Category Archives: Uncategorized

Omar Suleiman and the vile propaganda and incitement from American Muslims for Palestine

Almost two years ago, I noticed the group “American Muslims for Palestine” (AMP) thanks to their ardent support for convicted Palestinian terrorist and US immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh. I didn’t cross-post the piece I wrote back then, but will do so now (see below) because the group has once again come to my attention, this time due to the support it has been getting from Omar Suleiman, a prominent American-Palestinian imam about whom I’ve written before (here and here and here).

Suleiman has recently been again in the news after he was invited to give a prayer in Congress; soon afterwards, the information I documented about his intense hatred for Israel was apparently unearthed and led to a controversy. Needless to say, Suleiman rejected the criticism as unfair and even claimed to fiercely oppose antisemitism. 

I plan to explain why I don’t think Suleiman’s claims and perfunctory expressions of vague remorse are all that trustworthy. While I have a hopefully soon to be published op-ed pending (now available here), I have much more material than I could present in the op-ed; therefore, I will also post some updates like this one, which focuses on Suleiman’s recent collaboration with AMP. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) profiled AMP in a report that includes activities up to 2014/15 and describes the group as “the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training and education to students and Muslim community organizations in the country. Founded in 2005, AMP promotes extreme anti-Israel views and has at times provided a platform for anti-Semitism under the guise of educating Americans about ‘the just cause of Palestine and the rights of self-determination.’” 

The ADL report also notes that “AMP has its organizational roots in the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an anti-Semitic group that served as the main propaganda arm for Hamas in the United States until it was dissolved in 2004. Since its creation in 2005, AMP continues to work closely with some former IAP leaders who currently hold positions as AMP board members.”

Yet I found that in December 2017, Suleiman joined an AMP demonstration in front of the White House “in protest of Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.” This protest was held immediately after President Trump’s declaration that the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there. Suleiman reacted to the announcement by posting an image of the Al-Aqsa mosque and tweeting: “Your embassy is as illegitimate as the occupation it seeks to legitimize.” #FreePalestine#Jerusalem

Later in December 2017, Suleiman wrote a fundraising appeal for AMP, describing the group as “a leader in the fight for justice in Palestine” and as “the only Muslim organization in the U.S. working exclusively on the issue of Palestinian rights.” Echoing his previous falsifications of history, Suleiman claimed that “Jerusalem historically has been a place of safety for people of all faiths,” and after emphasizing the special holiness of the city for Muslims, he asserted: “Palestine is a place from which many of us draw our history, and it is incumbent upon us to protect its sanctity and its native inhabitants who are being ethnically cleansed and their identity erased.”

Suleiman ended his appeal by admonishing his Muslim readers: “Resisting injustice and oppression is an integral part of our obligations toward God and humanity.”

[An archived copy of this text is here.] 

In late November of last year, Suleiman announced that he was on his way to attend an AMP convention. When you click on the attached image, you can see the poster advertising the AMP gathering.  The poster referred to Israel’s establishment in 1948 with the statement “70 YEARS LATER COMMITTED TO RETURN;” the demand was also presented visually by figures carrying Palestinian flags and walking towards a gate shaped in the outline of the area between the Jordan river and the sea, and leading to the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. AMP thus left no doubt that their conference advocated the elimination of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state from the river to the sea. 

A month later, Suleiman once again wrote a fundraising appeal for AMP, this time railing against “ridiculous and illegal” efforts to pass laws combating discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns targeting Israel. The text was illustrated with a photo of Suleiman speaking at the AMP conference in November in front of the poster advertising the conference.

[Archived here]

This clearly shows that less than half a year before Suleiman was invited to lead Congress in a prayer, he was agitating for BDS in co-operation with a radical group that rejects Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. 

