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June 17, 2015 0

White House Hosts Conference on Combating International LGBT Hate Crimes

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On June 12, the White House hosted a “Con­ver­sa­tion on Com­bat­ing Bias-Motivated Vio­lence against LGBT Per­sons Around the World.”  Bias-motivated vio­lence against LGBT indi­vid­u­als remains dis­turbingly preva­lent, as doc­u­mented by a May 2015 report by the United Nations High Com­mis­sioner for Human Rights and the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act report.  The prob­lem is com­pounded by incon­sis­tent def­i­n­i­tions of hate crime and inad­e­quate hate crime data col­lec­tion efforts, accord­ing to a 2013 ADL/Human Rights First report on hate crimes in the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­rity and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe (OSCE) region.

Randy Berry, the State Department’s Spe­cial Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons,announced a num­ber of new Admin­is­tra­tion ini­tia­tives at the con­fer­ence, which fell dur­ing LGBT Pride Month.  He high­lighted exist­ing part­ner­ships and pledged to expand inter­na­tional law enforce­ment train­ing and tech­ni­cal assis­tance, as well as efforts to empower civil soci­ety and LGBT edu­ca­tion and advo­cacy orga­ni­za­tions. The Admin­is­tra­tion will con­tinue to draw on exist­ing exper­tise across the US Gov­ern­ment to enable orga­ni­za­tions and agen­cies abroad to request assis­tance to launch new local and national initiatives.

The White House pro­gram included pan­els focused on the impact of community-based orga­ni­za­tions, the role of law enforce­ment and the judi­ciary, and gov­ern­ment actions and best prac­tices – which was mod­er­ated by ADL Wash­ing­ton Coun­sel Michael Lieber­man.  The meet­ing built on a Decem­ber 2011 Pres­i­den­tial Mem­o­ran­dum on “Inter­na­tional Ini­tia­tives to Advance the Human Rights of Les­bian, Gay, Bisex­ual, and Trans­gen­der Per­sons.” Fed­eral agen­cies – espe­cially USAID, the Jus­tice Depart­ment, and the State Depart­ment – have done a lot of work on the issue.  The State Depart­ment released a report in May 2014 detail­ing its progress on car­ry­ing out the President’s Memorandum.

ADL works to address dis­crim­i­na­tion and vio­lence against LGBT indi­vid­u­als in the United States and abroad, fil­ing ami­cus briefs in Supreme Court cases, con­duct­ing work­shops and train­ing for edu­ca­tors and law enforce­ment offi­cials, and encour­ag­ing the col­lec­tion of hate crime sta­tis­tics that help local and fed­eral law enforce­ment track and address this issue. ADL rep­re­sen­ta­tives also helped craft the sem­i­nal OSCE pub­li­ca­tion, Hate Crime Laws: A Prac­ti­cal Guide, and main­tain rela­tion­ships with many human rights groups to track anti-Semitism, hate crimes, and vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion against LGBT per­sons at home and abroad.  ADL Wash­ing­ton Office Direc­tor Stacy Bur­dett, who also attended the con­fer­ence, leads that work.

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July 1, 2014 0

Iran Broadcasting Enters Ramadan With Anti-Semitism

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Screen shot from IRINN doc­u­men­tary aired June 30, 2014

In the lead up to the start of the month-long Mus­lim hol­i­day Ramadan, which is often char­ac­ter­ized with high tele­vi­sion view­er­ship fol­low­ing the break of the day’s fast, Iran’s broad­cast­ing author­ity, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB), has aired inter­views and doc­u­men­taries pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries of Jew­ish con­trol over Hol­ly­wood and a nefar­i­ous Jewish-Zionist plan to use sor­cery against Iran.

IRIB is the state-run broad­caster in Iran that uses its media plat­form to pro­mote the regime’s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ide­ol­ogy to the pub­lic. In the past, IRIB has used the Ramadan hol­i­day and the high nightly tele­vi­sion view­er­ship to broad­cast anti-Semitic films and tele­vi­sion series.

In an inter­view with a Tehran Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor and Islamic scholar Vali­ol­lah Naghipour­far on June 27, 2014, a series of out­landish anti-Semitic con­spir­a­cies were made accus­ing Jews of using sor­cery and witch­craft. When asked by the inter­viewer on IRIB’s Chan­nel 1 if Iran’s ene­mies can use jinns, super­nat­ural beings in Islamic the­ol­ogy (known as ‘genies’ in the West­ern lex­i­con), to gather intel­li­gence and spy on Iran, Naghipour­far responded that, “Jews have a very strong con­nec­tion with jinns and sehr [magic].” Naghipour­far added that the major­ity of Jews are “sor­cer­ers” who can send jinns to gather intel­li­gence and spy on Iran on behalf of the Israeli government.

Three days later, IRIB’s 24-hour news net­work, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran News Net­work (IRINN), aired a short doc­u­men­tary, called “Zion­ist Aspi­ra­tions to Con­trol the West.” The doc­u­men­tary pro­moted anti-Semitic canards of alleged Zion­ist and Jew­ish con­trol of U.S. pol­i­tics and poli­cies, Hol­ly­wood, and academia.

The doc­u­men­tary employed the terms “Zion­ist” and “Jew­ish” inter­change­ably, claim­ing that one of Pres­i­dent Obama’s biggest sup­port­ers is Gold­man Sachs, “America’s largest bank­ing net­work that has no non-Jewish own­ers and who are all Zion­ists and sup­port­ers of Israel.” The doc­u­men­tary also shows a graphic of the globe with a Star of David super­im­posed on it fol­lowed by the logo of AIPAC, claim­ing that the most pow­er­ful lobby in the U.S. “works for the inter­ests of another coun­try and every­one knows which one.” Pic­tures of sev­eral high-ranking offi­cials in global finance, such as for­mer chair­man of the Fed­eral Reserve Ben Bernanke and for­mer IMF Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Dominique Strauss-Kahn, were depicted as the Jew­ish hands in con­trol of the global economy.

