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October 31, 2014

Tunisian Hacker Targets Hillel In California

O Ghost hacking groupThe website of the Beach Hillel in Long Beach, California, was hacked by an apparent Tunisian hacker by the name of O-Ghost. The hacker redirects visitors to the Hillel website to a page featuring a song about the tenets of Islam and displaying the hackers signature over a phrase “Al Khilafa [the Islamic Caliphate] is coming.”

This attack is another in a series of hacks targeting Jewish institutions in the U.S. from groups in the Arab world who often launch their cyber-attacks under the banner of “Electronic Jihad.”

Unlike most of the previous attacks, the hacking of the Beach Hillel website appears to be a one-person operation. O-Ghost appears to be affiliated with several hacker groups motivated by an anti-Israel agenda. A YouTube channel dedicated to documenting the hacking operations of O-Ghost is associated with a user by the name of Oussama Dridi.

Some of the YouTube videos uploaded by Dridi praise terrorist activities in Afghanistan and describe the Taliban fighters as heroes. Furthermore, the Facebook page includes images praising “Electronic Jihad” and a record of some previous operations such as the hacking of credit card information of Israeli citizens.

Other groups who have been active in targeting Jewish institutions and individuals include, Moroccan Ghosts, Gaza Hackers, Team System Dz , Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail, and others mostly based in North Africa.

It is worth noting that the Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail posted a statement today warning of an upcoming attack on Israeli websites in response to what the group described as closing the Aqsa mosque by Zionists.

The comment posted by Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail reads, “Oh nation of the billion [Muslims], your blessed Aqsa mosque, and the place of your noble prophet’s ascendance is closed by the orders of the Zionists…. [there is] a coming attack by the group to the Israeli websites.”

ADL documented a number of attacks since 2012 against Jewish institutional websites. Earlier this month, ADL issued an alert to warn U.S. synagogues against this uptick in the number of online attacks.

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March 6, 2014

Protestors At Cal Poly Pomona Prevent Israeli Soldiers From Speaking

Students at California State Polytechnic University – Pomona shouted down a group of Israeli soldiers who were invited to speak on their campus by Hillel on February 27, 2014.cal-poly-pomona-protest-israel-soldier-adl

The soldiers, who had introduced themselves and explained that they would be delivering personal stories about their lives and experiences while serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), were interrupted by student protesters who shouted “baby killers,” “rapists,” and “terrorists.”

Even before the soldiers began their presentations, students in the audience covered their mouths with black tape and held posters that made various allegations concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shortly after the soldiers started to introduce themselves, the protesters persistently shouted in such a way that other students in the room were unable to hear what was being said.

Although some protesters were asked to leave the room, attendees had difficulty hearing the soldiers’ presentations. Doron Feuer, the President of the Cal Poly Pomona’s Hillel, told the campus newspaper, The Poly Post that, “It was extremely difficult for people to hear what the soldiers were saying, even for the people sitting at the very front…What was supposed to be an educational event rapidly became a disruptive and chaotic experience.”

One of the soldiers also spoke to the campus newspaper and claimed he felt insulted by the protesters’ tactics, stating, “It was supposed to be a civilized dialogue, but I heard hatred and I saw hatred in their eyes…We came to talk about peace.”

ADL in Los Angeles provided resources to the Hillel on the Cal Poly Pomona campus and continues to work closely with the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel & Pomona Valleys on the community’s response to this incident. ADL is equipped with a broad range of preventive and reactive programs and resources to address the challenges of hate on campus. We work to empower students, faculty, staff and community members to stand up on their campuses and in their communities and effect change.

Student efforts to express opposition to speakers or events on campus are generally part of a healthy campus environment fostering a free exchange of ideas. But are certain disruptive tactics commonly used by anti-Israel activists that are anathema to those ideals.

While anti-Israel protests may be protected by free speech rights, the protests cannot disrupt normal school functions, obstruct access to school buildings, create pervasive, severe, or persistent harassment, or physically intimidate or threaten individuals. When the protests violate these parameters, students should alert the university and ask administrators to take action.

These disruption tactics vary and can range from interrupting the speaker and preventing him or her from speaking to silent protests. For example, on March 3, 2014, Israeli Professor Josef Olmert faced silent protesters at San Diego State University as he delivered a guest lecture to a Political Science class.

The students stood in the back of the classroom and held signs with provocative statements such as, “Zionism = Racism,” “SDSU DIVEST,” “Boycott Israel.” After Olmert’s presentation, the students continued to protest outside of the lecture hall.

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