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September 18, 2013 0

San Diego State SJP Launches Recruitment Effort Comparing Israel To Nazi Germany

The Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter at San Diego State Uni­ver­sity (SDSU) recently unveiled an online slideshow and ad cam­paign to advo­cate for the Pales­tin­ian cause and recruit new mem­bers to join SJP which “enables you as a stu­dent to act on the truth.”sjp-sdsu-right-side-campaign

The cam­paign, “The Right Side: A Guide to the Moral High Ground,” repeat­edly com­pares Israeli pol­icy to the Holo­caust, includ­ing analo­giz­ing a sup­porter of modern-day Israel to a “grand­son of a Nazi” and claim­ing that the inter­na­tional community’s will­ful igno­rance of Israel’s trans­gres­sions is com­pa­ra­ble to the Euro­peans’ obliv­i­ous­ness of the hor­rors of the Holo­caust in the 1930s and 40s.

The recruit­ing tool – which is avail­able on SJP’s web­site as a slideshow and has been dis­played on fly­ers around cam­pus – is rife with extreme pro­pa­ganda and claims that Israel is guilty of apartheid and “war crimes” against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. It fur­ther alleges that Amer­i­can politi­cians turn a blind eye to these injus­tices because they “receiv[e] money in exchange of a polit­i­cal stance.” One of the slides even repeats UN Rap­por­teur Richard Falk’s infa­mous line: “Is it an irre­spon­si­ble over­state­ment to asso­ciate the treat­ment with Pales­tini­ans with the crim­i­nal­ized Nazi record of col­lec­tive atroc­ity? I think not.”

The first slide, titled “The Racist Grandpa,” claims that “no grand­son of a Nazi, or a KKK clans­man or a sup­porter of apartheid in South Africa can be proud of their grand­fa­ther. The last thing you want to be is that racist grandpa in the future.” The slide then warns: “Today, many of us could be racist grand­pas or grand­mas in the future if we con­tinue to let our­selves be fooled by politi­cians, lob­by­ists and the media” with regard to Israel.  

The web page fea­tur­ing the slideshow also con­tains images of well-known fig­ures who have expressed anti-Israel views in recent years, includ­ing Alice Walker, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, for­mer pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter and Lupe Fiasco, a rap­per who is crit­i­cal of Israel.

The SJP chap­ter at SDSU is very active on cam­pus and has existed since at least 2009. In the past year, the group has spon­sored speak­ing appear­ances by Nor­man Finkel­stein, a for­mer pro­fes­sor at DePaul Uni­ver­sity and noted critic of Israeli pol­icy, and orga­nized events with Mex­i­can stu­dent groups like MEChA that sought to com­pare the U.S.-Mexico bor­der fence to the secu­rity fence in the West Bank.  The group refuses to dia­logue or meet with the pro-Israel orga­ni­za­tion on cam­pus, Aztecs for Israel, an anti-Israel tac­tic pred­i­cated on a rejec­tion of “nor­mal­iza­tion” of the pro-Israel position.

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February 6, 2013 4

House of Cards Uses Anti-Semitism As Plot Line

For us at the Anti-Defamation League, the old Madi­son Avenue line “as long as they spell my name right” par­tially applies to the new mini-series “House of Cards,” being aired on Net­flix.  The series stars Kevin Spacey as the schem­ing and con­niv­ing Demo­c­ra­tic whip of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.  In two scenes ADL is briefly mentioned.

Credit: Reuters/Melinda Sue Gordon/Neftlix/Handout

In the first, Spacey’s char­ac­ter calls ADL after it is revealed that the president’s choice for Sec­re­tary of State crit­i­cized Israel’s “ille­gal occu­pa­tion” of Pales­tin­ian land in an edi­to­r­ial 30 years ago when he was the edi­tor of his col­lege stu­dent newspaper.

In the sec­ond scene, the fic­tional head of ADL is shown telling a press gag­gle that “he’s an anti-Semite” for say­ing those words.

On one level, we see it as a form of flat­tery that the cre­ators of the pro­gram thought of ADL for such a theme.  This reflects well as to recog­ni­tion of our out­spo­ken­ness regard­ing unjust crit­i­cism of Israel and tes­ti­fies to our wide name recognition.

On the other hand, it plays into an image of ADL which dis­torts who we are. It sug­gests, as some do, that ADL will call any­one who crit­i­cizes Israel an anti-Semite with the con­nected impli­ca­tion that we are try­ing to sti­fle legit­i­mate crit­i­cism of Israel.

The truth is that we would be sharply crit­i­cal of some­one who refers to Israel’s sit­u­a­tion in the West Bank as “ille­gal occu­pa­tion” but would not refer to such an indi­vid­ual as anti-Semite unless there were other things he had said, whether dele­git­imiz­ing Israel or com­par­ing Israel to Nazis or accus­ing Israel of crimes that fall under the cat­e­gory of blood libels and conspiracies.

