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February 27, 2014 0

Eviction Notices At Northeastern Kick-Off Israeli Apartheid Week

Update: Feb­ru­ary 27 — Yes­ter­day, mem­bers of the Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina (UNC) SJP chap­ter, dis­trib­uted hun­dreds of mock evic­tion notices in res­i­dence halls on the UNC cam­pus. Just like at North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity, where the stu­dents began to use the hash­tag “#Boston­Mock­E­vic­tion” on Twit­ter after post­ing them, at UNC they began to use “#UNC­Mock­E­vic­tion.” The mock evic­tion notices were also used to pro­mote UNC’s Israeli Apartheid Week, sched­uled to take place on the cam­pus from March 3 to March 7.

Mock evic­tion notices were slid under res­i­dence hall doors of many stu­dents at North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity ear­lier this week. Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) took respon­si­bil­ity for the action and claimed that these notices were posted to kick off Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which is tak­ing place this week on dozens of col­lege cam­puses across the United States.northeastern-iaw-eviction-2014-sjp

The notices at North­east­ern stated that the affected dorm rooms would be demol­ished in three days and that “evic­tion notices are rou­tinely given to Pales­tin­ian fam­i­lies liv­ing under oppres­sive Israeli occu­pa­tion for no rea­son other than their eth­nic background…to cleanse the region of its Arab pop­u­la­tion, and cre­ate space for set­tle­ments.” In real­ity, some Pales­tini­ans in the West Bank receive evic­tion notices if their homes were built ille­gally or need to be demol­ished because of Israeli secu­rity con­cerns, not because of the res­i­dents’ “eth­nic background.”

Lan­guage in the notice echoed many of the themes of IAW, includ­ing alle­ga­tions of Israeli racism and apartheid, calls for Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against Israel, and claims that Israel is com­mit­ting war crimes such as eth­nic cleans­ing against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. North­east­ern SJP later issued a com­ment on Twit­ter that “some stu­dents don’t like fac­ing uncom­fort­able facts about Israeli apartheid.”northeastern-iaw-eviction-2014-2-sjp

The notice, var­i­ous ver­sions of which have been dis­trib­uted at sev­eral other col­lege cam­puses in recent years, was also made to appear as if it was issued by a munic­i­pal court, mak­ing the threat of demo­li­tion seem more real to the stu­dents who received them.

In the past year, anti-Israel stu­dent groups at the fol­low­ing uni­ver­si­ties have cir­cu­lated mock evic­tion notices:

  • Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, Decem­ber 2013 – Over 1,000 stu­dents received mock evic­tion notices posted by mem­bers of the stu­dent group “Stu­dents Allied for Free­dom and Equal­ity” at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, Ann Arbor.  These notices claimed that Israel evicts Pales­tini­ans from their homes for the pur­pose of “mak[ing] life so mis­er­able for the Arabs that they leave.”
  • Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity, Octo­ber 2013 – Stu­dents from the Rutgers-New Brunswick SJP chap­ter posted mock evic­tion notices in res­i­dence halls to “edu­cate” stu­dents about the expe­ri­ence for some Pales­tini­ans whose homes are demol­ished. Text on the mock evic­tion notices read, “Your suite is sched­uled for demo­li­tion in the next three days… If you do not vacate the premise within this time frame, we reserve the right to destroy all remain­ing belongings…This may seem like unre­al­is­ti­cally harsh treat­ment, but this is the actual state of affairs in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”
  • San Diego State Uni­ver­sity, March 2013 – Mock evic­tion notices were posted on stu­dents’ res­i­dence hall room doors by mem­bers of the SDSU SJP chap­ter. The notices, which claimed that “$30 bil­lion US tax dol­lars have been used to fund Israeli apartheid in the past decade,” were meant to raise aware­ness over Israel’s alleged human rights vio­la­tions against Palestinians.

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September 18, 2013 3

Iran’s Hispan TV Follows Press TV’s Footsteps With Live Stream On YouTube

Update — Sep­tem­ber 20, 2013: After ADL con­tacted YouTube regard­ing His­pan TV’s use of YouTube to live stream the Iran­ian network’s per­va­sive anti-Semitism, the stream fea­ture was dis­abled.  

His­pan TV, the Iran­ian government’s Spanish-language satel­lite news net­work, began a live stream of its net­work on YouTube one week ago. Like its English-language sis­ter sta­tion Press TV, His­pan TV reg­u­larly broad­casts anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist con­spir­acy theories.hispan-tv-iran-youtube

His­pan TV’s use of YouTube to live stream its broad­cast, which orig­i­nates from the offi­cial His­pan TV Nexo Latino net­work, fol­lows the dis­abling of Press TV’s live stream on YouTube.

ADL exposed Press TV’s YouTube stream in July, a day after it was launched. ADL also con­tacted YouTube regard­ing con­cerns about Press TV using YouTube as a con­duit for the per­va­sive anti-Semitism the Iran­ian media out­let is known for.

