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August 21, 2014 0

Anti-Zionist Group Targets Jewish Institutions

Over the past two weeks, demon­stra­tors from Jew­ish Voice for Peace (JVP), the largest Jew­ish anti-Zionist group in the United States, have entered Jew­ish insti­tu­tion build­ings to directly con­front the lead­ers of major Amer­i­can Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions over their sup­port for Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

On four sep­a­rate occa­sions, mem­bers of JVP made their way into build­ings belong­ing to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions and began to protest inside. Their goal in get­ting inside the build­ings was to hand deliver an open let­ter call­ing the insti­tu­tional Jew­ish community’s sup­port for Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge “painful” and “a betrayal of our [Jew­ish] his­tory and values.”

1. New York City (August 20) – Mem­bers of JVP’s New York City chap­ter entered the UJA-Federation offices in Man­hat­tan. One of the pro­test­ers, who live-tweeted from the demon­stra­tion, wrote “Occu­py­ing UJA fed­er­a­tion office in NYC now.” The pro­test­ers even­tu­ally moved their demon­stra­tion to the side­walk out­side of the building.

2. Den­ver (August 19) – The Front Range JVP chap­ter led a group of pro­test­ers into the JEW­ISH­col­orado build­ing in Den­ver. Inside the build­ing, pro­test­ers attempted to deliver their peti­tion to JEWISHcolorado’s Pres­i­dent and CEO Doug Seser­man. After their request was denied, they moved the demon­stra­tion to the building’s lobby and then even­tu­ally out­side of the build­ing after 911 was report­edly called.

3. Durham (August 12) – A small group of pro­test­ers from JVP’s North Car­olina chap­ter inter­rupted the “Com­mu­nity Gath­er­ing in Sup­port of Israel and Peace,” which was spon­sored by the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tions of Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill. While a speaker was deliv­er­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion, mem­bers of the group inter­rupted his speech, unfolded a large ban­ner and began to make demands from insti­tu­tional Jew­ish lead­er­ship about their stance on Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

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JVP mem­bers at the Philadel­phia Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion building

4. Philadel­phia (August 8) – Pro­test­ers from JVP’s Philadel­phia chap­ter made their way into the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion offices in Philadel­phia. After gain­ing entrance, they demanded to meet with the Federation’s CEO Naomi Adler. After being told that they would not receive an appoint­ment, a small por­tion of the group refused to leave the build­ing and con­tin­ued to protest inside, report­edly lead­ing to their arrest.

Six other protests have also taken place out­side of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions over the past month, although var­i­ous groups such as Al-Awda and the newly-founded If Not Now, When?, have orga­nized those. No attempts were made to enter the Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in those cases, but like JVP, the pro­test­ers called on the Jew­ish com­mu­nity to con­demn Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge.

At least 25 other protests have taken place out­side of build­ings affil­i­ated with Israel or Israeli com­pa­nies. At one of those demon­stra­tions, mem­bers of JVP and Jews Say No! made their way into the offices of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF). Once inside, the demon­stra­tors began to protest and con­ducted a “die-in.” Nine pro­tes­tors were report­edly arrested.

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July 10, 2014 3

Anti-Israel Protests Call For “Death to Israel” & “Resistance”

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A sign at a rally in New York on July 9, 2014

Sev­eral dozen protests and demon­stra­tions express­ing oppo­si­tion to Israel’s mil­i­tary oper­a­tions against Hamas in Gaza are tak­ing place in cities across the United States this week.

While orga­niz­ers some­times pro­mote their protests as a demon­stra­tion against “Israel’s treat­ment of Pales­tini­ans” – as The New York Times even did yes­ter­day when it high­lighted a planned demon­stra­tion that took place in New York in its “New York Today” col­umn – more often than not, these protests devolve into out­right hate fests against Israel, rife with calls of sup­port for vio­lence, com­par­isons between Israel and Nazi Ger­many and claims that Israel wan­tonly mur­ders Pales­tin­ian children.

