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August 22, 2016 0

Middle East Press Review: July-December 2015

Anti-Semitism is wide­spread through­out the Arab and Mus­lim world, man­i­fested in many seg­ments of soci­ety. The Anti-Defamation League mon­i­tors and doc­u­ments anti-Semitic car­toons and arti­cles, which appear daily in the Arab media. This pub­li­ca­tion is the lat­est com­pi­la­tion of select anti-Semitic car­i­ca­tures and themes, and includes exam­ples from July-December 2015.

News­pa­pers across the Arab and Mus­lim world con­tinue to fea­ture anti-Semitic car­i­ca­tures and themes, with stereo­typ­i­cal depic­tions of Jews that include big noses, black coats and hats. Many pro­mote age-old global Jew­ish con­spir­acy the­o­ries, includ­ing con­trol of the US and inter­na­tional gov­ern­ments, blood libel, the use of ani­mal imagery – rodents, dogs, snakes, and octo­puses – and Nazi analo­gies to por­tray Israel and Jews as sin­is­ter predators.

Filastin, August 2, 2015 (Gaza)

Filastin, August 2, 2015 (Gaza)

A num­ber of cur­rent events themes are high­lighted in this com­pi­la­tion, including:

  • Car­toons relat­ing to the hor­rific Duma mur­der of Pales­tin­ian infant Ali Dawab­sheh by Jew­ish extremists.
  • Car­toons accus­ing Jews of being behind global insta­bil­ity, includ­ing Jews depicted as respon­si­ble for the ter­ror­ism and geno­cide being per­pe­trated by ISIS.
  • Car­toons depict­ing the recent Pales­tin­ian vio­lence in Israel – the so-called “knife Intifada” – with Israelis in stereo­typ­i­cal Jew­ish garb as vic­tims of Pales­tin­ian stabbings.

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August 19, 2016 0

The Living Memory of a Lynching

How an Injus­tice Com­mit­ted Over 100 Years Ago Inspires Our Com­mit­ment to Jus­tice Today

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This blog orig­i­nally appeared on Medium

Leo Frank

This week, we mark a somber anniver­sary of the 101st anniver­sary of the lynch­ing of Leo Frank, a Jew­ish busi­ness­man sent to Geor­gia to man­age his family’s pen­cil fac­tory. This lynch­ing took place at a time of ram­pant anti-Semitism in the South and more broadly in Amer­i­can soci­ety. So it was no sur­prise that when a young Chris­t­ian girl was found mur­dered on the prop­erty, fin­gers were pointed at the out­sider Frank. Despite a lack of evi­dence, and in part due to an envi­ron­ment of incite­ment, Frank was found guilty and sen­tenced to death.

When the gov­er­nor of Geor­gia sub­se­quently com­muted Frank’s sen­tence from cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment to life impris­on­ment, a mob was enraged by this act of mercy for a Jew. At mid­night just over 100 years ago, they tore Frank from his prison cell at the Milledgeville State Pen­i­ten­tiary and hung him on a tree in Mari­etta. Pho­tog­ra­phers cap­tured the grotes­querie for posterity.

The sham trial and bru­tal lynch­ing were an injus­tice and a wound whose pain still sears the Jew­ish com­mu­nity. It was an iso­lated inci­dent for the Jew­ish com­mu­nity, but just one of thou­sands of lynch­ings car­ried out against black Amer­i­cans dur­ing that time, mur­ders that still scar our national psy­che. And it was a moment in time that made clear the need for ADL, which had been founded in 1913.

In this moment, our founders hud­dled in Chicago and laid out a char­ter for a new orga­ni­za­tion they called the Anti-Defamation League. They wrote that it would be ener­gized by a sim­ple mis­sion: “to stop the defama­tion of the Jew­ish peo­ple and to secure fair treat­ment and jus­tice to all.”

These activists set out to address a mis­sion which even­tu­ally led ADL to address the sys­temic dis­crim­i­na­tion and per­va­sive prej­u­dice that kept Jews from achiev­ing full equal­ity in the United States. Decades later, this led to the break down of quo­tas that kept Jews out of higher edu­ca­tion and the tear­ing down of cul­tural bar­ri­ers that pre­vented our com­mu­nity from par­tic­i­pat­ing fully in Amer­i­can life. Their pas­sion prompted our work to unmask hate groups and expose big­ots. It moti­vated our com­mit­ment to use edu­ca­tion to tear out hatred at its roots. It dri­ves our work today to under­stand anti-Semitism around the world and to use inno­va­tion to iden­tify and call out hate in all its forms.

Basi­cally, the ADL could not have saved Leo Frank, but we since have endeav­ored to build a world where this kind of lynch­ing never again would take place.

In 2016, the Amer­i­can Jew­ish com­mu­nity cer­tainly has over­come many of the obsta­cles that once held us back. We now pos­sess a degree of polit­i­cal power and social cap­i­tal that was unimag­in­able in the early twen­ti­eth cen­tury. To a large extent, the open anti-Semitism that was woven into the cul­ture of a prior gen­er­a­tion has been pushed out of the realm of polite con­ver­sa­tion. But it has not gone away.

Anti-Semitism remains a potent force and a per­sis­tent prob­lem in our soci­ety, even if it now assumes dif­fer­ent forms. In an age of fil­ter bub­bles and per­sonal news feeds, self-selecting com­mu­ni­ties traf­fic in anti-Semitism and rein­force each other’s con­spir­a­cies. We also encounter this hatred in rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent ways on social mediaon our col­lege cam­puses or even on the wrestling mat in the Olympics.

