houston » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘houston’
August 7, 2013 10

Extreme Anti-Israel Rhetoric Marks Al Quds Day Protests Across U.S.

In com­mem­o­ra­tion of Al Quds Day, an annual day of protest typ­i­cally held on the last Fri­day of Ramadan, large anti-Israel ral­lies took place in cities across the U.S. on August 2.  The day is used to call for the lib­er­a­tion of Al Quds, which means Jerusalem in Arabic.

These ral­lies are noto­ri­ous for their vir­u­lent rhetoric against the state of Israel, includ­ing, at times, anti-Semitic alle­ga­tions about Jews and Israelis. Speak­ers at this year’s protests in the U.S. accused Israel of per­pe­trat­ing atroc­i­ties against Pales­tini­ans com­pa­ra­ble to the Nazi Holo­caust, rejected Israel’s right to exist and expressed oppo­si­tion to the renewed peace talks tak­ing place between Israel and the Palestinians.

The fol­low­ing is a sum­mary of some of the Al Quds Day rallies:

Hous­ton, Texas

holocaust-is-revived-houston

Al Quds Day pro­tester at Hous­ton rally

A large rally was held down­town with signs and ban­ners that read, “Chil­dren Are Buried Alive, Holo­caust Is Revived” and “Stop Pales­tin­ian Geno­cide: End Zion­ist Apartheid.” Pro­test­ers also led chants of “U.S. money is the cause, it’s another Holo­caust” and “U.S. weapons go away. Stop the killing right away.”

Wash­ing­ton D.C.

An activist affil­i­ated with CODEPINK, a group that seeks to reduce U.S. sup­port for Israel, named Tighe Barry told those gath­ered at an Al Quds Day rally that “there’s a Holo­caust going on in Pales­tine.” Barry charged that there is a “Zion­ist impres­sion” in the Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion sys­tem and relayed that he had requested that a teacher in his child’s school “teach about all the holo­causts” as part of a course on the Nazi Holo­caust. When the teacher refused, Barry said he offered to teach the class him­self and miss work in order to “talk about these other holo­causts that are tak­ing place like the Nakba.”

San Jose, California

The Shia Asso­ci­a­tion of Bay Area (SABA) held an Al Quds Day rally on its premises fea­tur­ing talks on the con­di­tions var­i­ous Shi­ite com­mu­ni­ties face. A mem­ber of the con­gre­ga­tion, Zaki Hus­sain, gave a slideshow pre­sen­ta­tion titled, “Should Shia Mus­lims Sup­port Pales­tine?” in which Israeli poli­cies were likened to Nazi per­se­cu­tions. Hus­sain told the audi­ence that as Shia Mus­lims and fol­low­ers of the teach­ings of Aya­tol­lah Ruhol­lah Khome­ini they have a respon­si­bil­ity to defend the Pales­tini­ans even though the Pales­tini­ans are Sunni Muslims.

New York City

Approx­i­mately 200 peo­ple gath­ered at a rally in Times Square where sev­eral speak­ers lam­basted the exis­tence of the state of Israel and the renewed peace nego­ti­a­tions between Israel and the Pales­tini­ans. Bill Doares from the Inter­na­tional Action Cen­ter described Has­san Nas­ral­lah, the leader of the Lebanon-based, Iranian-backed ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Hezbol­lah, as “the leader of the resis­tance.” He summed up a recent speech by Nas­ral­lah by say­ing, “as long as Israel exists, it’ll be the threat to the exis­tence of Lebanon and its neigh­bors. So it is sim­ple, one state in all of Pales­tine for all people.”

Ben Becker, a national orga­nizer for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), used his time at the podium to con­demn the lat­est peace nego­ti­a­tions, describ­ing them as “noth­ing but a farce” and claim­ing that “they’re attempts to get some Pales­tini­ans to nego­ti­ate away those sov­er­eign and national rights.” Fatin Jarara, an activist with the anti-Israel group Al-Awda NY, expressly rejected Israel’s right to exist: “Pales­tini­ans in the dias­pora reject unequiv­o­cally any com­pro­mise over an inch of his­toric Pales­tine. Not just Jerusalem, not just the West Bank, not just Gaza.”

neteuri-karta-al-quds-day-nyc

Neteuri Karta mem­ber at Times Square Quds Day rally

In addi­tion to these inflam­ma­tory speeches, signs at the rally read, “Israel (crossed out), Much Worse Than the Nazis” (with a Swastika on it), Stop Pales­tin­ian Geno­cide: End Zion­ist Apartheid and “No New Nego­ti­a­tions! Pales­tine is NOT FOR SALE.”

