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December 26, 2013 2

Anti-Semites Take Credit For Mainstreaming Anti-Israel Sentiment

Anti-Semite Patrick Slat­tery and anti-Semitic pro­fes­sor Kevin Mac­Don­ald have asserted that main­stream fig­ures have adopted their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views in end-of-year fund-raising appeals.  david-duke-anti-israel

Slat­tery, who made an appeal to sup­port­ers on behalf of his close asso­ciate David Duke, claims that Duke influ­enced main­stream fig­ures like Pro­fes­sors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and musi­cian Roger Waters in their views on Israel and the “Israel lobby.” 

Slat­tery asserts that Waters sounded like Duke when Waters talked about a pow­er­ful “Jew­ish lobby” in the U.S. in an inter­view in Coun­ter­Punch Mag­a­zine.  In that same inter­view, Waters also claimed that the Jew­ish lobby pre­vented more celebri­ties from join­ing the Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) movement.

Like­wise, Slat­tery argues that Mearsheimer and Walt sounded like Duke when “they pub­lished their book on the power of the Israel Lobby.” The two pro­fes­sors wrote a 2008 book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. For­eign Pol­icy, in which they assert that the “Israel lobby” uses pres­sure to sti­fle crit­i­cism of Israel and to ensure America’s pro-Israel pol­icy, against America’s true interests.

In the appeal, Slat­tery writes, “These peo­ple sound like Dr. Duke because, directly or indi­rectly, they are get­ting their infor­ma­tion, their exam­ples, their sources, their ideas, their nar­ra­tive from him.”

In MacDonald’s fund-raising let­ter to sup­port­ers of Occi­den­tal Observer, an anti-Semitic online mag­a­zine he edits, he also cited Waters’ state­ments in Counter-Punch and the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Association’s boy­cott of Israeli aca­d­e­mic insti­tu­tions as proof that more main­stream groups have accepted his view that Israel is a “pariah state.”

Mac­Don­ald writes, “There has been a notice­able increase in crit­i­cism of Israel,” and takes credit for attack­ing the Jew­ish state and the “Israel lobby” in var­i­ous columns in the Occi­den­tal Observer.

While cer­tain anti-Israel cam­paigns have occa­sion­ally received main­stream atten­tion, there is no link­age between these cam­paigns and white suprema­cists like Mac­Don­ald and Duke.

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September 18, 2013 0

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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February 7, 2013 1

Free Speech Is A One-Way Street For The BDS Movement

In response to the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing a Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) event tak­ing place tomor­row at Brook­lyn Col­lege, numer­ous pro-BDS pub­lic fig­ures, activists and groups have labeled con­cerns about the event as a “smear cam­paign” designed to get the event can­celed and sup­press the expres­sion of legit­i­mate viewpoints.

A state­ment by the national coali­tion of Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) referred to oppo­si­tion to the event as an “onslaught of intim­i­da­tion.” Al-Awda and Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, two off-campus anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tions, con­demned the pro-Israel community’s reac­tion as a “smear cam­paign” designed to sup­press free speech. Jew­ish Voice for Peace went so far as to call for Har­vard pro­fes­sor Alan Der­showitz to be fired for argu­ing that Brook­lyn College’s polit­i­cal sci­ence depart­ment should not spon­sor anti-Israel events.

Sim­i­larly, Roger Waters, the founder and lead singer of Pink Floyd, issued a state­ment of sol­i­dar­ity with the SJP chap­ter at Brook­lyn Col­lege, the group orga­niz­ing the event, that con­spir­a­to­ri­ally claimed: “That you have come under attack from pow­er­ful polit­i­cal and media forces for try­ing to shed light on the predica­ment of the good peo­ples of Pales­tine and Israel is wrong. I stand with you. Sadly, none of us knows what lies behind the closed doors of gov­ern­ment, even though we should for we have a right to know, to speak, dis­cuss, still not your voice, be not afraid. More power to you.”

Other more main­stream com­men­ta­tors have also used abra­sive lan­guage to lam­bast those who dis­ap­prove of the department’s spon­sor­ship of the event. Glen Green­wald, in a piece over the week­end on The Guardian’s “Com­ment is Free” site, described those urg­ing the polit­i­cal sci­ence depart­ment to drop its spon­sor­ship as an “ugly lynch mob” and claimed that elected offi­cials in the U.S. sup­port Israel for less than earnest rea­sons: “It is all but impos­si­ble to suc­ceed in New York City pol­i­tics — or US national pol­i­tics — with­out faith­fully embrac­ing pro-Israel ortho­dox­ies. That’s the nature of pol­i­tics in gen­eral: it requires sub­servience to empow­ered fac­tions and majori­tar­ian sentiment.”

It is the BDS move­ment, how­ever, that is inher­ently pred­i­cated on the sup­pres­sion of speech and “free exchange of ideas,” which Green­wald claims to vehe­mently sup­port in his arti­cle. Sup­port­ing boy­cotts of Israeli aca­d­e­mics, diplo­mats and per­form­ers is sim­ply not con­sis­tent with free speech val­ues.  Fur­ther­more, anti-Israel stu­dents can­not legit­i­mately claim to sup­port a “free exchange of ideas” when they reg­u­larly dis­rupt and heckle pro-Israel speak­ers on cam­pus. One anti-Israel stu­dent who heck­led Israeli sol­diers at an event at UC Davis last Feb­ru­ary flatly admit­ted, “My only pur­pose today is that this event is shut down.”

In fact, an increas­ing num­ber of anti-Israel groups do not sup­port a free exchange of ideas and explic­itly argue that the pro-Israel voice does not even deserve to be heard. The tac­tic, known as anti-normalization, is increas­ingly being felt by pro-Israel groups on cam­puses across the coun­try whose coun­ter­parts refuse to engage in dia­logue with them and often try to dis­rupt or shut down pro-Israel events. It seems that the BDS movement’s com­mit­ment to free speech and an open exchange of ideas is only a one-way street.

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