Crit­i­cism of Israel some­times may be legit­i­mate, some­times not. When it is not, it may or may not rise to the level of anti-Semitism.

We under­stand that “House of Cards” is fic­tion so we have no inter­est in protest­ing.  But the more nuanced view that we have just described is the real ADL, an orga­ni­za­tion to whom cred­i­bil­ity is every­thing and one that makes sure that the term anti-Semitic is used when it is truly warranted.

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November 16, 2012 1

Anti-Semitism and Legitimization of Terror Abound in Reaction to Israeli Operations in Gaza

Anti-Israel activists are using var­i­ous social media plat­forms to express their oppo­si­tion to Israel’s ongo­ing mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in Gaza and com­ment on the unfold­ing sit­u­a­tion. These remarks fre­quently con­tain extreme lan­guage. Sev­eral state­ments tend to legit­imize Hamas and rocket attacks tar­get­ing Israeli civil­ian com­mu­ni­ties. Oth­ers com­pare Israel to Nazi Germany.

The ban­ner at right, for exam­ple, which has been widely cir­cu­lated on Face­book, calls the oper­a­tion, “the Holo­caust in Gaza.”

Mary Hughes-Thompson, co-founder of the Free Gaza Move­ment, com­mented on her Face­book page: “Oper­a­tion Israeli Gestapo is under­way in Gaza.” Another anti-Israel activist who posted on Face­book almost imme­di­ately after the strike that killed Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari yes­ter­day wrote: “Jew­ish Zion­ist ‘moral­ity and brav­ery’ on dis­play in Gaza is no dif­fer­ent than that which was dis­played by the Nazis in the Con­cen­tra­tion Camps.”

George Gal­loway, a for­mer mem­ber of the British Par­lia­ment and leader of Viva Palestina, used extremely caus­tic and vir­u­lent lan­guage on a pro­gram he hosts on Press TV, an English-language Iran­ian satel­lite sta­tion. Gal­loway called on view­ers advo­cat­ing for non­vi­o­lent resis­tance and/or diplo­macy to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict to “get off their knees” and acknowl­edge that diplo­macy won’t be use­ful against Israel’s “blitzkrieg of death and gas.”  He also claimed that Pales­tini­ans in Gaza are being “gassed” and “roasted” by Israel.

Attempts to legit­imize or min­i­mize Hamas’s rocket attacks against Israeli civil­ians have also appeared. A stu­dent at George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity who is involved with Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine on cam­pus wrote, “The Resis­tance has reached Tel Aviv! Long Live the Resis­tance.” The com­ments appear to cel­e­brate that an Iran­ian rocket launched by Islamic Jihad in Gaza had landed in Tel Aviv. After a com­ment appeared ques­tion­ing his sup­port for vio­lence, the stu­dent responded, “Vio­lent resis­tance is our right” and com­pared the sit­u­a­tion to a raped woman strik­ing her assailant in self-defense.

Ben White, a promi­nent anti-Israel activist and author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide,” wrote on his Face­book page: “Israel’s has­bara says con­text for assault is rocket fire. Well, con­text for rocket fire is 64 years of expul­sion and occu­pa­tion.” (As a side note, Israel’s occu­pa­tion of the West Bank began in 1967. White’s ref­er­ence to “64 years” of occu­pa­tion sug­gests that he con­sid­ers all of Israel to be occu­pied Pales­tin­ian land.)

Noura Erakat, a fel­low at George­town Uni­ver­sity and for­mer orga­nizer with the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occu­pa­tion, expressed frus­tra­tion with what she deemed to be a response from Israel that was wholly unpro­voked. She wrote on Twit­ter: “#Hamas has observed cease­fire, Shalit returned, now what?” [Con­trary to this claim, Hamas did not observe the cease­fire and was respon­si­ble for launch­ing more than 100 rock­ets into Gaza in the days pre­ced­ing Israel’s response.]

Other extreme com­ments include state­ments by:

  • Julio Pino, a pro­fes­sor at Kent State Uni­ver­sity who infa­mously shouted “Death to Israel” dur­ing a pro-Israel pre­sen­ta­tion on cam­pus last year. Pino called the action a “geno­cide” on his Face­book page.
  • Ali­son Weir, the direc­tor of the Coun­cil for the National Inter­est and If Amer­i­cans Knew, who referred to Israel’s actions as a “slaughter.”
  • Remi Kanazi, an anti-Israel activist and rap­per based in New York who wrote, “Dear Zion­ists: You have never ‘defended your­selves.’ You came in, stole land that wasn’t yours & main­tained a racist state through mas­sacres and brute force.”
  • Sherry Wolf, a Jew­ish anti-Zionist and mem­ber of the Inter­na­tional Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion, who wrote: “The homi­ci­dal racists who run Israel have launched an all-out bomb­ing cam­paign on Gaza…#FuckIsrael.”

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