The protests in the U.S. echoed what was said by inter­na­tional fig­ures at demon­stra­tions in the Mid­dle East, includ­ing Iran’s for­mer pres­i­dent, Mah­moud Ahmad­i­na­jad, and Nasrallah.

In Iran, where Inter­na­tional Al Quds Day was estab­lished in 1979 by the founder of the Islamic Repub­lic, Aya­tol­lah Ruhol­lah Khome­ini, Ahmadine­jad derided peace talks between Israeli and Pales­tin­ian lead­ers, claim­ing that the Israelis seek the “dom­i­na­tion and plun­der­ing of the world and human­ity” and that “today, all polit­i­cal lead­ers are Zionists.”

Nas­ral­lah, in a rare appear­ance at a rally in south­ern Beirut, said, “Israel’s demise is a national Lebanese inter­est” and pledged that Hezbol­lah would never “aban­don Palestine.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

September 24, 2012 0

“Zionism” Blamed for Anti-Islam Film At Protests in Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Protests held in Hous­ton, Los Ange­les and Wash­ing­ton D.C. last Fri­day and Sat­ur­day accused Zion­ists of hav­ing a hand in the pro­duc­tion of the anti-Islam film, Inno­cence of Mus­lims.

The ral­lies, which were spon­sored by the Mus­lim Con­gress, a Shi’a orga­ni­za­tion founded in 2005, also fea­tured plac­ards and slo­gans accus­ing the Amer­ica and other West­ern nations of har­bor­ing dou­ble stan­dards regard­ing what con­sti­tutes free­dom of speech.

Sign at Mus­lim Con­gress protest in Houston

Pro­test­ers at the Hous­ton rally, which was co-sponsored by the Islamic Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter (IEC), a Houston-based Shi’a mosque and pri­vate school with a record of employ­ing stereo­typ­i­cal anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives in its pub­li­ca­tions, held a ban­ner that read: “Insult of Islam = Free­dom of Speech? Inquiry on Holo­caust= Anti­semitism? Dou­ble Stan­dards!” Pro­test­ers also chanted slo­gans blam­ing Zion­ists for the film’s pro­duc­tion and held posters with “Yes to Moses, Yes To Jesus, Yes to Muham­mad, No to Zion­ism” writ­ten on them.

Although they were billed as “peace­ful protests” to “honor Divine Prophets, includ­ing Abra­ham, Moses, Jesus and Muham­mad,” a Mus­lim Con­gress press release issued after the events called the film “a by-product of a cul­ture cre­ated by … war-profiteers, and the Zion­ist lobby.”

The same release included a res­o­lu­tion call­ing for lim­its on free­dom of speech and asked for “all Amer­i­cans of faith [to] stand together against the plans of the Zion­ist to dis­unite us, as the Zion­ists respect nei­ther Judaism, Chris­tian­ity or Islam.”

The Mus­lim Con­gress has reg­u­larly fea­tured anti-Semitic speak­ers such as Abdul Alim Musa of the extrem­ist As-Sabiqun group and Moham­mad al-Asi at its annual conventions.

Sim­i­lar to the protest in Hous­ton, pro­test­ers in front of the Los Ange­les Fed­eral Build­ing held up posters denounc­ing the film and blam­ing the vio­lence seen in sev­eral Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries on Zion­ism. One poster read, “Yes to Torah, Yes to Bible, Yes to Quran, No to Zionism.”

PressTV, the Iran­ian government’s pri­mary medium for pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries to English-speaking coun­tries, described the Los Ange­les protest as a reac­tion to the anti-Islam film pro­duced “thanks to Jew­ish dona­tions total­ing USD five million.”