Indeed, though open anti-Semitism remains largely taboo in the main­stream, we see haters often hid­ing behind a veneer of ‘polit­i­cal cor­rect’ hos­til­ity, direct­ing their ani­mus toward the Jew­ish state rather than Jews as a reli­gious group. But we rec­og­nize the dou­ble stan­dards, overt demo­niza­tion and the denial of the very right of the Jew­ish state to exist, a phe­nom­e­non also known as dele­git­imiza­tion. Despite all the grave injus­tices in the world, these are tac­tics only directed at Israel. They are reminders that what we are fac­ing in a ris­ing tide of anti-Zionism is lit­tle more than a mod­ern ver­sion of the Old­est Hatred.

That is why ADL remains ded­i­cated to our found­ing pur­pose. We never will relent in the fight against anti-Semitism. And that is why we also speak out against all forms of bigotry.

Some seek to por­tray ADL’s one hun­dred year com­mit­ment to fight hatred in all forms as a dilu­tion of our focus. They say that ADL has lost its way. But we are not dis­tracted by arm­chair crit­ics who mis­char­ac­ter­ize our work from the com­fort of the side­lines. We know that our case is strength­ened when we dare greatly, that we are stronger when we find com­mon cause with oth­ers who also face hate.

The pur­suit of part­ners does not mean that we will shy away fight­ing anti-Semitism when­ever it comes from. ADL will con­tinue to call out any­one who ped­dles in prej­u­dice regard­less of their party or sta­tion, whether it’s those seek­ing pub­lic office who resort to car­toon­ish slan­der or those who traf­fic in a mod­ern ver­sion of the age-old blood libel.

And we will con­tinue to stand by other com­mu­ni­ties who suf­fer from hatred and ter­ror. That is ADL stood with the Sikh com­mu­nity after the mur­der of four wor­ship­pers at a Gur­d­wara in the sum­mer of 2012. That is why in the wake of the mas­sacre at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last year, ADL launched 50 States Against Hate, to ensure that there are ade­quate hate crimes laws in all 50 states to pro­tect mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties. That is why we sup­ported the LGBT com­mu­nity after the heinous ter­ror attack per­pe­trated in Orlando ear­lier this sum­mer. And that is why ADL will call outanti-Muslim big­otry and the wor­ry­ing increase in vio­lence tar­get­ing Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties and places of worship.

Our tra­di­tion implores us: “Jus­tice, jus­tice shall you pur­sue.” On this anniver­sary, Leo Frank’s mem­ory impels us to ignore the crit­ics and fight fero­ciously against anti-Semitism and big­otry in all its forms. To para­phrase Dr. King, we recom­mit to the strug­gle because the work is not yet done.

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August 8, 2016 9

Israeli Athletes Encounter Hostility At Rio Olympic Games

The Olympic games, cur­rently tak­ing place in Rio, aim to bring together the best ath­letes from around the world in the spirit of pro­mot­ing peace and unity through com­pet­i­tive sports. For Israelis, how­ever, the Olympics will for­ever be tainted by the 1972 Munich games, where 11 Israeli ath­letes were bru­tally mur­dered by Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists. These days, anti-Israel vio­lence at the Olympics has been replaced by pol­i­tics, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from coun­tries hos­tile to Israel going to great lengths to avoid any inter­ac­tion with Israeli athletes.

On Fri­day, mem­bers of the Israeli Olympic del­e­ga­tion were phys­i­cally blocked from board­ing an opening-ceremonies bound bus by the head of the Lebanese del­e­ga­tion, appar­ently because he didn’t want his team to ride with Israelis. The Lebanese Min­is­ter of Youth and Sport praised the del­e­ga­tion head, whose actions were lauded in the Lebanese media, say­ing his actions were “prin­ci­pled and patri­otic.” Fol­low­ing the inci­dent, the head of Lebanon’s Olympic Com­mit­tee was rebuked by the Olympic orga­niz­ers.
Israeli Olympic Team

On Sun­day, Saudi Judo fighter Joud Fahmy for­feited her first-round match against Chris­tianne Leg­en­til of Mau­ri­tius in order to avoid fac­ing Israeli Gili Cohen in the next round (who Fahmy would have faced if she had defeated Leg­en­til). The Saudi Olympic team tweeted that Fahmy with­drew because of “injuries” to her arms and legs, but the Israeli press reported that Fahmy was in fact not hurt and dropped out to avoid com­pet­ing against Cohen.

A sim­i­lar inci­dent occurred dur­ing the 2012 Lon­don Olympics, when Iran­ian judo cham­pion Javad Mahjoub, who was sched­uled to face Israeli Arik Ze’evi, with­drew from com­pe­ti­tion, claim­ing health con­cerns. Mahjoub had pre­vi­ously acknowl­edged throw­ing matches to avoid com­pet­ing against Israeli athletes.

In recent years, coun­tries hos­tile to Israel, includ­ing Kuwait and Malaysia, have denied Israeli ath­letes visas to par­tic­i­pate in inter­na­tional sport­ing com­pe­ti­tions. The most infa­mous case was from 2009, when the United Arab Emi­rates denied Israeli ten­nis player Sha­har Pe’er a visa to com­pete in an inter­na­tional ten­nis tour­na­ment in Dubai. A num­ber of impor­tant ten­nis fig­ures, includ­ing Venus Williams and Andy Rod­dick (who dropped out in protest), pub­licly con­demned the UAE deci­sion, and Pe’er was allowed to com­pete the fol­low­ing year, albeit with heavy restrictions.

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