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August 21, 2012

“Free Palestine! End ZioNazi Apartheid!”: A Snapshot of Al Quds Day 2012

Al Quds Day is commemorated annually with mass rallies and speeches on the last Friday of Ramadan. It has traditionally been marked by hostile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, including blatant anti-Semitism.

Al Quds Day Protest in LA

This year, for example, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described Israel as an “insult to all of humankind” and called for Israel’s destruction. Secretary-General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah similarly threatened that Hezbollah has the power to “transform the lives of millions of Zionists in Israel to a real hell.”

While the largest Al Quds Day events generally take place in the Middle East, protests are also held in cities across the United States. The protests, which took place last Friday in a dozen U.S. cities, were rife with extreme language, including signs that compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust.

In New York, L.A. and Houston, large banners reading “Stop Palestinian Genocide” were on display, as well as other signs that read, “Israel is a Cancer,” “Down with Zionism,” Holocaust in Palestine” and “Gaza=Auschwitz.” A woman in New York held a sign that said, “Free Palestine! End ZioNazi Apartheid! No $$ to ‘Israel!’ Boycott ‘Israel’.”

Speakers at several rallies also used fanatical rhetoric to denounce Israel. Rabbi Dovid Feldman of Neturei Karta called for the “dismantlement of the entire State of Israel” during an address at the Los Angeles protest. Another Neturei Karta speaker, this one at the New York rally held in Times Square, led the audience in chants of “Judaism, Yes, Zionism, No, the State of Israel must go” and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” In a media interview, an organizer of the Houston protest pledged to continue to “commemorate” Al Quds Day, saying, “This demand for justice will take place every year until Palestine will be free from Zionist hands!”

NYC Al Quds Day Flyer

A second speaker at the event in New York, ANSWER activist Sara Flounders, expressed implicit support for Hezbollah when she addressed the crowd, saying “We stand with the resistance in Lebanon today.” Flounders, who also declared solidarity with the regimes in Iran and Syria, has previously participated in conferences in Beirut attended by representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah. At one such conference in January 2009, Flounders said, “We need to militantly support Hamas…We need to make it clear that we support the right to resist, the right to fire rockets.”

Many of the protests also featured imagery and messaging designed to further fan the flames of the conflict and paint Israel as a violent oppressor. At the rally in Los Angeles, for example, several children held signs that read, “Israel is killing children like me.”

The Iranian-owned television station Press TV reported on the Al Quds Day protest that took place in Washington, D.C. and interviewed one of the speakers at the event. The speaker, Imam Abdul Alim Musa (an anti-Semitic extremist who founded the Sabiqun movement) called for Israel’s defeat and described Gaza as the “biggest open-air prison.”

Al Quds Day, which refers to the Arabic term for Jerusalem, was initiated in 1979 in Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini.

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May 11, 2012

Malik Ali at UC Irvine: “Zionism Corrupts You”

In a speech that veered from anti-Semitism to vast conspiracy theories and then back again, Amir Abdul Malik Ali used his platform at UC Irvine to rant about Zionism’s responsibility for the financial collapse, the alleged vilification of Islam and global corruption issues.Throughout his talk, which took place this past Tuesday as part of the Muslim Student Union’sPalestine Liberation Week,” Malik Ali sought to cast Zionism as the root of all evil, saying “One of the biggest deceits is that Zionism represents freedom, justice and equality when, in actuality, it represents the exact opposite, slavery, injustice and racism and inequality.”

While Malik Ali took care to use the word “Zionist” rather than “Jew,” he expressed that Zionism “has corrupted those Jews who believe in it” and “corrupts them to the core.” And, in what was undoubtedly the most anti-Semitic portion of his speech, Malik Ali claimed that the financial collapse was orchestrated by the “Zionists” in an effort to vilify Islam:

“The current financial crisis and collapse, the architects of it, are Zionists. Whether you’re talking about Greenspan or whether you’re talking about Geithner or whether you’re talking about Summers or whether you’re talking about Blankfein or whether you’re talking about Dimon. I’m saying Zionism corrupts you. Zionism corrupts you. These are not righteous Jews who are doing this. These are not righteous practitioners of the Jewish faith who are doing this. These are them who are mix[ing] injustice with their religion.”