* * *

Here is what I wrote about AMP two years ago:

The vile propaganda and incitement from American Muslims for Palestine

Maybe I’m late, but I recently discovered “American Muslims for Palestine” (AMP) It’s not a particularly prominent organization: it was founded in 2006; its Twitter account has some 6,600 followers, while the Facebook page – which describes the outfit as a “Public & Government Service in Falls Church, Virginia” – has some 15K followers. I’d love to know which government is behind this “service”…

In any case, the main “service” offered at the time of this writing is a frantic effort on Twitter to promote the hashtag #HonorRasmea in support of convicted supermarket bomber and US immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh. I have to confess that it strikes me as not terribly prudent when groups that surely oppose restrictions on Muslim immigration to the US cheer a convicted terrorist like Odeh – though I guess the Trump administration will only be too happy to have this kind of opponents.

Consider this tweet: “If more people were like her, we would live in a more just world #HonorRasmea and come to her farewell.” Yeah, if more people bombed supermarkets full of Jewish shoppers and then sneaked into the US by lying about their terrorist past, it would be really great, wouldn’t it.

Another “service” provided recently by AMP was a demonstration with “Friday prayers outside Israeli embassy;” the demonstrators were mobilized with the blatant lie “AQSA UNDER ATTACK” – with “Aqsa” referring to the entire Temple Mount.

Just how low AMP will go is nicely illustrated in a slideshow that is featured on the group’s website under the title “Jerusalem in the crosshairs.” 

We learn that it all started in December 1917, when the British marched into Jerusalem, “ending hundreds of years of Ottoman rule of Jerusalem, ushering in an era of colonization and dispossession. Despite Palestinians’ best efforts, the Judaization of Jerusalem has been ongoing since this period and exacerbated after the June 1967 war.” 

Right – who wouldn’t be sentimental about the good old days of “Ottoman rule of Jerusalem,” when the city became the ‘backwater of a dying empire’ – but at least non-Muslims “lived under numerous restrictions” and were “subject to special taxes” that had to be paid “both to the Turks and the local Moslem authorities.” Glorious!!!

And naturally, when such glorious times end and non-Muslims, especially Jews, are no longer treated as second- or third-class citizens, rampant “Judaization” sets in. Horrific!!!

The slides are full of distortions and outright lies, which are all too obviously meant to incite and justify Muslim rage and terrorism. 

The slide for June 7, 1967 is entitled: “Israeli forces occupy Al Aqsa;” the text mentions the raising of the Israeli flag on the Dome of the Rock – but not that the flag was quickly taken down; it also claims that Israeli soldiers “burned the Quran,” prevented worshippers from praying and confiscated the keys. Needless to say, there is no slide explaining that, in a concession that may have no precedent in history, Israel quickly handed control of Judaism’s holiest site back to the Muslim Wakf. 

The intentionally misleading use of “Al Aqsa” for all of the Temple Mount in many of the slides clearly serves to add fuel to the fires of religious passions; one example is the slide for January 28, 1976, which asserts: “Israeli Supreme Court rules that Jews have the right to pray in Al Aqsa.” The next slide claims that “Members of the extremist Temple Mount movement storm Al Aqsa and raise the Israeli flag with the Torah.” The accompanying image is taken from a 2015 Daily Mail article about renovations at the Dome of the Rock and shows the shrine with two regular Israeli flags (without Torah!!!) in the foreground, i.e. clearly not on the Temple Mount, let alone the Al Aqsa mosque. 

No less vile than the incitement propagated by AMP are the justifications offered for the murderous Al Aqsa intifada and the more recent “stabbing intifada.”

Since American Muslims for Palestine prominently emphasize that they want “to educate the American public and media about issues related to Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage,” it’s a pity that the historic Palestinian leader who clearly inspires their efforts gets no mention in the slideshow. But at least Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas knows how to honor this important Palestinian hero: he has repeatedly paid homage to Haj Amin al-Husseini (a.k.a. “Hitler’s Mufti”), praising him for having “sponsored the struggle from the beginning.”

The NYT’s false claims about ethnic cleansing in Jaffa


A recent article in the New York Times (NYT) travel section described Jaffa as “Tel Aviv’s Unexpected Luxury Hotspot” and included several photos that should make everyone want to visit. Unsurprisingly, it also drew the ire of anti-Israel activists, who claimed the piece ignored Palestinians. The NYT responded to the resulting fury by revising the article and appending a contrite “Editors’ Note” that was promptly mocked. As leading anti-Israel activist Yousef Munayyer put it: “Ooops, we forgot Palestinians exist!” 

