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August 11, 2016 3

Tunisian BDS Conference Raises Questions About Qatari Involvement

On August 4th, the Qatar-based Arab Cen­ter for Research and Pol­icy Stud­ies (ACRPS) launched a three-day aca­d­e­mic con­fer­ence in Tunisia titled “Boy­cott as a Strat­egy to Counter Israel’s Occu­pa­tion and Apartheid: Present-day Real­i­ties and Aspi­ra­tions.” The con­fer­ence served as a reminder of BDS activists’ efforts to expand their agenda and fur­ther their goal of dele­git­imiz­ing the state of Israel, but also illu­mi­nated poten­tial rifts within the movement.

Panelists at the BDS conference in Tunisia

Pan­elists at the BDS con­fer­ence in Tunisia

While ACRPS claims to be an inde­pen­dent research insti­tute, it appears to have strong ties to the Qatari gov­ern­ment. This could sug­gest that indi­vid­u­als closely affil­i­ated to the Qatari gov­ern­ment may be inter­ested in play­ing a big­ger role in advanc­ing the BDS movement.

ACRPS reg­is­tra­tion doc­u­ments list Sul­tan Ghanim Al Kuwari, a promi­nent Qatari busi­ness­man, as the founder of the Cen­ter. Report­edly, Al Kuwari, who is closely affil­i­ated with Qatar’s royal fam­ily, is also listed as the direc­tor of sev­eral Qatari inter­na­tional media out­lets. He is also described as the per­son in charge of extend­ing the reach of the Qatari soft diplo­matic power under the lead­er­ship of the Emir of Qatar. Fur­ther­more, reports from pre­vi­ous ACRPS events present the Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani as a reg­u­lar guest of honor at many of the group’s events.

The Qatari con­nec­tion could raise the hack­les of BDS activists who are skep­ti­cal of Qatar’s for­eign pol­icy posi­tions, and are con­cerned that the country’s involve­ment would trans­form the grass­roots move­ment into a ‘state brand­ing’ project. On the first day of the con­fer­ence, mem­bers of the Tunisian BDS chap­ter dis­rupted the ses­sion and protested against what they con­sider as the Qatari government’s con­nec­tion. They also protested against the direc­tor of the ACRPS, Azmi Beshara, because he served as a mem­ber of the Israeli Knes­set in the past, which the activists con­sider as an act of trea­son. An ear­lier state­ment on the offi­cial Face­book page of the Tunisian chap­ter of the BDS move­ment called fora boy­cott of the con­fer­ence because the ACRPS and the con­fer­ence itself “are spon­sored by the Qatari gov­ern­ment” which, accord­ing to the Tunisian chap­ter, is “one of the Arab gov­ern­ments most active in nor­mal­iza­tion with Israel.”

This BDS con­fer­ence was built on a series of pre­vi­ous events hosted by the ACRPS and focused on ques­tions about the objec­tives of the BDS move­ment and the role of the Arab states, émi­gré com­mu­ni­ties, and Pales­tini­ans. One speaker, Osama Abu Irshaid, the National Pol­icy Direc­tor of Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, said “it is a must to trans­form the BDS move­ment into a sys­tem and a frame­work that will go beyond only boy­cotting cor­po­ra­tions that sup­port Israel to the de-legitimization of Israel as well.” ACRPS issued a paper sup­port­ing Irshaid’s goals.

Other speak­ers at the con­fer­ence included Max Blu­men­thal, a promi­nent anti-Israel blog­ger, Peter Slezak, the co– founder of the Australian-based Inde­pen­dent Aus­tralian Jew­ish Voices, and Richard Falk, the for­mer United Nations Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Pales­tin­ian human rights.

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January 9, 2015 57

Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Predictably Surface After Paris Attacks

Update –Jan­u­ary, 15, 2015: For more exam­ples, see also: Anti-Semitic Con­spir­a­cies Con­tinue In After­math Of Paris Attacks

In the after­math of the ter­ror attack in Paris at the Char­lie Hebdo office, con­spir­acy the­o­ries blam­ing Jews and Israel for the attack imme­di­ately sur­faced in the U.S and abroad.

Image accompanying Kevin Barrett's Veterans Today article

Image accom­pa­ny­ing Kevin Barrett’s Vet­er­ans Today article

The sub­se­quent hostage sit­u­a­tion at a Kosher super­mar­ket in Paris, where at least four hostages were killed, will undoubt­edly feed into the con­spir­acy the­o­ries as they con­tinue to spread, as they often do after a ter­ri­ble tragedy.

