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July 16, 2014 0

VIDEO: Disturbing Attacks on Israel at U.S. Rallies

ADL has been report­ing daily on the extreme vit­riol that has char­ac­ter­ized many of the anti-Israel ral­lies tak­ing place across the United States since the start of Israel’s mil­i­tary oper­a­tions to thwart Hamas rocket attacks last week.

Here’s a short video show­cas­ing the hate­ful and offen­sive mes­sages that reg­u­larly appear at these demonstrations:

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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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