According to the editor’s note, the revision also included mentioning “the expulsion of many [Jaffa] residents in 1948.” Indeed, the article now includes a sentence that claims: “In 1948, when the State of Israel was founded, most of Jaffa’s Arab residents were forcibly removed from their homes.” 

So I’m afraid another correction is necessary.

I wrote a post on Jaffa’s relevant history a few years ago in response to similarly false claims by veteran Israel-hater Ali Abunimah, who insisted that “Zionist gangs perpetrated the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian coastal city of Jaffa.” 

When I researched the post, I found an Al-Ahram Special from 1998 “commemorating 50 years of Arab dispossession since the creation of the State of Israel.” On pp.91-93 there is an eyewitness account covering the situation in Jaffa between late 1947 to May 1948 under the title “After the matriculation.” The author, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, is a former resident of Jaffa with impeccable anti-Zionist credentials – which is to say he would have described in detail all the horrors if there was any truth to the NYT claim that “most of Jaffa’s Arab residents were forcibly removed from their homes.”

However, recalling his last months in his hometown, Abu-Lughod wrote:

“No sooner had the UN General Assembly passed its partition resolution in November 1947, than Palestine was torn apart by a war waged between its two historically antagonistic communities — Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews. […]  The first shots were exchanged between Jaffa and Tel Aviv on the eve of 30 November 1947 during a three-day general protest strike declared by the Arab Higher Committee. […] On the eve of the UN Partition Resolution, Jaffa’s Arab population numbered over 70,000. By and large they supported the traditional Palestinian leadership headed by Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti.”

Understandably, Abu-Lughod, who was by then a professor of political science, didn’t mention the fact that the man who headed the popular “traditional Palestinian leadership” in the second half of the 1940s had spent the first half of the decade in Berlin, where he lived in considerable comfort as a well-paid guest and committed ally of Nazi Germany. Indeed, a 1948 magazine article described Al-Husseini as “Hitler of the Holy Land.”

Abu-Lughod then goes on to note that most Arabs in Jaffa and elsewhere seemed confident that “as the country belonged to the Arabs, they were the ones who would defend their homeland with zeal and patriotism, which the Jews – being of many scattered countries and tongues, and moreover being divided into Ashkenazi and Sephardic – would inevitably lack. In short, there was a belief that the Jews were generally cowards.”

When this belief proved mistaken, people started to leave Jaffa. According to Abu-Lughod, at first mainly the rich left, but as more and more people began to flee the fighting, the “National Committee…decided to levy a tax on every family who insisted on leaving.” Abu-Lughod volunteered to help with collecting this “tax:”

“I worked in a branch of the committee based in the headquarters of the Muslim Youth Association near the port of Jaffa. Our job consisted mainly of harassing people to dissuade them from leaving, and when they insisted, we would begin bargaining over what they should pay, according to how much luggage they were carrying with them and how many members of the family there were. At first we set the taxes high. Then as the situation deteriorated, we reduced the rates, especially when our friends and relatives began to be among those leaving.

We continued collecting this tax until 23 April, when the combined force of the Haganah and the Irgun succeeded in defeating the Arab forces stationed in the Manshiya quarter adjacent to Southern Tel-Aviv. On that day, as we realised that an attack on the centre of Jaffa was imminent, I and my family decided that they had to be evacuated temporarily. We rented a van, into which we crammed all the women and young children and sent them to Nablus.”

Abu-Lughod himself stayed in Jaffa until May 3, when he left by ship together with two friends to make the short trip to Beirut. By July 1948, he was already back with his family in Nablus, from where he soon made his way to the US to study and to build a successful career at Northwestern University. He left there in 1992 to become vice-president of Bir Zeit University in Ramallah.

As Abu-Lughod’s account illustrates, the majority of Jaffa’s Arab residents fled the fighting over a period of several weeks or even months – by land or by sea – while Jaffa’s self-proclaimed defenders tried to exploit those who wanted to leave by demanding a “tax.”