In the U.S., anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rists, who never miss an oppor­tu­nity to exploit tragedies to pro­mote their anti-Jewish hatred, and two anti-Israel activists blamed Jews or Israel for the attacks:

  • Mark Glenn, a vir­u­lently anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist, wrote on his blog The Ugly Truth that “The mas­sacre in Paris as [sic] yet another False Flag event aimed at re-igniting and re-invigorating Judea’s declared war against Islam.” The state­ment is accom­pa­nied by an image of Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with the cap­tion “…It will gen­er­ate imme­di­ate sym­pa­thy for Israel.”
  • On Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, Gilad Atz­mon, an Israeli-born anti-Semite based in Lon­don, claimed that France some­how deserved these attacks due to actions he claims were pushed for by “the Jew­ish lobby group CRIF.” He also chas­tises France for “fol­low­ing the whims of The Lobby.” He posited, “It is quite prob­a­bly that this was another false flag oper­a­tion. Who could be behind it? Use your imagination…”
  • Kevin Bar­rett, an anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist and fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Iran’s Eng­lish lan­guage pro­pa­ganda news net­work, Press TV, wrote an arti­cle in Vet­er­ans Today titled “Paris ‘Char­lie Hebdo Attack’: Another Zion­ist False Flag?” In the arti­cle Bar­rett describes the attack as Zion­ist “orches­trated” ret­ri­bu­tion for French for­eign pol­icy on Israel and the Pales­tini­ans. Bar­rett also implies that Israel is behind “Malaysian planes…falling out of the sky” as pun­ish­ment for Malaysian for­eign pol­icy on Israel, and that the 2011 attacks in Nor­way that killed 77 peo­ple were per­pe­trated by Israel against Norway’s Labor Party for its poli­cies on Israel.
  • Greta Berlin and Mary Hughes-Thompson, anti-Israel activists who co-founded the Free Gaza Move­ment (FGM), have also alleged Israel is behind the attack. Greta Berlin wrote on Face­book that “MOSSAD just hit the Paris offices of Char­lie Hebdo in a clumsy false flag designed to dam­age the accord between Pales­tine and France…Here’s hop­ing the French police will be able to tell a well exe­cuted hit by a well trained Israeli intel­li­gence ser­vice and not assume the Mus­lims would be likely to attack France when France is their freind [sic.] Israel did tell France there would be grave con­se­quences if they voted with Pales­tine. A four year old could see who is respon­si­ble for this ter­ri­ble attack.” Mary Hughes-Thompson posted on Twit­ter that “#Hebdo killings inde­fen­si­ble. Can’t help think­ing #JSIL Mossad false flag though….” JSIL is the acronym for “Jew­ish State in the Lev­ant,” a term being used by anti-Israel activists to equate Israel with ISIS.

Inter­na­tion­ally, such con­spir­acy the­o­ries have entered into more main­stream media and been pro­moted by var­i­ous individuals:

  • India: Mother Jones reported that Inter­na­tional Busi­ness Times India pub­lished an arti­cle that posited that the Mossad, Israel’s national intel­li­gence ser­vice, was to blame. “Although there is no way to ver­ify the claims that Mossad was involved, the back­drop in which the attack took place seems to indi­cate that they might be involved, many con­spir­acy the­o­rists have noted. Mossad is respon­si­ble for intel­li­gence col­lec­tion and has under­taken many covert oper­a­tions for Israel in Europe that aim to fur­ther their Jew­ish cause.” The arti­cle has since been replaced with an editor’s note stat­ing that the arti­cle alleg­ing this link “should never have been published.”
  • Tunisia: Tunisia Times posted an arti­cle on Jan­u­ary 9 on its web­site titled “Amer­i­can Resources: The Mossad is behind Char­lie Hebdo oper­a­tion in France” Accord­ing to the report, “Even­tu­ally, the Mossad hired Mus­lims from Ara­bic ori­gins to carry the attack to increase hos­til­ity towards Mus­lims worldwide.”

    charlie-hebdo-al-dostor-egypt

    Image from arti­cle in Egypt’s Al Dos­tor news­pa­per describ­ing the Mossad as car­ry­ing out the attack.

