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August 28, 2014 3

Ferguson = Gaza: Manufacturing A False Comparison

gaza-ferguson-new-york

Pro­test­ers on the Man­hat­tan Bridge

As events in Gaza and high pro­file police bru­tal­ity cases have con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate recent head­lines, a num­ber of groups and indi­vid­u­als have tried to find a con­nec­tion between these unre­lated events in an attempt to bring atten­tion to their activism.

Sev­eral anti-Israel groups have couched their hos­til­ity towards Israel in social jus­tice terms by link­ing the con­flict in Gaza to the events in Fer­gu­son in an attempt to appeal to a broader base of sup­port. For example:

  • Brook­lyn Col­lege Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine adver­tised a Sep­tem­ber 2 event on Face­book: “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, racism, injus­tice and human rights vio­la­tions are being com­mit­ted against peo­ple of color.”
  • The Ohio Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity Group spon­sored an August 25 demon­stra­tion at Ohio State University’s African Amer­i­can and African Stud­ies Com­mu­nity Exten­sion Cen­ter, “to show our love and sup­port for mem­bers of our Colum­bus com­mu­nity who have lost inno­cent loved ones in Gaza in recent Israeli attacks, to stand in sol­i­dar­ity with Michael Brown, John Craw­ford, and vic­tims of racism and police bru­tal­ity all over the US…”
  • At protests in Oak­land on August 23, anti-Israel pro­test­ers report­edly shouted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” co-opting the chant used at Fer­gu­son protests
  • An adver­tise­ment for an August 22 Indi­ana Pales­tine Sol­i­dar­ity event on Face­book read: “The dis­re­gard and dis­re­spect for black bod­ies and black life is endemic to the white suprema­cist sys­tem that rules the land. Your strug­gles through the ages have been an inspi­ra­tion to us as we fight daily for the most basic human dig­ni­ties in our own home­land against the racist Zion­ist regime that con­sid­ers us less human.”
  • On August 20, the Pales­tin­ian BDS National Com­mit­tee issued a state­ment say­ing, “We rec­og­nize those tac­tics being used in Fer­gu­son and the men­tal­ity behind them…the meth­ods of unbri dled vio­lence and con­trol being used by secu­rity forces are all too famil­iar to Pales­tini­ans liv­ing under Israel’s decade-old occupation.”
  • On August 20, pro­test­ers on the Man­hat­tan Bridge chanted, “From Fer­gu­son to Pales­tine, occu­pa­tion has got to go.” At least one pro­tester held a sign that read “We are FERGUSON We are GAZA, because We are Human.”
  • In an August 20 press release, Jew­ish Voice for Peace stated, “We rec­og­nize that the devalu­ing of African-American lives built into the fab­ric of US gov­ern­ment and soci­ety is mir­rored in Israel’s unequal treat­ment of Palestinians…It’s also not sur­pris­ing to see the sim­i­lar­ity in the tac­tics and tech­nolo­gies of repres­sion against those who are ris­ing up non­vi­o­lently in both places.”
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Protest in Staten Island

While some are sim­ply try­ing to rouse sup­port for an anti-Israel agenda by attract­ing like-minded activists, oth­ers have gone so far as to imply that Israel is to blame for the vio­lence in Ferguson.

This alle­ga­tion sur­faced in a tweet by Trita Parsi, head of the National Iran­ian Amer­i­can Coun­cil (NIAC). On August 14, Parsi tweeted, “Won­der­ing why the exces­sive police vio­lence? Here’s a guess: #Fer­gu­son police chief got train­ing in Israel…#Gaza.” An August 15 arti­cle from San Fran­cisco Bay View titled “Israel-trained police ‘occupy’ Mis­souri after killing of Black youth” echoed this sentiment.

Sim­i­lar com­par­isons have appeared at protests regard­ing other high pro­file police bru­tal­ity cases, such as at an August 23 rally call­ing for jus­tice in the death of Eric Gar­ner, who was unarmed when killed by an NYPD offi­cer ear­lier this sum­mer. Among the posters seen at the protest were “Google It!!! Israel trains the NYPD.”

