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July 25, 2014 17

Anti-Semitism On Display: Two Weeks of U.S. Anti-Israel Protests

In the 15 days of protests against Israel’s response to the latest round of rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza, there have been a total of 134 anti-Israel demonstrations held in cities throughout the U.S. Many of these demonstrations featured anti-Semitism with many comparisons made between the State of Israel and Nazi Germany. In addition, some of the rallies have featured content in support of Hamas and overall Palestinian “resistance.”

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1. California

The state with the most anti-Israel demonstrations was California where there were 19 different protests held in cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chico, and Santa Cruz. Quite a few of these demonstrations featured signs that compared the State of Israel to Nazi Germany. In San Francisco an Israeli flag was burned. In Los Angeles, a demonstrator held a sign that read “That Jew-Jew Lame shit I ain’t with it Israel you better quit it Gaza-za #FreePalestine.”

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2. New York

Ten anti-Israel demonstrations have taken place in New York State in cities such as New York, Syracuse, and Buffalo. At these demonstrations, some participants held up anti-Semitic signs and certain speakers called for the destruction of the State of Israel and defended the terrorist group Hamas.

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3. Ohio and Washington

In Ohio and Washington State, there were nine separate anti-Israel demonstrations held in cities including Cleveland, Toledo, Seattle and Olympia. In both states, protesters held anti-Semitic signs that made comparisons between the State of Israel and Nazi Germany and alleged Israeli control over the American government. “Die-ins” were also held in both states.

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4. Texas

Eight anti-Israel demonstrations took place in cities such as San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Protesters held signs that read “They’re both the same” (written next to pictures of Adolf Hitler, an equals sign, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), “We’re seeing Israel’s incremental genocide in the Gaza ghetto,” and “End the Palestine Holocaust.”

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5. Florida and Washington, D.C.

Seven separate anti-Israel demonstrations took place across Florida and in Washington, D.C. Protesters attended these demonstrations holding signs that read “Adolf Netanyahu Hitler,” “One Holocaust doesn’t justify another!,” and “Gaza is the real Holocaust.” A sign that read, “Blaming Hamas 4 firing rockets @ Israel is like blaming a woman 4 hitting her rapist” appeared in Miami.

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6. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts

There were six anti-Israel protests held in both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts in cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Boston. At these demonstrations, participants were seen with signs that read “Not even the Holocaust gives you the right to do this!” and “Do you think that Israel is a victim? Zionism = Nazism.” The sign “Blaming Hamas for firing rockets is like Blaming a woman who punches her RAPIST” also appeared at a rally in Philadelphia.

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April 26, 2012 3

Divestment Effort at the Methodist General Conference in Tampa

Should the United Methodist Church divest from its investments in “companies that sustain the Israeli occupation?”

The answer to that question will be decided in Tampa, Florida, at this year’s General Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC). The conference began on Tuesday and is scheduled to take place through May 5, 2012.

The UMC includes on its agenda a list of “major issues” that will be addressed at the conference, including the church’s stance and efforts regarding abortion, gay rights, bullying and immigration. Also included in the agenda is a resolution on divestment from three American companies – Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard – until they “end their involvement in the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.” The resolution further calls on “the United Methodist Church boards and agencies, annual conferences, local churches and individuals to prayerfully consider corporate involvement in Israel’s occupation when making investment decisions.”

The resolution is being presented to the General Conference by the United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR), an anti-Israel contingent that was formed in 2010 following the release of the “Kairos Palestine Document.” That document, which calls for a global BDS campaign, denies Jewish connection to the Holy Land and justifies terrorism.

If the resolution is passed, UMC general boards will be required to present reports on their respective progress at the church’s 2016 conference.

UMKR has a document on its website listing individuals and groups that support the resolution and it takes care to specifically highlight the Jewish anti-Zionists who support BDS. This is likely an attempt to obviate allegations of anti-Semitism. The resolution has received support from Jewish Voice for Peace, a variety of Israeli anti-occupation activists and two anti-Zionist Holocaust survivors, Hedy Epstein and Hajo Meyer. In his statement, Meyer claims that, as a survivor of Auschwitz, he “[refuses] to belong to a group which is a perpetrator, and therefore I do not agree to allow the state of Israel to commit its crimes in the name of Judaism.”

In addition to the divestment resolution, participants at the conference may be asked to vote on other virulently anti-Israel resolutions, including one regarding endorsing the Kairos Palestine Document.

Efforts by Methodist anti-Israel activists to divest from Israel began in 2008. Then, the UMC voted to continue to allow its agency staff to make comparisons of Israel to the apartheid regime that existed in South Africa and participate in the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. The General Council did not, however, vote in favor of divesting from Israeli companies.

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