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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.

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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.

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June 15, 2012 5

Anti-Israel Billboard Campaign Hits Los Angeles

A Bill­board Dis­played in Los Angeles

Update: As of June 24th, CBS Out­door adver­tis­ing took down the 23 anti-Israel bill­boards because the Coali­tion to Stop 30 Bil­lion to Israel used the ‘CBS Out­door’ name in their pub­li­ca­tions with­out per­mis­sion. Nonethe­less, the group said, “we hope to con­tinue our L.A. cam­paign, but regard­less we will be look­ing at other cities to con­tinue this impor­tant work in the future.”

In a con­tin­ued effort to mar­gin­al­ize Israel through adver­tise­ments, a new bill­board cam­paign was launched in Los Ange­les this week by the anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion “Coali­tion to Stop $30 Bil­lion to Israel.”

Accord­ing to a press release issued by the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occu­pa­tion, there will be 23 bill­boards dis­played in the Los Ange­les area that read, “Tell Con­gress: Spend Our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military.”

The US Campaign’s press release asserts that the “Israel lobby” might try to put an end to the cam­paign, but that sup­port­ers of the bill­boards’ mes­sage “can­not allow them to sti­fle dialogue.”

U.S. aid to Israel is crit­i­cal for Israel, but it is crit­i­cal for the U.S. as well. Israel is required to spend most of the aid on American-made prod­ucts and mil­i­tary equip­ment, which ben­e­fits the Amer­i­can econ­omy. In addi­tion, the U.S. gov­ern­ment rightly con­sid­ers pro­vid­ing a key ally in the region with aid to be in its own best interests.

The Coali­tion to Stop $30 Bil­lion to Israel was first cre­ated in 2009 in New Mex­ico. The group has been respon­si­ble for anti-Israel bill­boards and ads in Albu­querque, Seat­tle and, most recently, Den­ver.

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