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May 13, 2016 1

Hezbollah Launches New Mobile App

UPDATE 5/14/16 — Apple has removed the app from iTunes.

Last month, al-Manar, Hezbollah’s media arm, which is listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist Entity” by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, launched Trust News, a new iPhone app. Avail­able through the Apple online store iTunes, the app streams al-Manar’s live tele­vi­sion broad­casts and newsand pro­vides access to al-Manar’s social media platforms.It also pro­vides the lat­est speeches of Hezbollah’s leader Has­san Nasrallah.al-manar-trust-news-app

Unlike pre­vi­ous apps launched by the ter­ror­ist entity, the new app’s page on iTunes did not include any ref­er­ence to al-Manar or Hezbol­lah, in an appar­ent attempt to cir­cum­vent Apple’s App Store Review Guide­lines, which require apps to “com­ply with all legal require­ments in any loca­tion where they are made avail­able to users.”

Al-Manar’s web­site posted a link which directs its vis­i­tors to the iTunes store to down­load the mobile app.

ADL has alerted Apple about this new app.

ADL pre­vi­ously informed sev­eral US-based tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies about apps launched by the ter­ror­ist entity and they were removed sub­se­quently. For more information:

 

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April 20, 2016 8

Why I’m Speaking to Students at J Street U

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This blog orig­i­nally appeared on Medium on April 17, 2016.

J Street U

This morn­ing, I will speak to stu­dents at the J Street U National Assem­bly, the annual gath­er­ing of more than 200 young lead­ers from across the coun­try who con­verge on Wash­ing­ton D.C. to dis­cuss the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, and to exchange views about what they can do on cam­pus to advance a two-state solu­tion. J Street U reached out to me seek­ing to engage with the Jew­ish com­mu­nity, eager to estab­lish a rela­tion­ship with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which it has never had.

As I begin to chart the course of my lead­er­ship, I felt it was impor­tant that I accept this invi­ta­tion. I feel this way because of my con­vic­tion that it is vital to engage with all mem­bers of our com­mu­nity, even and espe­cially those with whom we might have disagreements.

We can’t talk only to those who are aligned with us on every point.

In our time of hyper-polarization and the ero­sion of civil dis­course, I believe it’s imper­a­tive that the orga­nized Jew­ish lead­er­ship mod­els the traits that we want to define the broader pol­i­tics in our coun­try. When I started my tenure as CEO, the coun­try was locked in a bit­ter debate over the Iran deal. More than any­thing, the expe­ri­ence showed me that our com­mu­nity suf­fers from an inabil­ity to thought­fully and respect­fully engage across polit­i­cal divides.

I saw it first­hand as Jews who sup­ported the deal as well as those who opposed the deal both were attacked viciously for their views, par­tic­u­larly by fel­low Jews. I was dis­mayed by the self-destructive behav­ior — tak­ing out news­pa­per ads, plas­ter­ing munic­i­pal buses, exco­ri­at­ing oth­ers with ad home­nim attacks — such attacks don’t advance the debate. They dimin­ish all of us.

For a peo­ple who ele­vated the notion of dis­sent as a bedrock prin­ci­ple of our reli­gious prac­tice, the unwill­ing­ness to coun­te­nance oppos­ing views is counter to the best tra­di­tions of our peo­ple. As a leader, I will not engage in these tac­tics. Instead, as the CEO of ADL, I will be an active advo­cate for civil­ity and avoid the pol­i­tics of per­sonal destruction.

Build­ing from this frame, I see my remarks today as a major oppor­tu­nity for ADL to accom­plish two things.

The first is to deliver the mes­sage that, at ADL, we are com­mit­ted to ensur­ing Israel remains a safe and secure, Jew­ish and demo­c­ra­tic state, as enshrined in its procla­ma­tion of inde­pen­dence. It was that remark­able Zion­ist vision expressed from the cra­dle of Israel’s birth that cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of the Jew­ish peo­ple and the world, the notion that Israel would be a coun­try unlike all others:

“…based on free­dom, jus­tice and peace as envis­aged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure com­plete equal­ity of social and polit­i­cal rights to all its inhab­i­tants irre­spec­tive of reli­gion, race or sex; it will guar­an­tee free­dom of reli­gion, con­science, lan­guage, edu­ca­tion and culture…”

Frayed Israel Flag

That is why ADL has had a pol­icy of sup­port for a two-state solu­tion for decades. This means advo­cat­ing for the legit­i­macy and secu­rity of the Jew­ish state even as we sup­port Pales­tin­ian dig­nity and equal­ity of Arab cit­i­zens in Israel. These ideas should not be in con­flict. Rather, they are con­sis­tent with our cen­ten­nial com­mit­ment to civil rights and social justice.