Inter­spersed with scenes from Schindler’s List, the doc­u­men­tary also claimed that Jew­ish and Zion­ist con­trol of Hol­ly­wood have built their stature by exploit­ing the Holo­caust and anti-Semitism, com­par­ing it to when “the Chil­dren of Israel built the golden calf dur­ing Moses’ absence and began wor­ship­ping it.” The nar­ra­tor added that, “Zion­ist elites even say that non-Jews are not rec­og­nized as human beings and only Jews have importance.”

The month of Ramadan is a time when many Mus­lims around the world take time to reflect on their faith through prayer and fast­ing. Ramadan is also prime time tele­vi­sion sea­son for many coun­tries in the Arab and Mus­lim world when mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar tele­vi­sion series are aired nightly after the end of the fast.

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August 1, 2012 3

Anti-Semitism Pervasive in Ramadan Television Programs

Dur­ing Ramadan, the Mus­lim holy month observed by fast­ing and prayer, many satel­lite chan­nels in the Arab world broad­cast spe­cial pro­grams for the occa­sion that are rife with anti-Semitism and harsh anti-Israel expres­sions. These series are gen­er­ally very pop­u­lar and receive broader view­er­ship than pro­grams aired through­out the rest of the year.

Here are some exam­ples taken from the more pop­u­lar shows that have aired since the start of Ramadan this year:

Firqat Naji Attalah

The bank rob­bers dis­guise them­selves by dress­ing as Hasidic Jews.

This nightly series is widely aired through­out the Mid­dle East and depicts Israelis in clas­sic anti-Semitic fash­ion. A Mid­dle East broad­cast net­work, MBC, pro­moted the show say­ing it will “sur­prise the audi­ence with the sweet­est jokes about the ‘cheap Jew.’”

The show revolves around the char­ac­ter of Naji Atta­lah, a diplo­mat work­ing in the Egypt­ian embassy in Tel Aviv who decides to take revenge on Israel by rob­bing an Israeli bank. A scene in the first episode por­trayed an Israeli bank man­ager speak­ing Ara­bic with an Iraqi-Jewish accent. He offers Naji Atta­lah a cup of cof­fee that con­tains lit­tle cof­fee and no sugar. He then attempts to cheat Atta­lah while count­ing his money, an attempt to por­tray an image of the fru­gal and cheat­ing Jew.

The staff at the Egypt­ian embassy is por­trayed as unhappy about deal­ing with Jews. While they rec­og­nize that they are required to deal with Israelis as part of their job, they are por­trayed as being hate­ful towards them.  In one scene, a dri­ver for the Egypt­ian embassy exclaims, “When Hamas or Hezbol­lah launch a mis­sile on them [Israelis], one’s heart jumps out of joy.”

The main char­ac­ter is played by famous Egypt­ian actor Adil Imam, whose per­for­mance has been hailed as an amus­ing mock­ery of Jews’ alleged frugality.

Ashab il-Sabt

This bi-weekly show is aired by Ar-Rahma, a Salafist chan­nel based in Egypt that fea­tures an anti-Semitic pro­fes­sor at Tanta Uni­ver­sity in Egypt. The pro­fes­sor, Dr. Mohammed Jalal Idris, allegedly a spe­cial­ist in Hebrew lit­er­a­ture, uses the show as a podium to prop­a­gate the con­spir­acy the­o­ries espoused in the “Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion” and other hate­ful the­o­ries about Judaism.

The pro­gram fea­tures live call-ins from view­ers who ask Idris about Jews and Judaism. In one instance Idris was asked if he knows of a Jew­ish plan to con­trol the Mus­lim holy city of Mad­ina. He responded that Israel has sub­mit­ted a request to Saudi Ara­bia for com­pen­sa­tions worth mil­lions of dol­lars on behalf of the Jews who lived in Mad­ina 1400 years ago. Idris then added, “Egypt should request com­pen­sa­tions from Israel for the gold the Jews stole from Egypt,” refer­ring to the Exo­dus story in the Bible.

Il Hukm Ba’d il Muzawla

This Can­did Camera-style show, which airs on the Egypt-based An–Nahar TV, pro­vokes irra­tional and bla­tantly anti-Semitic reac­tions from its guests. In one episode, for exam­ple, a pop­u­lar Egypt­ian pub­lic fig­ure was informed that he was being inter­viewed by a French chan­nel. The inter­viewer pre­tended that she was an under­cover Israeli, grad­u­ally slip­ping into an Israeli accent and ask­ing polit­i­cal ques­tions related to Israel. The inter­vie­wee became con­vinced that he had been set up and attacked the pro­ducer, shout­ing “son of a dirty Jew­ish mother.” Other guests also have bru­tally beaten the staff when led to believe they were Jews.

Al-Ghalibun

The Hezbol­lah TV chan­nel, al Manar, is broad­cast­ing a new sea­son of last year’s suc­cess­ful series – “The Vic­to­ri­ous.” The series tells the story of the Israeli inva­sion of South Lebanon and the suf­fer­ing of the Lebanese peo­ple. The nar­ra­tive is extremely anti-Israel and reg­u­larly por­trays Israeli com­man­ders as con­spir­ing against the Lebanese lead­er­ship and peo­ple. In one of the scenes, an Israeli com­man­der says to his col­league: “This is the hap­pi­est day — as we ‘fin­ished’ with our ene­mies in Sabra and Shatila.”

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