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August 28, 2014

Ferguson = Gaza: Manufacturing A False Comparison

gaza-ferguson-new-york

Protesters on the Manhattan Bridge

See also: Ferguson = Gaza: The Continued Invocation Of A False Comparison

As events in Gaza and high profile police brutality cases have continued to dominate recent headlines, a number of groups and individuals have tried to find a connection between these unrelated events in an attempt to bring attention to their activism.

Several anti-Israel groups have couched their hostility towards Israel in social justice terms by linking the conflict in Gaza to the events in Ferguson in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of support. For example:

  • Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine advertised a September 2 event on Facebook: “From Ferguson to Palestine, racism, injustice and human rights violations are being committed against people of color.”
  • The Ohio Palestine Solidarity Group sponsored an August 25 demonstration at Ohio State University’s African American and African Studies Community Extension Center, “to show our love and support for members of our Columbus community who have lost innocent loved ones in Gaza in recent Israeli attacks, to stand in solidarity with Michael Brown, John Crawford, and victims of racism and police brutality all over the US…”
  • At protests in Oakland on August 23, anti-Israel protesters reportedly shouted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” co-opting the chant used at Ferguson protests
  • An advertisement for an August 22 Indiana Palestine Solidarity event on Facebook read: “The disregard and disrespect for black bodies and black life is endemic to the white supremacist system that rules the land. Your struggles through the ages have been an inspiration to us as we fight daily for the most basic human dignities in our own homeland against the racist Zionist regime that considers us less human.”
  • On August 20, the Palestinian BDS National Committee issued a statement saying, “We recognize those tactics being used in Ferguson and the mentality behind them…the methods of unbri dled violence and control being used by security forces are all too familiar to Palestinians living under Israel’s decade-old occupation.”
  • On August 20, protesters on the Manhattan Bridge chanted, “From Ferguson to Palestine, occupation has got to go.” At least one protester held a sign that read “We are FERGUSON We are GAZA, because We are Human.”
  • In an August 20 press release, Jewish Voice for Peace stated, “We recognize that the devaluing of African-American lives built into the fabric of US government and society is mirrored in Israel’s unequal treatment of Palestinians…It’s also not surprising to see the similarity in the tactics and technologies of repression against those who are rising up nonviolently in both places.”
staten-island-israel-gaza-ferguson

Protest in Staten Island

While some are simply trying to rouse support for an anti-Israel agenda by attracting like-minded activists, others have gone so far as to imply that Israel is to blame for the violence in Ferguson.

This allegation surfaced in a tweet by Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). On August 14, Parsi tweeted, “Wondering why the excessive police violence? Here’s a guess: #Ferguson police chief got training in Israel…#Gaza.” An August 15 article from San Francisco Bay View titled “Israel-trained police ‘occupy’ Missouri after killing of Black youth” echoed this sentiment.

Similar comparisons have appeared at protests regarding other high profile police brutality cases, such as at an August 23 rally calling for justice in the death of Eric Garner, who was unarmed when killed by an NYPD officer earlier this summer. Among the posters seen at the protest were “Google It!!! Israel trains the NYPD.”

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August 1, 2014

U.S. Anti-Israel Protests Continue In Week 3 Of Gaza War

Protests against Israel’s operations in Gaza continued this week, with at least two dozen protests taking place since Sunday and several dozen more scheduled over the weekend. A total of 206 demonstrations have taken place since Israel’s military campaign began on July 8.

See below for a roundup of what happened in select cities this week:

Sunday, July 27 – Dallas, TX: A group of protesters marched through downtown Dallas holding signs that compared Israel to Nazi Germany and others that said, “Stop the Israeli genocide” and “Dear USA, Your 9/11 is our 24/7. Sincerely, Palestine.”

Dallas, TX

Dallas, TX

Monday, July 28 – Seattle, WA: A demonstration in Seattle featured around 50 protesters who marched near Westlake Center holding signs with slogans such as “Gaza Holocaust Must Stop” and “Stop the Holocaust in Gaza” (written next to a picture of Benjamin Netanyahu wearing a swastika armband).

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

 

Tuesday, July 29 – New York, NY: Norman Finkelstein, a longtime critic of Israeli policy, organized a so-called “direct action” outside the Israeli Consulate in New York. Finkelstein had announced plans for an action involving civil disobenience the day before on social media, claiming that the action would go forward only if 100 people committed to participating and getting arrested. Hours later, Finkelstein decided to go ahead with the action, even though he did not succeed in getting 100 people to signup.

Norman Finkelstein July 29, 2014

New York, NY

 

Finkelstein (the second individual in the picture above) led a group of about two dozen anti-Israel protesters who laid down on the crosswalk near the Consulate holding signs that read “End genocide” and “Stop genocide now.” The group blocked traffic from proceeding on Second Avenue and they were subsequently arrested by NYPD.

Wednesday, July 30 – Baltimore, MD: A demonstration and march sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Students for Justice in Palestine chapter included signs that said “Gaza = Warsaw Ghetto,” “Resistance is justified when people are occupied,” and “Stop arming the murderers of humanity.” Norman Finkelstein, who had been arrested a day earlier in New York City, spoke at the rally.

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD

Thursday, July 31 – West Bloomfield, MI: A demonstration was held outside the Metro Detroit Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan during an annual meeting for the Michigan chapter of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). At the demonstration, protesters gathered with signs that read “One Holocaust doesn’t justify another” and “Israeli Occupation = Palestinian GENOCIDE: Stop US aid for Israel’s Heinous Crimes.”

One speaker at the demonstration exclaimed that “We must demand that the U.S. government…stop supporting a fascist Zionist regime!” and another claimed that the people of Gaza are living in an “open-air prison.”

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July 29, 2014

Photos: Al Quds Day 2014 in the United States

On Friday, anti-Israel demonstrations were held in honor of Al Quds Day, an annual day of protest held on the last Friday of Ramadan. Al Quds means Jerusalem in Arabic and is used to protest Jerusalem’s status as the capital of Israel and instead call for Jerusalem to be a Muslim city.

These rallies are often some of the more extreme protests against Israel that take place throughout the year. Here’s a virtual snapshot of this year’s protests in the United States:

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City, NJ

You had the Holocaust don't make another one on us

Chicago, IL

stepping on Israeli flag

Houston, TX

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New York, NY

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