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December 2, 2014 1

Marginal Anti-Israel Group Alters Holocaust Photo to Condemn Israel

A Face­book group called “I Acknowl­edge Apartheid Exists,” with over 91,000 fans, recently posted a pho­to­shopped pic­ture of Holo­caust sur­vivors hold­ing signs that read “Stop the Holo­caust in Gaza,” “Gaza, the world’s biggest con­cen­tra­tion camp,” “Stop U.S. aid to Israel,” and “Break the silence on Gaza!!” Below the pic­ture was text that stated, “What­ever hap­pened to ‘Never again?’” [sic].i-acknowledge-apartheid-exists

The “I Acknowl­edge Apartheid Exists” group was founded on March 30, 2013 and its admin­is­tra­tors fre­quently post images that dele­git­imize Israel and describe it as a “ter­ror­ist nation.” Recent posts include an image that described the State of Israel as “Nazi Israel” and another that stated “End geno­cide in Gaza.” Other posts ended with hash­tags such as “#StopTheNazis” and “#StopIsrael.”

The group’s Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Direc­tor, Derek Hum­mel, told TheRealNews.com in an April 2013 inter­view that the page was briefly shut down by Face­book because of com­plaints that were sub­mit­ted by users who were offended by con­tent that the group was post­ing. He added that Face­book reversed the deci­sion shortly there­after and that a fan of the page had writ­ten to tell them that, “an army of Jews were out to dis­band our Face­book page.” Hum­mel claimed, “the very next day, we were shut down.”

Over the years, Holo­caust imagery has been used by many anti-Israel groups and indi­vid­u­als that look to make false com­par­isons between Israel and Nazi Ger­many in an effort to cast Israel as a demonic state that is bent on exter­mi­nat­ing the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. Many exam­ples of this appeared dur­ing Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge when par­tic­i­pants at anti-Israel ral­lies and demon­stra­tions held signs with slo­gans like “From Auschwitz to Pales­tine, My Ances­tors are Cry­ing…” and “Doesn’t the Holo­caust teach us that it must never hap­pen to any­one ever again?” In addi­tion, par­tic­i­pants at some of those ral­lies held signs show­ing the design of the Israeli flag with a swastika replac­ing the Star of David or the pic­ture of Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu wear­ing a swastika arm­band.

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Com­par­ing Israelis to Nazis dur­ing a protest in front of the Holo­caust Museum in Hous­ton, Jan­u­ary 16, 2009. Source: Jew­ish Herald-Voice, Houston

Pro­test­ers at anti-Israel ral­lies that took place dur­ing Israel’s Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense in Novem­ber 2012 also used sim­i­lar rhetoric, call­ing for an end to “the Nazi occu­pa­tion of Gaza,” describ­ing Gaza as today’s “War­saw Ghetto” and accus­ing Israel of com­mit­ting a geno­cide and mas­sacre of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. That sort of rhetoric was also used dur­ing ral­lies and demon­stra­tions that fol­lowed Oper­a­tion Cast Lead.

One of those exam­ples took place in Hous­ton where the Hous­ton Coali­tion for Jus­tice and Peace staged anti-Israel protests and demon­stra­tions around the city. At one of those ral­lies, which took place out­side of the Holo­caust Museum in Hous­ton, par­tic­i­pants wore mock con­cen­tra­tion camp pris­oner uni­forms and looked to charge Israel with the crime of “geno­cide” against the Palestinians.

Stu­dent groups have also used Holo­caust imagery to con­demn Israel and its sup­port­ers on many occa­sions. An exam­ple of this took place less than a month ago when the Uni­ver­sity of Cen­tral Florida’s Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (UCF SJP) chap­ter posted a graphic on their Face­book page that showed a face with a swastika talk­ing to what appears to be a face with an Israeli flag. The face with the swastika said, “You aren’t a real human race! DIE!” and below it was a sim­i­lar pic­ture that showed a face with an Israeli flag talk­ing to a face with a Pales­tin­ian flag, stat­ing, “You aren’t a real human race! DIE!” Above the image, UCF SJP wrote, “His­tory, unfor­tu­nately, has repeated itself.”