[Two of the individuals referenced by Malik Ali – Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, and Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury – are actually not Jewish.]


University of California President Mark Yudof was also described as a “Zionist Jew” who “supports the apartheid state of Israel.” Malik Ali claimed that President Yudof’s recent letter about tolerance on campus, which detailed incidents of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel harassment, “followed the media plan…in the media, you’re not allowed to show a Muslim or a Palestinian or an Arab or what have you from a sympathetic perspective.”

Malik Ali also cast blame on the American government and President Barack Obama, accusing Obama of “corrupting the Constitution” and conspiratorially alleging that he will win the 2012 election only because the “next theater of [military] operations is Africa. Black Africa…and they cannot have a white man in the White House bombing Black Africa.”

On the economic front, Malik Ali alleged that the government, the judiciary and the electoral process are “owned by corporations” and that politicians “bow down to the Zionists because of these material things.” He also repeatedly tried to connect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Occupy Wall Street Movement, advising students that their mantra should be: “Anti-Zionist…Anti Empire…Anti 1%.”

During the Q&A session, a student in the audience shouted something about Israel being the national homeland of the Jewish people, to which Malik Ali responded that it is not the Jews’ homeland and that “ya’all came from Europe” and “you gotta go back.”

Malik Ali, who is affiliated with the anti-Semitic Sabiqun movement and is the imam of a mosque in Oakland, is regularly invited to speak on campuses in California. During his appearances at Irvine, Malik Ali has conspiratorially claimed that “Zionist Jews” were responsible for 9/11 and that they control the U.S. government, the economy and the media. He has referred to Jews and Zionists as “the new Nazis” and “the party of Satan.”

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May 2, 2012

Anti-Semite to Appear at MSU’s “Palestine Liberation Week”

Update: Amir Abdul Malik Ali used his platform at UC Irvine to rant about Zionism’s responsibility for the financial collapse, the alleged vilification of Islam and global corruption issues.

The Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine is at it again.

The group has invited Amir Abdul Malik Ali, a virulent anti-Semite, to speak at the university next week. His talk is titled “The Struggle Has No Borders.

Malik Ali’s scheduled appearance is part of a weeklong program being sponsored by MSU next week called “Palestine Liberation Week: Getting to the Root of the Occupation.” Other anti-Israel speakers scheduled to appear include Hatem Bazian and Hedy Epstein. In addition, members of the “Irvine 11, who were suspended for disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in February 2010, will return to campus to take part in the event.

Malik Ali, who is affiliated with the anti-Semitic Sabiqun movement and is the imam of a mosque in Oakland, is regularly invited to speak on campuses in California. During his appearances at Irvine, Malik Ali has conspiratorially claimed that “Zionist Jews” were responsible for 9/11 and that they control the U.S. government, the economy and the media. He has referred to Jews and Zionists as “the new Nazis” and “the party of Satan.” And, during an address titled “Death to Apartheid” in May 2010, Malik Ali responded “yes” to questions about whether he supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

MSU at UC Irvine did not invite Malik Ali to its annual anti-Israel program in 2011, but he had spoken at the program every year before that going back until at least 2006.

News of Malik Ali’s appearance coincides with an article that was published yesterday in The Jewish Daily Forward that describes how Jewish students and Hillels have begun working with chapters of Muslim Student Association and other Muslim student groups on campus. A representative of the Hillel chapter responsible for UC Irvine was quoted in the article saying that Jewish students on campus are engaging with their Muslim student counterparts and described it as “a new era.” Unfortunately, MSU’s continued willingness to provide a platform to an anti-Semite suggests otherwise.

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