Fol­low­ing an esca­la­tion in rocket attacks from Gaza and Israel’s com­mence­ment of “Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge,” ini­ti­ated in order to reduce the threat of attacks against Israeli civil­ians, more than a dozen ral­lies have taken place in Amer­i­can cities. Below is a sam­pling of what occurred at some of these rallies:

July 9, 2014

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More than 1,000 demon­stra­tors gath­ered out­side the Israeli Con­sulate bear­ing signs com­par­ing Israel to the Ku Klux Klan and Nazi Ger­many, as well as signs legit­imiz­ing vio­lent resis­tance against Israel. At var­i­ous points dur­ing the rally, pro­test­ers in the crowd led chants of “Death to Israel” and “Khaibar, Khaibar ya Yahud, jaysh Muham­mad sawfa ya’ud,” which trans­lates to “Oh Khaiber, Khaiber, oh you Jews, the army of Muham­mad shall return.” The anti-Semitic slo­gan evokes an Islamic story of an alleged bat­tle between the prophet Muham­mad and the Jews of the town of Khaibar, which resulted in the sub­ju­ga­tion of the Jews of Arabia.

Sev­eral dozen mem­bers of Neturei Karta, a fringe ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist group, were also in atten­dance, hold­ing plac­ards that called for an end to the Jew­ish state and “Zion­ist ter­ror­ism.” The spokesper­son for the group, Yis­roel Dovid Weiss, addressed the crowd in an attempt to absolve Jews from Israel’s alleged crimes, argu­ing that until the advent of Zion­ism, Jews and Mus­lims lived peace­fully together. He also led chants of “Zion­ism No, The State of Israel Must Go.” Another speaker warned the crowd to avoid dia­logue with any­one who sup­ports Israel, say­ing “No for Nor­mal­iza­tion!” He fur­ther praised the fact that Gaza is “fight­ing back” and led the crowd in chants of “When Peo­ple are Occu­pied, Resis­tance is Justified.”

Chicago, IL

A rally drew sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers to the Israeli Con­sulate in Chicago after wChicago July 1hich pro­test­ers marched to the Fed­eral Plaza, chant­ing, “Hey Israel what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?” and “Long Live Intifada. Intifada, Intifada!” Included among the many signs were sev­eral that accused Israel of per­pe­trat­ing a Holo­caust: “End the Pales­tine Holo­caust,” “It was Wrong in Auschwitz, it is Wrong in Gaza!” and “Gaza Concentration/Starvation Camp, Designed, Man­u­fac­tured, Fre­quently Bombed and Man­aged By Israel.”

July 8, 2014

Los Ange­les, CA

Sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side the Israeli Con­sulate on Tues­day after­noon to call for an end to Israel’s alleged “col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment” of Pales­tini­ans. Some of the pro­test­ers helAnti-Israel protest LA July 8, 2014d graphic images of Moham­mad Abu Khdeir, the Pales­tin­ian teen who was recently killed by Jew­ish extrem­ists. Pro­test­ers con­demned the “Blood­thirsty Zion­ists” and one indi­vid­ual held a sign that depicted a large swastika painted over a Star of David that read, “I believe Yahoo ordered the mur­der of three Israelites.” Yahoo is a ref­er­ence to Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu and refers to the con­spir­acy the­ory that Israel orches­trated the mur­ders of three Israeli teenagers in order to launch attacks against Hamas. Another woman wore a t-shirt bear­ing an image of Anne Frank with a kef­fiyah wrapped around her neck, an offen­sive attempt to claim that one of the most famous vic­tims of the Holo­caust would have sup­ported the Pales­tin­ian agenda.

 July 7, 2014

San Fran­cisco, CA

A protest in San Fran­cisco, which took place a day before “Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge” for­mally began, fea­tured sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers who chanted “From the River to the Sea, Pales­tine will be Free,” “With our soul and our blood we will redeem you, Pales­tine,” and “Intifada! Intifada! We sup­port the intifada!” One pro­tester was also recorded in a video of the demon­stra­tion shout­ing “There is no f***ing State of Israel.”

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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

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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.”

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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.”

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