As E.U. and U.S. sanc­tions have increas­ingly tight­ened on Iran, the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB), Iran’s state broad­caster that pro­duces His­pan TV and Press TV, has tried to bypass sanc­tions by pro­vid­ing live feeds of its net­works through YouTube. At present, YouTube lacks an effec­tive flag­ging sys­tem for live feed technology.

Increas­ing its influ­ence in Latin Amer­ica has been a strong fea­ture of the Iran­ian government’s for­eign pol­icy in the last decade, and His­pan TV serves as a plat­form to spread Tehran’s con­spir­acy the­o­ries, Holo­caust denial and anti-Semitism.

A July 29, 2013, arti­cle on a speech made by Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad, quoted the out­go­ing pres­i­dent as hav­ing “Two ques­tions regard­ing the sup­posed ‘Holo­caust’” and “Why don’t they [the Jews] allow an inves­ti­ga­tion about the Holo­caust and why not indi­cate where the Holo­caust occurred?”

Con­spir­a­cies alleg­ing the undue power of the pro-Israel lobby are also fre­quently fea­tured by His­pan TV. In an arti­cle pub­lished on July 30, 2013, at the height of the New York City may­oral race, the “Jew­ish lobby” is char­ac­ter­ized as seek­ing out a can­di­date who can rule the city for the Jew­ish lobby. “Is Anthony Weiner only a prod­uct of his time, like Clin­ton, or was he valu­able ‘dam­aged goods’ for the Jew­ish lobby who thought of him as the per­fect con­trol­lable asset to gov­ern the city of New York for them?” 

A June 2013 arti­cle posted on the His­pan TV web­site pro­motes a con­spir­acy that Israeli sci­en­tists fal­si­fied Jew­ish genetic ances­try to jus­tify Israel’s cre­ation. “They com­mit­ted this fraud only to sup­port the false claim to bib­li­cal Pales­tine, which was rooted in the idea of being a sep­a­rate peo­ple… With this DNA test, they secured a pass­port bar­code to Pales­tine,” the arti­cle claims.

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August 20, 2013 0

Sanctions Are A Vital Component Of Diplomacy To Prevent A Nuclear Iran

rouhani-khamenei-ahmadinejad-sanctions

August 2013 inau­gu­ra­tion of Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani (right)

Just before the halls of Con­gress emp­tied out for August Recess, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives passed H.R. 850, the Nuclear Iran Pre­ven­tion Act, by an over­whelm­ing 400–20, bipar­ti­san vote.  That leg­is­la­tion would greatly expand the scope of inter­na­tional finan­cial trans­ac­tions with Iran sub­ject to U.S. penalty and would greatly shrink the amount of oil import­ing nations can buy from Iran with­out U.S. penalty. 

While there is agree­ment across the board that the Iran­ian regime can­not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapons capa­bil­ity, the debate about the role of sanc­tions in diplo­macy con­tin­ues.  Some in Con­gress argue against tougher sanc­tions, say­ing newly inau­gu­rated Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani should first be given a chance to show that Iran­ian intran­si­gence at the nego­ti­at­ing table has ended.  On the other side, just days after the House bill passed, 76 sen­a­tors sent a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Obama, say­ing “we believe our nation must toughen sanc­tions” and ask­ing him to bring a “renewed sense of urgency to the process.”

Rouhani should be judged by his actions, not his sooth­ing state­ments, and his his­tory as the chief nuclear nego­tia­tor, from 2003 to 2005, sup­ports the skep­tics.  Describ­ing his pre­vi­ous nego­ti­a­tion tac­tics, he said in 2004: “While we were talk­ing with the Euro­peans in Tehran, we were installing equip­ment in parts of the facil­ity in Isfa­han. By cre­at­ing a calm envi­ron­ment, we were able to com­plete the work in Isfa­han.”  Today, the regime con­tin­ues to enrich ura­nium, install more cen­trifuges, and make progress on its plutonium-producing Arak reac­tor.   As recently reported by The Insti­tute for Sci­ence and Inter­na­tional Secu­rity, at its cur­rent pace of devel­op­ment, Iran should have enough cen­trifuges installed to enrich a bomb’s worth of ura­nium to weapons grade – with­out detec­tion – by the mid­dle of next year.

Even more severe sanc­tions will sup­port diplo­macy, not hin­der it, by rais­ing the cost of delay and defi­ance.  As Pres­i­dent Obama him­self said in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, “Sanc­tions must exact a real price.  Intran­si­gence must be met with increased pres­sure” and sanc­tions must be “tough enough to actu­ally change behav­ior.”  Clearly, we’re not there yet.

ADL con­tin­ues to sup­port sanc­tions leg­is­la­tion that pro­vides the Admin­is­tra­tion with a full range of diplo­matic, eco­nomic, and legal tools to pres­sure the world’s lead­ing state spon­sor of ter­ror into ver­i­fi­ably renounc­ing its nuclear weapons program.  

When Con­gress returns from its five-week recess, we hope the Sen­ate will fol­low the House’s lead on this issue and swiftly pass leg­is­la­tion akin to the Nuclear Iran Pre­ven­tion Act.

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