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September 18, 2013

San Diego State SJP Launches Recruitment Effort Comparing Israel To Nazi Germany

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at San Diego State University (SDSU) recently unveiled an online slideshow and ad campaign to advocate for the Palestinian cause and recruit new members to join SJP which “enables you as a student to act on the truth.”sjp-sdsu-right-side-campaign

The campaign, “The Right Side: A Guide to the Moral High Ground,” repeatedly compares Israeli policy to the Holocaust, including analogizing a supporter of modern-day Israel to a “grandson of a Nazi” and claiming that the international community’s willful ignorance of Israel’s transgressions is comparable to the Europeans’ obliviousness of the horrors of the Holocaust in the 1930s and 40s.

The recruiting tool – which is available on SJP’s website as a slideshow and has been displayed on flyers around campus – is rife with extreme propaganda and claims that Israel is guilty of apartheid and “war crimes” against the Palestinian people. It further alleges that American politicians turn a blind eye to these injustices because they “receiv[e] money in exchange of a political stance.” One of the slides even repeats UN Rapporteur Richard Falk’s infamous line: “Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment with Palestinians with the criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not.”

The first slide, titled “The Racist Grandpa,” claims that “no grandson of a Nazi, or a KKK clansman or a supporter of apartheid in South Africa can be proud of their grandfather. The last thing you want to be is that racist grandpa in the future.” The slide then warns: “Today, many of us could be racist grandpas or grandmas in the future if we continue to let ourselves be fooled by politicians, lobbyists and the media” with regard to Israel.  

The web page featuring the slideshow also contains images of well-known figures who have expressed anti-Israel views in recent years, including Alice Walker, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, former president Jimmy Carter and Lupe Fiasco, a rapper who is critical of Israel.

The SJP chapter at SDSU is very active on campus and has existed since at least 2009. In the past year, the group has sponsored speaking appearances by Norman Finkelstein, a for­mer pro­fes­sor at DePaul Uni­ver­sity and noted critic of Israeli policy, and organized events with Mexican student groups like MEChA that sought to compare the U.S.-Mexico border fence to the security fence in the West Bank.  The group refuses to dialogue or meet with the pro-Israel organization on campus, Aztecs for Israel, an anti-Israel tactic predicated on a rejection of “normalization” of the pro-Israel position.

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June 21, 2013

Norman Finkelstein Throws Wrench In Anti-Israel Movement’s Claim To A Rights-Based Agenda

A panel discussion held during last weekend’s Left Forum, an annual gathering of left-wing activists in New York, revealed some startling fractures and points of dissent within the domestic anti-Israel movement. The conference, which typically features a variety of anti-Israel sessions and speakers, included a panel this year called “How to Solve the Israel-Palestine Conflict: 0, 1, or 2 State Solution.”

From Left: Stephen Shalom, Lamis Deek, Sherry Wolf and Norman Finkelstein at Left Forum 2013

From Left: Stephen Shalom, Lamis Deek, Sherry Wolf and Norman Finkelstein at Left Forum 2013

Three of the panelists expressed support for a one-state solution as one that is more “just.”

The most surprising presentation, however, came from Norman Finkelstein, a former professor at DePaul University and noted critic of Israeli policy.

Finkelstein, who caused quite a stir in anti-Israel circles last year when he claimed that the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement has characteristics of a “cult” and seeks to destroy Israel, began the discussion by arguing that Israel is a state recognized under international law with responsibilities, obligations AND rights. He challenged the latent hypocrisy within the anti-Israel movement (and his co-panelists), which constantly points to international law to justify its agenda while ignoring the fact that international law established Israel as a Jewish state. “How does one propose to win support for the Palestinian cause based on international law yet not support two states? That just doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.

He continued to assault common objectives of anti-Israel activists. He specifically took issue with the BDS movement’s claim of being “rights-based” while again not recognizing Israel’s right to exist, saying, “That’s pure unadulterated hypocrisy. And, speaking personally, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. And speaking politically, it won’t go anywhere.”

If Finkelstein was a pro-Israel advocate, his views would perhaps come as no surprise. But Finkelstein has made a career out of demonizing Israel. He has described Israel as a “satanic state,” accused Israel of caging Palestinians “into a ghetto” and exalted Hezbollah’s military achievements against Israel as a “victory of liberty and a victory for freedom.”

Members of the audience reacted hostilely to Finkelstein’s presentation, talking and shouting over him and even yelling at him during the question and answer period. While he spoke, two of the other panelists – Lamis Deek, a founder of Al-Awda; and Sherry Wolf, an avid BDS  activist – who both later expressed support for a one-state solution, frequently rolled their eyes and put their heads down, displaying visible discomfort with his positions.

At one point, Deek and Finkelstein engaged in a hostile back-and-forth exchange. After acknowledging that she could never “recognize the right of the entity known as Israel” to exist, Finkelstein challenged Deek’s use of the term “entity,” stating, “Israel is a state. It has the same rights and the same obligations as the 190 other states.” Deek countered that she has “no obligation to operate strictly under the auspices or within the framework of international law despite the fact that Professor Finkelstein or other professors would like me to do so because they don’t make that requirement of the Israeli entity.”

 

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August 14, 2012

Blood Libel Broadcast Across Arab World: New Arabic Translation Of Talmud Cited

Holocaust denial, the blood libel and other vicious anti-Semitism marked last week’s episode of the weekly show Milad airing on multiple Arab satellite channels.

Salman Al-Ouda

During the program, a weekly discussion with Dr. Salman al-Ouda, a prominent Saudi scholar and the Assistant Secretary General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, al-Ouda promoted the Arabic language translation of the Babylonian Talmud to support his anti-Semitic diatribe.

In one segment of the episode, al-Ouda said: “The Jews believe that they have the right to kill anyone who doesn’t believe in their religion – it’s stated in the Talmud.” He then told a story about a doctor who was asked by Jews to provide them with human blood to make pies. That story was followed by another description of Jews abducting children in Damascus in order to use their blood during Easter.

Al-Ouda then showed a copy of the newly released Ara­bic trans­la­tion of the Tal­mud pub­lished by the Mid­dle East Stud­ies Cen­ter (MESC), a Jordan-based think tank. “The people who translated this book must be thanked,” he said. “…they gave us a weapon to confront our enemies, to expose the mentality of the Jews, to learn how they think and expose their scandals. The Jews were very upset with this translation and fought against it.”

Salman Al-Ouda shows Ara­bic trans­la­tion of the Tal­mud pub­lished by the Mid­dle East Stud­ies Cen­ter

When asked by the show’s co-host if the Jews’ evil characteristics are acquired or inherent, Al-Ouda responded, “Worldwide, you might find some Jews who live in open societies away from the influence of other Jews or away from the bond with their religion and race. They turn into atheist Jews like Norman [Finkelstein], who is an atheist, or some even become communists, or socialists. They become ordinary people, away from the influence of [their] religion.”

Al-Ouda described Finkelstein, an anti-Israel academic whose career has been marked by a vitriolic hatred of Zionism and Israel, as “Jewish yet courageous.” Al-Ouda also minimized the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Milad airs on Qatar Television, Libya Television, and Saudi channels including 4Shabab, Rotana and Al-Risala, among others. Earlier this month, ADL expressed concern that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and anti-Israel plot lines have dominated various shows airing during Ramadan on satellite stations with wide viewership across the Middle East.

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