An additional point that is very relevant in this context is the fact that in the decades before Israel’s establishment, lots of Arab migrant workers were recruited from all over the region to build major infrastructure projects; in addition, there were legal and illegal Arab migrants who came to take advantage of “the relative economic boom, stimulated by the annual Jewish immigration beginning in 1882.”

As the 1937 report by the British Peel Commission put it:

“The increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas, affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that […] the increase percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent.”

That means that, due to “the substantial 1880-1947 Arab immigration […] the Arab population of Jaffa, Haifa and Ramla grew 17, 12 and 5 times respectively.”

So Jewish development brought a lot of Arabs to towns like Jaffa; indeed, as Robert F. Kennedy  put it in a dispatch for the Boston Post after visiting Mandate Palestine in March 1948: “The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944, came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state.”

As a result, it’s reasonable to assume that many of the Arabs who fled Jaffa and other major towns during the fighting in 1947/48 simply returned to where they had originally come from. 

The trouble with “white Jews”

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m late to the party, but I’ve only recently discovered that in the US, it has become really fashionable to designate Jews as “white” and to castigate them for enjoying “white privilege” or even accuse them of “upholding white supremacy.” While I got immediately furious for reasons I’ll explain, it seems that if you are an American Jew who wants to be counted as broadly sympathetic to progressive causes, you better uncritically embrace your “whiteness” and ruefully ponder the attending privilege and the ways in which you might contribute to white supremacy.

Obviously enough, this discourse developed in the very specific context of American debates about race and inequality, and it reflects supposedly progressive ideas about intersectionality and identity politics according to which being “white” is something deeply shameful akin to the worst sins condemned by religions. As Andrew Sullivan recently put it in an interesting column on “America’s New Religions,” “the young adherents of the Great Awokening exhibit the zeal of the Great Awakening.”

So questioning woke dogma and rituals will inevitably incur the wrath of the faithful – which hasn’t deterred me from voicing my objections to the in my view rather pernicious designation of Jews as “white.” Obviously enough, “white” isn’t just meant to describe the tone of one’s skin, but it is also meant to identify an individual as part of a racist and exploitative system that keeps all POC (people of color) down.

It is of course true that in 21st century America, most Jews live relatively comfortable lives and face little discrimination, which is reflected in a Pew survey from 2013 that describes American Jews as “a comparatively well-educated, high-income group.” But it wasn’t all that long ago that American Jews were not “white” enough to dare speaking out forcefully for taking in those “white” European Jews trying to flee very white murderous Nazis intent on achieving their “final solution” to the “Jewish problem.” Yet at very same time that American Jews felt too powerless to campaign to help desperate European Jews, polls showed “that many Americans believed that Jews were too powerful in the United States.”

The idea that Jews are too powerful, and therefore a threat that has to be fought, is of course an old antisemitic canard – and it is precisely because fantasies about Jewish power have cost so many Jewish lives over the centuries that it is preposterous to suddenly designate Jews as “white,” thus magically transforming them into accomplices and beneficiaries of power structures that, until quite recently, cast Jews as despised and dangerous outsiders. Designating Jews as “white” also seems to suggest that as soon as there is a generation of Jews lucky enough not to share the experience of endless discrimination and persecution of previous generations, Jews are expected to feel guilty and share the blame for whatever discrimination and racism other groups continue to suffer. At the same time, the vigorous Jewish support for the Civil Rights movement and liberal/progressive politics can apparently be ignored.

Another obvious problem with designating Jews as “white” is the fact that those really obsessed with “whiteness” violently disagree – as sadly demonstrated again just some two months ago, when a white supremacist killed 11 people and wounded several others at a Pittsburgh synagogue. That’s why the African-American activist and researcher Eric Ward was right to argue that “the truth is that Jews are not ‘whites’ in the United States. If they were, they would not receive death threats, their houses of worship would not be targeted, their burial sites would not be desecrated.”

