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October 5, 2012 5

Free Gaza Founder Embraced by Jewish Groups Despite Recent Anti-Semitic Tweet

Update, Octo­ber 10, 2012: Jew­ish Voice for Peace issued a state­ment on Octo­ber 7 announc­ing that it  is “dis­as­so­ci­at­ing our­selves from spon­sor­ship of Berlin’s cur­rent book tour in the U.S.” and would no longer endorse Free Gaza Movement-related activ­ity. The state­ment described Berlin’s expla­na­tions and apol­ogy as inad­e­quate, say­ing “We unfor­tu­nately don’t think her responses ade­quately address our con­cern about cir­cu­lat­ing anti-semitic materials.”

Greta Berlin, the co-founder of the Free Gaza Move­ment (FGM), is plan­ning to visit the West Coast next week to pro­mote her new book, Free­dom Sailors, which is about the tra­vails of the Free Gaza Move­ment and its boat cam­paigns to Gaza. Two Jew­ish anti-Zionist groups based in Los Ange­les, Jew­ish Voice for PeaceLA and LA Jews for Peace, are spon­sor­ing one of her appear­ances, which will take place next Thurs­day, Octo­ber 11, at the Lev­an­tine Cul­tural Center. 

Last week, Berlin posted a vir­u­lently anti-Semitic tweet to the FGM Twit­ter account, which she oper­ates, that claimed that Zion­ists “oper­ated the con­cen­tra­tion camps.” The tweet has since sparked sig­nif­i­cant media atten­tion and out­rage, even from some anti-Israel activists. Berlin and FGM sub­se­quently apol­o­gized, claim­ing that the tweet was an acci­dent and was only intended for Berlin’s Face­book page.

Berlin ini­tially claimed that she had not watched the video, which was titled “Zion­ists oper­ated the con­cen­tra­tion camps and helped mur­der mil­lions of inno­cent Jews,” and was unaware of its con­tent. Later, FGM issued an apol­ogy on its web­site offer­ing a dif­fer­ent rea­son for the alleged over­sight. The state­ment claimed that the post was intended to be received by a group of peo­ple on her Face­book page who were in the midst of a dis­cus­sion about “pro­pa­ganda and racism.” There is no evi­dence of this dis­cus­sion on Berlin’s Face­book page.

In fact, Berlin’s Face­book page con­tains sev­eral other recent hate­ful post­ings. On the same day Berlin posted the offend­ing tweet, she posted a pic­ture to her Face­book page of Iran­ian pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad shak­ing the hand of a mem­ber of the anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta. Berlin added the fol­low­ing com­men­tary: “if he hated jews so much, as he is often accused of, would he be warmly greet­ing some of them? what he hates is zion­ism, and so do i!”

Berlin is also sched­uled to make sev­eral other speak­ing appear­ances next week to pro­mote her book, includ­ing an appear­ance at UCLA, and var­i­ous stops in the Pacific Northwest.

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August 9, 2012 0

Anti-Semitism Ever Present on Al-Awda’s Anti-Israel Listserve

One of the old­est and best-known pro-Palestinian orga­ni­za­tions in the U.S. main­tains a list­serve that reg­u­larly dis­trib­utes anti-Semitic pro­pa­ganda and con­spir­acy the­o­ries to its members.

On Tues­day, the orga­ni­za­tion, Al-Awda, dis­trib­uted an arti­cle via the list­serve called “Zion­ist Media Dom­i­na­tion: The Jew­ish Sui­cide Bomber That You Never Heard of.” The arti­cle was writ­ten by a 9/11 con­spir­acy the­o­rist who claimed that an unsuc­cess­ful ter­ror­ist attack on the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the early 1980s was cov­ered up in the media because the per­pe­tra­tor was an Israeli and Zion­ist Jews have “supreme control…over the Amer­i­can press.” The author, Mar­tin Iqbal, also repeated his long­stand­ing con­spir­acy the­ory that the Israeli Mossad “took part in the 9/11 attacks.”

This arti­cle was sent to the listserve’s sub­scribers twice, once by a Pales­tin­ian activist from the UK who reg­u­larly dis­trib­utes anti-Semitic con­tent and once by a North­ern California-based activist named Paul Larudee. Larudee has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the domes­tic anti-Israel move­ment, includ­ing co-founding the Inter­na­tional Sol­i­dar­ity Move­ment and the Free Gaza Move­ment, which was largely respon­si­ble for the May 2011 Gaza flotilla.

Larudee has occa­sion­ally sent extreme mes­sages to the list­serve, includ­ing a mes­sage sev­eral days ear­lier con­tain­ing what is described as “a list of a 100 Israeli Air-Force pilots under active duty” replete with pho­tos, their ID num­bers and dates of birth. The mes­sage describes the sol­diers as “war crim­i­nals” who have been pro­vided with a “con­trived veil of anonymity [that] enables their crimes with­out them suf­fer­ing any fear.” The next line reads, “Please use and spread this infor­ma­tion as widely as possible.”

