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August 9, 2012

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

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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May 23, 2012

Anti-Semite Dieudonne In the News in France

Update: Dieudonne ran unsuccessfully for French Parliament as the Anti-Zionist Party candidate from Dreux. He was eliminated in the second round of the election, receiving just 1.14% of votes castHis film, L’Antisémite, has been banned from the Cannes film festival for violating the festival’s policy of not “threatening public order or insulting religious beliefs.”

Anti-Semitic performer Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala has garnered some media attention in France since he announced on May 18 that he will be running for Parliament as a member of the Anti-Zionist Party (Parti Anti-Sioniste or PAS) in upcoming elections. Dieudonne is known for his performances which routinely include Holocaust denial, praise for Adolf Hitler, Nazi salutes, slurs against the Talmud and other anti-Semitic language.

This is not Dieudonne’s first time running for political office. Most recently, he stood as a candidate for the European Parliament in 2009 with the Anti-Zionist Party, receiving 1.3% of the vote. According to its website, the Anti-Zionist Party’s primary goal is to remove the “Zionist intervention” from the public affairs of France.

Dieudonne, one of four PAS members running for Parliament, hopes to represent the city of Dreux, 50 miles west of Paris. The other PAS candidates are running in the 8th and 13th districts in the North as well as the 14th district in the Rhone region.

While Dieudonne has repeatedly been prosecuted for his racist and anti-Semitic performances and comments, none of his criminal convictions render his candidacy illegal. According to an article in the French edition of The Huffington Post, even if his campaign materials incite hatred or racial violence, the penalties would be significant (€45,000 fine and five years in prison) but would not make him ineligible for Parliament.

As a 501(c)(3) organization, ADL does not endorse or oppose candidates for office in the United States or abroad.

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