Ward also pointed out that the left’s insistence on designating Jews as “white” leads to a downgrading of antisemitism as a comparatively minor form of racism that after all targets a supposedly privileged group. Yet, Ward concluded that Jews have only “temporary access” to “white privilege,” and he as well as others have noted that it is often conditional on concealing their Jewishness.

One good example of how happy Jew-haters are to seize on this debate was provided by an incident at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in March 2017, when fliers were distributed on campus announcing in big bold letters: “Ending White Privilege Starts With Ending Jewish Privilege.” white jewish privilege

The validity of the claim that Jews enjoy “white privilege” is also undermined by the fact that according to FBI data on hate crimes, Jews have been for decades the most frequently targeted group per capita; e.g. in 2017, “Jews accounted for 60% of hate crimes motivated by religion of target, despite being just 2% of population.” Figures for 2018 indicate that nothing has changed for the better.

So whenever I get involved in one of those endless Twitter debates about the question if American Jews are really “white” or just “white passing” and how much “white privilege” they enjoy and whether they can be both upholding “white supremacy” and be targeted by it, I think to myself that Eric Ward was definitely right when he expressed impatience with “contemporary movement versions of identity politics … that are navel gazing and focused on picking the lint from our own bellybuttons.” It seems to me that the current obsession with intersectionality and identity politics results all too often in a toxic divisiveness that contributes nothing to building a better society.

Yet another problematic aspect of the counter-productive debate about the “whiteness” of American Jews is that it gets inevitably applied to Israeli Jews. So it’s a fairly good bet to expect people who like to hold forth about “white” American Jews to move effortlessly to denouncing Israel as an evil colonial enterprise led by Nazis who insist on “Jewish supremacy.” The staunchly left-wing Israeli historian and writer Gershom Gorenberg captured it very well when he commented on Twitter: “When it’s good to be white, we’re not. When … it’s bad to be white, we are. When it’s good to be European, we’re Levantines. When Europeans are colonialists, we’re colonialists. When they hate immigration, we brought immigrants. When they hate capitalists, we’re capitalists.”

Arab-Muslim fantasies about Israeli cowardice

I recently scrolled through the tweets of the popular Palestinian caricaturist Mohammed Saba`aneh, who makes his living by producing images that depict Israel and its military as brutal and bloodthirsty monsters.

Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh2Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh3Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh4

But given that Saba`aneh earns his money with images designed to show what monstrously cruel enemy the Palestinian face, I was astonished to see that he re-tweeted an obviously fake clip trying to ridicule Israeli soldiers as pathetic cowards, easily scared by a youngster with a giant Palestinian flag.

Pal caricaturist Sabaaneh1

The clip is obviously a particularly shoddy Pallywood production; its creators didn’t even try to dress up the actors posing as Israeli soldiers in anything resembling IDF uniforms and gear.

 

Yet this shoddy fabrication got more than 20.000 views; the original tweet garnered almost a thousand retweets and some 2000 “Likes”, and the responses included lots of “hahahah” and related emoji.

However, one response was somewhat incongruous – because if the Israelis are such cowards, how do they manage to be so powerful that it’s up to them to “allow” Trump “to be President for the TV” if he meets a list of “Zionist” demands???

Pakistani patriot antisemitism

It turns out that Zaid Zaman Hamid who posted the fake clip is apparently a rather popular Pakistani political commentator whose verified Twitter account has more than 180.000 followers – and rather unsurprisingly, he’s fond of conspiracy theories, including blaming Israel’s Mossad along with the CIA and India’s foreign intelligence agency for destabilizing Pakistan.

So again, this self-declared Pakistani “National Security Analyst” seems to believe that the Israelis are pathetic cowards but still manage to project their power far beyond Israel’s borders…

That’s what makes antisemtism so unique: its practitioners manage to believe both that Jews are despicably weak and cowardly, and at the same time so powerful that they can control anything they want all over the world — needless to say, always to the detriment of the world. 

  

Hating Jews and Israel: When David Duke agrees with Marc Lamont Hill, Linda Sarsour and Louis Farrakhan

It’s often said that Israel is a divisive issue – but Israel-haters from the far-right and the far-left actually find a lot of common ground when it comes to the world’s only Jewish state.