On the day of the Bul­garia ter­ror­ist attack that killed five Israeli tourists, the list­serve, which is hosted by Yahoo! Groups, con­tained an arti­cle by well-known Holo­caust denier Michael Hoff­man. The arti­cle, titled “Israeli false flag/black op in Bul­gar­ian ter­ror attack?” artic­u­lated con­spir­a­to­r­ial Iran­ian claims that Israel would carry out ter­ror­ist attacks against its own cit­i­zens abroad in an attempt to frame Iran.

Older mes­sages also con­tain nasty imagery about Jews and Israel. A par­tic­u­larly offen­sive arti­cle dis­trib­uted to the list­serve in 2010 described Israel as a soci­ety of “racists, can­ni­bals and Nazi-minded mur­ders and child killers” and alleged that the then-ongoing cam­paign for Gilad Shalit’s release was being “pub­li­cized by the Jewish-controlled media in Europe and North America.”

E-mails in 2009, which ADL reported on at the time on our Web site, were marked by claims that Israel secretly orches­trates Pales­tin­ian sui­cide bomb­ings, that Jews are guilty of engag­ing in organ traf­fick­ing and that it is sen­si­ble to “doubt” the verac­ity of the Holo­caust. One mes­sage referred to FOX News and CNN as “Zion­ist Jew network[s]” that are con­trolled by “Jew Zion­ist masters.”

And in 2007, Al-Awda dis­trib­uted com­mu­niqués from the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine (PFLP). Nearly all of the com­mu­niqués expressed sup­port for ter­ror­ist activ­ity, extolling “mar­tyrs,” encour­ag­ing the “resis­tance,” and detail­ing vio­lence against Israeli troops.

While each mes­sage posted to Al-Awda’s list­serve includes a dis­claimer stat­ing that it rep­re­sents “the views of their authors and not nec­es­sar­ily those” of the orga­ni­za­tion, the listserve’s set­tings state that all post­ings require approval by a group mod­er­a­tor in order for them to be sent to list recip­i­ents. It seems that the mod­er­a­tors of the Al-Awda list­serve will­ingly approve these mes­sages of hate and conspiracy.

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June 27, 2012 0

Sabeel Attacks Israel From All Angles In Its “Cornerstone” Publication

The Spring 2012 edi­tion of Cor­ner­stone, a pub­li­ca­tion of the Sabeel Ecu­meni­cal Lib­er­a­tion The­ol­ogy Cen­ter, is a full scale assault on Israel’s legit­i­macy from all angles. The Sabeel Cen­ter is a dri­ving force behind the cam­paign by main­line Protes­tant churches to divest from Israel, includ­ing a num­ber of pro­posed res­o­lu­tions being con­sid­ered at next week’s Pres­by­ter­ian Gen­eral Assembly.

The pub­li­ca­tion depicts Israel as sys­tem­at­i­cally racist, employs offen­sive Holo­caust imagery and uses the­o­log­i­cal argu­ments to demo­nize the Jew­ish State.

An arti­cle titled The Role of the Prophet, writ­ten by Sabeel Cen­ter co-founder and exec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Jonathan Kut­tab, notes that “Judaism brought [together] the two cor­rec­tives of the Law and the Prophets.” It then describes Israel as an unjust and racist coun­try that approves “laws that vio­late the inter­ests and free­doms of the indi­vid­ual or the minori­ties liv­ing among them.”

Kut­tab blames most Jews in Israel for what he per­ceives as unfair treat­ment of the Arab pop­u­la­tion, say­ing, “the major­ity of Israeli Jews, act­ing through their duly elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives are the archi­tects of these laws.”

An arti­cle sub­mit­ted by Mos­sawa, the advo­cacy cen­ter for Arab cit­i­zens of Israel, is titled Anti-Democratic, Anti-Arab Leg­is­la­tion in Israel. The syn­op­sis states “there are at least 35 laws which dis­crim­i­nate directly or indi­rectly against Arab cit­i­zens of Israel.” The arti­cle lists “four key leg­isla­tive mea­sures” as evi­dence, cit­ing as one exam­ple the Cit­i­zen­ship law, which Mos­sawa claims “dis­pro­por­tion­ately affects Arab cit­i­zens,” although it applies to all Israelis.

An Open Let­ter to For­eign Mis­sions by Taiseer Khatib, an Arab cit­i­zen of Israel, tells a story of his wife and chil­dren hav­ing prob­lems obtain­ing per­ma­nent res­i­dency inside of Israel. This prob­lem, Khatib con­tends, is a result of the Cit­i­zen­ship Law, which he claims shows Israel’s racism since its goal is allegedly to “dimin­ish the num­ber of the Arab pop­u­la­tion.” He adds that this “should remind Jews in Israel of dark times in their own his­tory, when they were them­selves sep­a­rated from their fam­i­lies, never to see them again.”

A poem titled Hear O Israel by Jew­ish Voice for Peace activist David Glick also makes claims that Israel is inher­ently racist and com­pares the coun­try to Nazi Ger­many, say­ing, “But what O Israel/Have you become?/The Nazis made me fear­ful to be a Jew/but you [Israel] have made me ashamed.” He then writes “Time to con­front the dark­ness we have become./With the Holo­caust it is Never Forget/but with Deir Yassin it is Never Mind.”

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