The false claim that the film was the work of an “Israeli Jew” ini­tially spread when the film­maker said in inter­views that his project had 100 Jew­ish back­ers who had invested $5 mil­lion to pro­duce it. It was later revealed that the film was cre­ated, pro­duced and pro­moted by sev­eral Chris­t­ian anti-Muslim activists con­nected to a net­work of anti-Muslim organizations.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

August 21, 2012 4

“Free Palestine! End ZioNazi Apartheid!”: A Snapshot of Al Quds Day 2012

Al Quds Day is com­mem­o­rated annu­ally with mass ral­lies and speeches on the last Fri­day of Ramadan. It has tra­di­tion­ally been marked by hos­tile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, includ­ing bla­tant anti-Semitism.

Al Quds Day Protest in LA

This year, for exam­ple, Iran­ian pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad described Israel as an “insult to all of humankind” and called for Israel’s destruc­tion. Secretary-General of Hezbol­lah Has­san Nas­ral­lah sim­i­larly threat­ened that Hezbol­lah has the power to “trans­form the lives of mil­lions of Zion­ists in Israel to a real hell.”

While the largest Al Quds Day events gen­er­ally take place in the Mid­dle East, protests are also held in cities across the United States. The protests, which took place last Fri­day in a dozen U.S. cities, were rife with extreme lan­guage, includ­ing signs that com­pared Israel’s treat­ment of the Pales­tini­ans to the Holocaust.

In New York, L.A. and Hous­ton, large ban­ners read­ing “Stop Pales­tin­ian Geno­cide” were on dis­play, as well as other signs that read, “Israel is a Can­cer,” “Down with Zion­ism,” Holo­caust in Pales­tine” and “Gaza=Auschwitz.” A woman in New York held a sign that said, “Free Pales­tine! End ZioN­azi Apartheid! No $$ to ‘Israel!’ Boy­cott ‘Israel’.”

Speak­ers at sev­eral ral­lies also used fanat­i­cal rhetoric to denounce Israel. Rabbi Dovid Feld­man of Neturei Karta called for the “dis­man­tle­ment of the entire State of Israel” dur­ing an address at the Los Ange­les protest. Another Neturei Karta speaker, this one at the New York rally held in Times Square, led the audi­ence in chants of “Judaism, Yes, Zion­ism, No, the State of Israel must go” and “From the River to the Sea, Pales­tine will be free.” In a media inter­view, an orga­nizer of the Hous­ton protest pledged to con­tinue to “com­mem­o­rate” Al Quds Day, say­ing, “This demand for jus­tice will take place every year until Pales­tine will be free from Zion­ist hands!”

NYC Al Quds Day Flyer

A sec­ond speaker at the event in New York, ANSWER activist Sara Floun­ders, expressed implicit sup­port for Hezbol­lah when she addressed the crowd, say­ing “We stand with the resis­tance in Lebanon today.” Floun­ders, who also declared sol­i­dar­ity with the regimes in Iran and Syria, has pre­vi­ously par­tic­i­pated in con­fer­ences in Beirut attended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Hamas and Hezbol­lah. At one such con­fer­ence in Jan­u­ary 2009, Floun­ders said, “We need to mil­i­tantly sup­port Hamas…We need to make it clear that we sup­port the right to resist, the right to fire rockets.”

Many of the protests also fea­tured imagery and mes­sag­ing designed to fur­ther fan the flames of the con­flict and paint Israel as a vio­lent oppres­sor. At the rally in Los Ange­les, for exam­ple, sev­eral chil­dren held signs that read, “Israel is killing chil­dren like me.”

The Iranian-owned tele­vi­sion sta­tion Press TV reported on the Al Quds Day protest that took place in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. and inter­viewed one of the speak­ers at the event. The speaker, Imam Abdul Alim Musa (an anti-Semitic extrem­ist who founded the Sabiqun move­ment) called for Israel’s defeat and described Gaza as the “biggest open-air prison.”

Al Quds Day, which refers to the Ara­bic term for Jerusalem, was ini­ti­ated in 1979 in Iran by Aya­tol­lah Khomeini.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,