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July 15, 2016 0

ADL’s Issues for the Platform Committees

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Over the next two weeks, Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats con­vene their con­ven­tions – the equiv­a­lent of the MLB All-Star Game for polit­i­cal junkies. While the con­ven­tions are often a spec­ta­cle of polit­i­cal the­ater, this year it feels like the drama that has taken cen­ter stage is over­shad­ow­ing impor­tant pol­icy issues.

This hasn’t hap­pened in a vac­uum.  For years, America’s polit­i­cal debate has been slid­ing toward greater polar­iza­tion and acri­mony, leav­ing lit­tle space for the give-and-take that is vital to the pub­lic pol­icy con­ver­sa­tion and a healthy demo­c­ra­tic process. Even where Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans can find com­mon ground, as they do on issues like crim­i­nal jus­tice reform, there seems to be lit­tle incen­tive for either party to compromise.

These diver­sions would be unhelp­ful in any elec­tion year.  But there are seri­ous issues fac­ing Amer­i­cans today, issues that require seri­ous debate. Amer­i­cans across the polit­i­cal spec­trum are reel­ing from the shoot­ing death of African-Americans Alton Ster­ling and Phi­lando Castile and the mass mur­der of police offi­cers in Dal­las. And ter­ror­ist mas­sacres tar­get­ing a gay night club in Orlando and gov­ern­ment work­ers in San Bernardino, CA have brought home the impact of hatred and the threat posed by vio­lent Islamist groups like ISIS. What­ever one’s views about how to address this vio­lence and the range of inter­twined issues it raises, Amer­i­cans deserve a prob­ing and con­struc­tive national debate rather than a con­test to see who can score the most polit­i­cal points.

In for­mal sub­mis­sions to the Plat­form Com­mit­tees of both par­ties, ADL has urged that Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats address a range of impor­tant issues in an urgent way. Inter­na­tion­ally, the U.S. must con­tinue to play a lead­er­ship role in the fight against ter­ror­ism; in ensur­ing that Israel remains strong and secure; in pro­mot­ing peace and respect for human rights across the Mid­dle East and else­where around the globe; and in speak­ing out against a dis­turb­ing rise in anti-Semitism.  Domes­ti­cally, our sub­mis­sion also addresses a vari­ety of issues, for exam­ple assert­ing the urgent need for progress on vot­ing rights, crim­i­nal jus­tice reform, expanded legal pro­tec­tion for the LGBT com­mu­nity, refugee rights, and gun vio­lence prevention.

ADL has had a long­stand­ing prac­tice of sub­mit­ting its pol­icy agenda to both par­ties, and has called on cam­paigns to reject char­ac­ter attacks and the use of big­otry in numer­ous cam­paign sea­sons.  This year, ADL is host­ing events at both con­ven­tions that focus on find­ing space for sub­stan­tive debate and col­lab­o­ra­tion toward progress in order to get down to the seri­ous busi­ness of address­ing the nation’s problems.

Politi­cians and can­di­dates will win or lose, come and go—but the fall­out will linger unless we can ele­vate the qual­ity of the debate mov­ing for­ward.  It is incum­bent upon all of us to raise our voices, to reject the use of big­otry or char­ac­ter attacks by any can­di­date, and to pro­mote a pub­lic debate based on facts, evi­dence and civil discourse.

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July 11, 2016 0

Violent East Jerusalem Graffiti Suggests Incitement Seeping Into Palestinian Daily Life

Graf­fiti recently on view in East Jerusalem, includ­ing on Salah El-Din street (the area’s main busi­ness dis­trict), high­lights the incite­ment to vio­lence seep­ing into the daily lives of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Pales­tini­ans liv­ing in that area. It serves as a reminder of the fragility of the rel­a­tive calm Jerusalem has enjoyed in recent weeks, hav­ing pre­vi­ously been a focal point in the wave of Pales­tin­ian ter­ror which began in Sep­tem­ber of 2015, often referred to as the “Knives Intifada” because of the fre­quent stab­bing attacks. Exam­ples of this hate­ful graf­fiti include an image of a hand hold­ing a knife with the Ara­bic cap­tions “stab”  and “The Jerusalem Intifada,” and an icon of a Pales­tin­ian hurl­ing a Molo­tov cock­tail with the cap­tion “resist.”

Other exam­ples include a map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza with the cap­tion “From the river to the sea”, sug­gest­ing that the Pales­tin­ian state should stretch from the Mediter­ranean to the Jor­dan River, thereby elim­i­nat­ing the State of Israel. Also spray painted are slo­gans call­ing for addi­tional acts of Pales­tin­ian ter­ror, with graf­fiti read­ing “The armed strug­gle till the liberation/long live the Intifada” and “The Intifada con­tin­ues till the lib­er­a­tion of the land and the people.”

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July 6, 2016 3

Animated Video Enacts Killing of Knesset Member Yehuda Glick by Palestinian Terrorists

Fol­low­ing the spate of grue­some Pales­tini­ans ter­ror attacks which took the lives of Hal­lel Ariel and Rabbi Miki Mark (whose killing was glo­ri­fied on Arabic-language social media), a video has sur­faced on social media call­ing for the killing of Israeli Knes­set Mem­ber and Tem­ple Mount activist Yehuda Glick. Glick, like the late Rabbi Mark, lives in the set­tle­ment of Otniel. He is best known for sur­viv­ing a Pales­tin­ian assas­si­na­tion attempt in Octo­ber 2014 in reac­tion to advo­cat­ing that Jews be allowed to visit the Tem­ple Mount.

The two-minute long ani­mated video shows Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists infil­trat­ing the set­tle­ment of Otniel, and shoot­ing Glick to death out­side his home. It ends with a voiceover in bro­ken Hebrew say­ing “Jews are for­ever for­bid­den from enter­ing Al-Aqsa Mosque. One who vio­lates this should come with Jew­ish bur­ial shrouds (“Tachrichim”), for his fate is that of Yehuda Glick, only this time we kill.”

Glick

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