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October 20, 2014 0

The Lancet Editor Reconsiders Israel

In a sig­nif­i­cant about face, Dr. Richard Hor­ton, the edi­tor of the pres­ti­gious med­ical jour­nal The Lancet, pub­lished an arti­cle on Octo­ber 11 reflect­ing on his recent visit to Israel and announc­ing sev­eral pol­icy ini­tia­tives the jour­nal will now under­take which will more accu­rately reflect the Israeli med­ical sys­tem and deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Horton’s visit to Israel and his writ­ten reflec­tions came in the after­math of a firestorm that met The Lancet’s post­ing on July 23 of a highly one-sided, pro­pa­gan­dis­tic  “Open Let­ter for the Peo­ple of Gaza,”  con­demn­ing Israeli “aggres­sion” in Gaza and charg­ing Israel and Israeli physi­cians with full cul­pa­bil­ity for the sit­u­a­tion in Gaza.    The let­ter, signed by 24 indi­vid­u­als who iden­ti­fied them­selves as “doc­tors and sci­en­tists, who spend our lives devel­op­ing means to care and pro­tect health and lives” (many of whom have been strongly crit­i­cal of Israel for a long time), appeared on The Lancet web­site with­out any counter-perspective and, ini­tially, the pub­li­ca­tion encour­aged read­ers to add their names. As of July 30, the web­site had gar­nered 20,000 sig­na­tures before the sign­ing func­tion was shut down. The Lancet later posted a hand­ful of let­ters in response to the Gaza open let­ter on its web­site, includ­ing many by Israeli physi­cians and med­ical professionals.

Con­tro­versy over the let­ter raged at the height of the Israel-Hamas con­flict, with many, includ­ing ADL, call­ing into ques­tions Dr. Horton’s deci­sion to fea­ture such a “par­ti­san” and “highly politi­cized screed.”

In Sep­tem­ber, Hor­ton, invited by Pro­fes­sor Karl Sko­recki of the Ram­bam Hos­pi­tal in Haifa, decided to visit Israel for the first time. (See a video of his speech at Ram­bam below.)   The real­ity of Israel appar­ently took Dr. Hor­ton by sur­prise.  He writes:

At Ram­bam I saw an inspir­ing model of part­ner­ship between Jews and Arabs in a part of Israel where 40% of the pop­u­la­tion is Arab. I saw Ram­bam offer­ing an open hand, gladly grasped by fam­i­lies from Gaza, the West Bank, and Syria, who were liv­ing with life-threatening health-care needs. I saw Ram­bam as one exam­ple of a vision for a peace­ful and pro­duc­tive future between peo­ples, which I learned exists through­out Israel’s hospitals.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, Dr. Hor­ton admit­ted :  “I have seen for myself that what was writ­ten in the Man­d­uca et al let­ter does not describe the full reality.”

He also laid out new guide­lines for the edi­tors to more thor­oughly review the “inter­ests” of authors, as well as con­sider how to approach poten­tially divi­sive and polar­iz­ing con­tent, and announced plans for a Lancet series on Israel’s health and med­ical system.

In a let­ter to Dr. Hor­ton, ADL com­mended his arti­cle and state­ments and requested that a link to it appear promi­nently along­side the “Open Let­ter” which can still be found on The Lancet web­site.   ADL also noted that:

In your Octo­ber 11 arti­cle you state that “…The Lancet opposes all forms of boy­cott.”   You may be aware that numer­ous anti-Israel res­o­lu­tions pre­sented in uni­ver­si­ties, pro­fes­sional asso­ci­a­tions and the like – includ­ing those call­ing for boy­cotts of and divest­ment from Israel – cite mate­r­ial from The Lancet in bol­ster­ing their advo­cacy.  We urge you to speak out against all efforts to link The Lancet to advo­cacy in favor of boy­cotting Israel, its aca­d­e­mics and professionals.

Dr. Hor­ton says he will return to Israel in Jan­u­ary 2015.  Med­ical pro­fes­sional around the world will watch with inter­est what might result from this new aware­ness and open­ness to Israel.

 

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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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