  • Egypt: Cairo-based daily news­pa­per, Al Dos­tor, pub­lished a report on its web­site yes­ter­day titled “Sur­prise… Accus­ing the Mossad of car­ry­ing out the oper­a­tion against the French news­pa­per Char­lie Hebdo.” Accord­ing to the news­pa­per, the Berlin-based Free Gaza move­ment accused the Mossad of exe­cut­ing the attack which tar­geted the head­quar­ters of the French satir­i­cal news­pa­per Char­lie Hebdo, and not any other ter­ror­ist group as it was reported.
  • Jor­dan: Rawafed News web­site pub­lished an arti­cle by Assad Al Azony on Jan­u­ary 8 titled” The tragedy of satir­i­cal Char­lie Hebdo… Search for Jews and the extreme French right wing [to be behind it]. Accord­ing to the arti­cle, “One must be cer­tain that Jews and the French extreme right wing exe­cuted this ter­ror­ist attack.”
  • Lebanon: Mid­dle East Panorama Media and News Agency pub­lished an arti­cle today on its web­site by Ahmed Al Shar­qawy titled “Char­lie Hebdo… Oh Arabs, be aware of the Zion­ist trap.” Al Shar­qawy claimed in his arti­cle that a pro-Palestinian Jew­ish friend who lives in France con­tacted him in the past warn­ing that the same news­pa­per is suf­fer­ing from a finan­cial cri­sis and that “Zion­ist Jews advised the news­pa­per to fab­ri­cate a bar­baric attack against the free­dom of expres­sion to increase its sales.”
  • Turkey: Coor­di­na­tor  of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood affil­i­ated orga­ni­za­tion Inter­na­tional Rabia Plat­form, Turk­ish jour­nal­ist Cihangir İşbilir, posted a com­ment on his Twit­ter account on Jan­u­ary 7, stat­ing “Alter­na­tive sce­nario: France angered Israel, because it would sup­port Pales­tine in the UN secu­rity Coun­cil. Mossad com­mit­ted the ter­ror­ist attack.
  • West Bank: Mazin Qum­siyeh, a con­spir­a­to­r­ial anti-Israel activist who has a his­tory of mak­ing anti-Semitic state­ments, sent an e-mail on Jan­u­ary 9 to his list­serv sug­gest­ing that the attacks in France may have been per­pe­trated by a state intel­li­gence ser­vice. He stated, “Whether this was yet another false flag oper­a­tion or by rogue ter­ror­ists not left alive to be ques­tioned, Zion­ists are milk­ing it to the best of their (very large) media abilities.”

Anti-Semites have pro­moted such absurd the­o­ries to explain events in Syria, the Boston Marathon bomb­ing, the Sandy Hook Mas­sacre, and the 9/11 ter­ror­ist attacks. In the Mid­dle East, there are those that claim that ISIS and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood have secret alliances with the Jews or that the Jews cre­ated such ter­ror­ist groups for nefar­i­ous purposes.

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October 31, 2014 Off

Tunisian Hacker Targets Hillel In California

O Ghost hacking groupThe web­site of the Beach Hil­lel in Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, was hacked by an appar­ent Tunisian hacker by the name of O-Ghost. The hacker redi­rects vis­i­tors to the Hil­lel web­site to a page fea­tur­ing a song about the tenets of Islam and dis­play­ing the hack­ers sig­na­ture over a phrase “Al Khi­lafa [the Islamic Caliphate] is coming.”

This attack is another in a series of hacks tar­get­ing Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in the U.S. from groups in the Arab world who often launch their cyber-attacks under the ban­ner of “Elec­tronic Jihad.”

Unlike most of the pre­vi­ous attacks, the hack­ing of the Beach Hil­lel web­site appears to be a one-person oper­a­tion. O-Ghost appears to be affil­i­ated with sev­eral hacker groups moti­vated by an anti-Israel agenda. A YouTube chan­nel ded­i­cated to doc­u­ment­ing the hack­ing oper­a­tions of O-Ghost is asso­ci­ated with a user by the name of Ous­sama Dridi.

Some of the YouTube videos uploaded by Dridi praise ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties in Afghanistan and describe the Tal­iban fight­ers as heroes. Fur­ther­more, the Face­book page includes images prais­ing “Elec­tronic Jihad” and a record of some pre­vi­ous oper­a­tions such as the hack­ing of credit card infor­ma­tion of Israeli citizens.

Other groups who have been active in tar­get­ing Jew­ish insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als include, Moroc­can Ghosts, Gaza Hack­ers, Team Sys­tem Dz , Moroc­can Islamic Union-Mail, and oth­ers mostly based in North Africa.

It is worth not­ing that the Moroc­can Islamic Union-Mail posted a state­ment today warn­ing of an upcom­ing attack on Israeli web­sites in response to what the group described as clos­ing the Aqsa mosque by Zionists.

The com­ment posted by Moroc­can Islamic Union-Mail reads, “Oh nation of the bil­lion [Mus­lims], your blessed Aqsa mosque, and the place of your noble prophet’s ascen­dance is closed by the orders of the Zion­ists…. [there is] a com­ing attack by the group to the Israeli websites.”

ADL doc­u­mented a num­ber of attacks since 2012 against Jew­ish insti­tu­tional web­sites. Ear­lier this month, ADL issued an alert to warn U.S. syn­a­gogues against this uptick in the num­ber of online attacks.

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