Sec­ondly, I see an oppor­tu­nity to deliver an impor­tant mes­sage to these impas­sioned stu­dents who are gal­va­nized by the imper­a­tive to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. At ADL, we equally want to see a res­o­lu­tion of the con­flict. Israel must take real, mean­ing­ful mea­sures to pro­mote an end to the impasse. How­ever, the idea that peace can be brought about only by apply­ing pres­sure to one side of the con­flict — Israel — is a strat­egy bound to backfire.

Fur­ther iso­lat­ing Israel at a time of great local tumult and regional volatil­ity will only rein­force the polit­i­cal psy­chol­ogy of Israelis who eye con­ces­sions made in the con­text of nego­ti­a­tions with the Pales­tini­ans as inevitably endan­ger­ing them. And this fear is real. It is sub­stan­ti­ated in the unrav­el­ing of the mod­ern Mid­dle East, the rise of vio­lent non-state actors com­mit­ted to the destruc­tion of Israel, ter­ror­ist groups like Hezbol­lahISIS and Hamas, and the regional power of Iran whose rev­o­lu­tion­ary ide­ol­ogy remains firmly rooted in anti-Semitism. As Israelis look around they see regional chaos engulf­ing their neigh­bor­hood: whole­sale slaugh­ter in Syria, chaos in Sinai, chal­lenges to the sta­bil­ity of their friends in Jor­dan. Any rea­son­able approach to solv­ing the con­flict in order to be cred­i­ble in the eyes of Israel must bear in mind this new reality.

Given these facts, it is only the con­stancy of Amer­i­can guar­an­tees of moral and phys­i­cal sup­port that will under­gird an even­tual agree­ment. And under­min­ing that sup­port endan­gers the prospects of peace. While a respon­si­ble approach should rec­og­nize that there are steps that Israel must take to ensure the via­bil­ity of a two-state solu­tion, a rea­son­able approach must have expec­ta­tions of the Pales­tini­ans as well.

Ignor­ing the steps they also must take, com­pro­mises they too must make to achieve peace, does a deep dis­ser­vice toward that goal.

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The fact is that the Pales­tini­ans, under the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas, twice rejected seri­ous Israeli peace offers, once in 2008 dur­ing direct talks between Prime Min­is­ter Ehud Olmert and Abu Mazen, and again under the Obama Admin­is­tra­tion — an admin­is­tra­tion which I was a part of. When Pres­i­dent Obama offered Pres­i­dent Abbas an Amer­i­can frame­work doc­u­ment for the res­o­lu­tion of the final sta­tus of the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict, Abbas decided to ignore it entirely. That is an incon­ve­nient fact for some who wish to por­tray the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict as a sim­plis­tic story of Israel’s unwill­ing­ness to make peace. But it is a fact that can­not be ignored.

The cham­pi­ons of Pales­tin­ian self-determination must hold the Pales­tin­ian lead­er­ship to task for its fail­ures as well.

But even as I will make these points, I want to stress that despite this, we must find the areas where we can be partners.

It is vital to be in con­ver­sa­tion with these stu­dents and the next gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Jew­ish lead­ers because it they who can cred­i­bly bro­ker crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tions on cam­puses rooted in a com­mit­ment to peace, while unmask­ing the dam­ag­ing effects of BDS and anti-normalization.

The imper­a­tives for social jus­tice today do not lie in the Israeli-Palestinian nego­ti­a­tions alone. We can­not let our dif­fer­ences over how to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace keep us from work­ing together to address so many other chal­lenges fac­ing our nation. There are vital issues of struc­tural racism that we must address now, mat­ters of press­ing racial injus­tice that wrack our own soci­ety. There are dem­a­gogues ris­ing to power in Europe and the intro­duc­tion of a ter­ri­ble new type of polit­i­cal dis­course that threat­ens our fun­da­men­tal values.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 with an endur­ing mis­sion that still rings true today: to stop the defama­tion of the Jew­ish peo­ple and to secure jus­tice and fair treat­ment to all. For more than 100 years, we have worked to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of big­otry even as we equally have fought for civil rights and social jus­tice for Jews and other mar­gin­al­ized people.