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July 21, 2014 3

Weekend’s Anti-Israel Protests Feature More Nazi-Israel Comparisons

Over the week­end, close to 50 anti-Israel demon­stra­tions were held across the United States to protest Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza. At these ral­lies, there were com­par­isons made between Israel and Nazi Ger­many and alle­ga­tions that Israel is com­mit­ting geno­cide against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple. At one of the ral­lies, a speaker also called for “the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state.”

Please see below for a round-up of the protests:

July 20

Hous­ton, TX

About 75 pro­test­ers were present for a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the Uni­ver­sity of Houston’s Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter. Many of the pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Israeli geno­cide, under direct US guide,” “Israel out of Pales­tine now,” “Stop the Pales­tin­ian Holocaust/Genocide,” “The US is com­plicit in geno­cide,” and “If 9/11 deserves a moment of silence, then Pales­tine deserves for us to never speak again!”

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Chicago, IL

Sev­eral hun­dred pro­test­ers par­tic­i­pated in a march and demon­stra­tion with signs that stated “End this Holo­caust,” “I am Amer­i­can and I stand with Gaza because geno­cide is wrong!,” “It’s not self-defense it’s geno­cide.”  Another sign also showed a blood-stained Israeli flag with text that stated “Stop arm­ing the mur­der­ers of Humanity.”

chicago-anti-israel-protest

July 19

New York, NY

An anti-Israel demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine was held in Times Square on Sat­ur­day. This demon­stra­tion brought out a few hun­dred pro­test­ers who held signs with slo­gans like “Zionism=Fascism,” “New York­ers stand with Gaza against Israeli geno­cide,” and “His­tory repeats Itself, Nazism = Zion­ism,” (with the image of a Swastika an equal sign and the Star of David).

Yas­mine Kamel, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Inter­na­tional Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion (ISO), addressed the crowd at the protest and called for the destruc­tion of Israel, stat­ing, “This is part of a 66 year-old occu­pa­tion; a 66 year-old his­tory of abuse, of crimes, of mur­der of chil­dren; of an occupation…We have to con­tinue to resist the Israeli occu­pa­tion beyond today and beyond this assault on Gaza. We have to work for the full lib­er­a­tion of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and the end of the Israeli state and the return of all Pales­tin­ian refugees.”

new-york-anti-israel-protest

Fort Laud­erdale, FL

About 100 pro­test­ers demon­strated at the U.S. Fed­eral Cour­t­house at a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by Al-Awda, the Coun­cil on American-Islamic Rela­tions (CAIR), the National Lawyers Guild South Florida, Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Palestine-Florida, and the Broward Green Party.

Many of the pro­test­ers were hold­ing signs that read, “This is not war it’s GENOCIDE,” “One Holo­caust doesn’t jus­tify another,” “1948+1967 = PALESTINE,” and “”ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE!” A num­ber of slo­gans were chanted, includ­ing “From the [Jor­dan] River to the [Mediter­ranean] Sea, Pales­tine will be free,” “Hey Obama shame on you! Kids are dying ‘cause of you!,” “Occu­pa­tion is a crime, from Iraq to Pales­tine!,” and “All the walls have got to go, from Iraq to Mexico!”

ft-lauderdale-anti-israel-protest

July 18

Philadel­phia, PA

Approx­i­mately 100 pro­test­ers gath­ered out­side the Israeli Con­sulate hold­ing signs that con­tained slo­gans such as “Israel praises Moses, but acts like Pharaoh,” “Stop Israeli Holo­caust against Pales­tini­ans,” “No more racism, No more Zion­ism, No more Fas­cism,” and “Do you think that Israel is a vic­tim? Zion­ism = Nazism” (with the Swastika and Star of David shown next to one another).

philadelphia-anti-israel-protest

San Diego, CA

Around 150 pro­test­ers attended a demon­stra­tion spon­sored by the San Diego chap­ter of Al-Awda. The pro­test­ers held signs with slo­gans such as “Stop Gaza geno­cide,” “This Jew does not sup­port Israel’s GENOCIDE,” and “Blam­ing Pales­tine for fir­ing rock­ets at Israel is like blam­ing a woman for punch­ing her rapist.”

Many of the pro­test­ers engaged in chants of “Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with geno­cide!” “From the [Mediter­ranean] Sea to the [Jor­dan] River, Pales­tine for­ever!,” “Long live the Intifada, intifada, intifada,” and “Brick by brick, wall by wall, Israeli apartheid has to fall!”

san-diego-anti-israel-protest

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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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