and for­mer Chair­man Malik Zulu Shabazz arrived in Fer­gu­son ear­lier this week and held press con­fer­ences, set up a “field legal office,” and inter­acted with the victim’s fam­ily, pro­test­ers and law enforcement.

State­ments from NBPP lead­ers prior to and dur­ing their pres­ence in Fer­gu­son  have fea­tured calls for vio­lence against police. Shabazz wrote on Face­book yes­ter­day that if the name of the offi­cer who shot Michael Brown is not released, he will release the officer’s name and address to “give the demon­stra­tors a clearer target.”

Kweli posted a state­ment on Face­book on August 10 that read: “IF NEED BE PUT AS MANY AGGRESSORS IN THE COFFINS THEY PICKED OUT FOR YOU IN SELF DEFENSE…IF YOU DIE, DIE LIKE A WARRIOR.”

Nzinga addressed the NBPP on the August 11 online broad­cast of Black Power Radio titled “Mur­der In Mis­souri– Michael Brown And Blood Thirsty Pigs– The Bat­tle Is On!” Nzinga claimed that white Amer­i­cans are com­mit­ting “geno­cide” against Black males: “The Black male is being exterminated…The ones who are not being exter­mi­nated, they’re push­ing them to be gay and fags so they won’t be pro­duc­tive on repro­duc­ing babies. This is about genocide.”

Nzinga injected anti-Semitism into the dis­cus­sion, blam­ing the recent inci­dent on the sup­pos­edly Jewish-controlled media. “Jews’ media and the Jews’ TV, they have made it look like we’re the vil­lains of Amer­ica…” said Nzinga. He also blamed vio­lence in Chicago on Mayor Rahm Emanuel who he described as “a Jew, and that Jew is a mas­ter at propaganda.”

Addi­tion­ally, Nzinga described sup­port the NBPP has received from St. Louis based media and real estate mogul Michael V. Roberts. “Our bil­lion­aire friend Mike Roberts, I’ve been on the phone with him all week. He will be bring­ing us in again,” said Nzinga.

Kweli, the host of the often racist and anti-Semitic Black Power Radio, expressed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments to Nzinga’son the August 11 broad­cast, describ­ing police actions in the after­math of the shoot­ing in Fer­gu­sonas “state-sponsored ter­ror­ism against our peo­ple” and as “a war.”

In the same broad­cast, Shabazz sug­gested the next tac­tic for police in Fer­gu­son is to set up con­cen­tra­tion camps. “The SWAT team is out and all the plans and the plots of the con­cen­tra­tion camps are out,” he said.

The NBPP com­monly takes on racially-charged issues under the guise of cham­pi­oning civil rights as they also did in the after­math of the Trayvon Mar­tin inci­dent. The group’s demon­stra­tions, con­fer­ences, and other events often blend inflam­ma­tory big­otry with calls for vio­lence, tar­nish­ing its efforts to pro­mote Black pride and consciousness.

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