But it always has been a shared strug­gle, one that we have not waged our­selves but that has been a prod­uct of alliances, coali­tions and part­ner­ships. And the work is not yet com­plete. There is still much to do be done. Hope­fully we can do it, together.

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November 25, 2014 Off

Music Videos Enhance Violent Anti-Jewish Messages Online

Songs and music videos using the recent wave of ter­ror­ist attacks in Israel to glo­rify the attacks and encour­age more vio­lence are part of a larger online phe­nom­e­non where indi­vid­u­als cel­e­brate and pro­mote ter­ror­ism through pop­u­lar memes, graph­ics and videos.

Screenshot from "Runaway oh Zionist"

Screen­shot from “Run­away oh Zionist”

An ani­mated music video uploaded to YouTube on Novem­ber 18 called “Run­away oh Zion­ist” is an explicit ref­er­ence to the recent “run-over” car attacks in Israel.The song, pre­formed in Hebrew with Ara­bic and Hebrew sub­ti­tles, says, “Run­away oh you Zion­ist, Runaway…Minutes, and a car will run over you” and depicts a Jew­ish man singing about run­ning away from cars. In the part of the video where the Jew­ish man gets hit by a car at a bus sta­tion and thrown into a ceme­tery, the lyrics are, “A car will attack you from each direc­tion to give you a ride to the grave.” The song closes with “Run­away Zion­ists because you will be killed by all means.”

The video, which has received more than 98,000 views, was praised by Hezbollah’s media arm, Al Manar which stated, “the melody of this short video is very apt, and the ani­ma­tion is highly pro­fes­sional which indi­cates a qual­ity boom for the ‘resis­tance’ art in the Occu­pied Ter­ri­tory [Palestine].”

Another song cir­cu­lat­ing online titled “Run-over this set­tler” is per­formed by a Pales­tin­ian duo. The song includes the lyrics “Pre­pare your ambush on the road, run-over them; may god help you.” It also praises Abdul­rah­man al-Shaloudi, the ter­ror­ist who rammed his car into a group of Israeli pedes­tri­ans last month, killing a baby and a young woman. One lyric says that he “Ran-over a Jew­ish settler…did it, with his lim­ited resources, for his coun­try.” The lyrics also callupon Pales­tini­ans to “wait for them at the inter­sec­tion, let the set­tler sink in the red blood. Ter­rify them don’t be mer­ci­ful.” Jordan-based Al Yarmuk satel­lite TV sta­tion aired the song on its chan­nel as well.

Var­i­ous YouTube users have cre­ated their own videos and made use of this song as well, bring­ing the total num­ber of views for this song to more than 260,000.

Sim­i­lar user gen­er­ated con­tent began cir­cu­lat­ing online within min­utes of the bru­tal ter­ror attack that killed five peo­ple in a Jerusalem syn­a­gogue. In addi­tion to those images and car­toons glo­ri­fy­ing the attack, another song, titled “The one who knocks the door will hear the answer” was uploaded to YouTube by the pop­u­lar Pales­tin­ian singer Qasim Al-Najar. The song received more than 154,000 views in the first sev­eral days. The song’s lyrics urge Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu “to col­lect his Rab­bis,” warn­ing that when Jerusalem revolts it will slaugh­ter the settlers.

The Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine, which claimed respon­si­bil­ity for the Syn­a­gogue attack, also released a video on YouTube titled “With a butcher’s knife, a gun, and an Iron will.” The song says “oh set­tler, this is your destiny…your death is inevitable.” The song also praises the Pop­u­lar Front and describes its mem­bers as “walk­ing in defi­ance over death and slaugh­ter­ing them [Israelis] like sheep.”

The PFLP’s song has attracted only 5,800 view­ers on YouTube, which fur­ther attests to the sig­nif­i­cance of user gen­er­ated con­tent to spread mes­sages of vio­lence and anti-Semitism.

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