So David Duke – described by the ADL as “perhaps America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite” – has decreed that “no decent person can disagree” with Marc Lamont Hill’s views on Israel. Hill is a far-left anti-Israel activist who thinks the Jewish state too evil to exist and wants it eliminated in favor of a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”

ML Hill D Duke

And while Duke doesn’t think too much of Women’s March leader and prominent activist Linda Sarsour, he does think she’s absolutely right to believe Israel exerts undue influence on US politicians…

D Duke Sarsour

Last but not least, über-progressives Marc Lamont Hill and Linda Sarsour are both admirers of veteran Jew-hater and all-round bigot Louis Farrakhan. David Duke isn’t a big Farrakhan fan, but just like he appreciates Linda Sarsour for expressing disgust with Israel’s supposed influence on American politicians, he appreciates Farrakhan’s very similar sentiments.

D Duke Farrakhan

The left likes to pretend antisemitism is an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. But every time the left makes statements about the world’s only Jewish state that appeal to the likes of David Duke, it proves that contemporary left-wing antisemitism masquerades as “anti-Zionism” while faithfully reflecting “the tropes, images and ideas of classical antisemitism. In short, that which the demonological Jew once was, demonological Israel now is: uniquely malevolent, full of blood lust, all-controlling, the hidden hand, tricksy, always acting in bad faith, the obstacle to a better, purer, more spiritual world, uniquely deserving of punishment, and so on.”

Or, to put it differently: Jew-haters on the far-right still subscribe to the Nazi-slogan “the Jews are our misfortune” – which the far-left will readily condemn while chanting “the Jewish state is our misfortune.”

Update:

For people who argue that to point to David Duke’s endorsements for left-wing positions is just a spurious attempt to establish guilt by association, let’s hear it from Marc Lamont Hill: “The fact that David Duke is thanking Trump for his South Africa tweet says everything.”

So presumably, the fact that David Duke agrees with Marc Lamont Hill says everything… 

ML Hill D Duke 2

The endless hate for Israel at Human Rights Watch

I have documented the blatant bias against Israel that is openly displayed by Human Rights Watch (HRW) officials in several recent articles (see e.g. here and here).

However, it’s usually not possible to cite all the material that may be relevant in articles – they’re after all categorized as op-eds and can’t be endlessly long, even if you have tons of outrageous stuff.

Since I use Twitter a lot to check on the issues I work on, I’ve also tried to collect some of the material there (see e.g. here).

But the more I look at the conduct of HRW officials, the harder it becomes to avoid the conclusion that their unending and completely shameless display of hypocrisy, if not outright bigotry on Israel, is worth documenting more systematically.  

So here are just two of the recent examples.

A few days ago, Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the HRW Middle East and North Africa Division, retweeted a cartoon by the notorious Carlos Latuff, who is a prolific producer of antisemitic images – one of which won him an award at an Iranian-sponsored “International Holocaust Cartoon Competition” in 2006.

The Latuff cartoon Whitson liked so much associates Israel prime minister Netanyahu with the assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It is widely assumed that the assassination was ordered by the Saudi crown prince, and there is an energetic campaign initiated by the Washington Post (which hired Khashoggi a year ago) demanding a drastic downgrading of all dealings with the Saudis.

In my view, this campaign is in many ways hypocritical – whoever needed the assassination of Khashoggi to discover how dreadful the Saudi regime is shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Moreover, I think it’s very problematic that Khashoggi’s Islamist views are now not only whitewashed, but also mainstreamed.

But needless to say, Whitson enthusiastically supports this campaign; and equally needless to say, whoever can be tarred as a supporter of the Saudis is unspeakably evil. Neither Netanyahu nor other Israeli government officials have made statements regarding Khashoggi’s assassination and its political implications, but that doesn’t prevent types like Latuff and top HRW official Sarah Leah Whitson from trying to spread the idea that the world’s only Jewish state must surely be on the side of the evil ones.

SLW RTs Latuff Netanyahu Khashoggi MbS

Another very similar effort comes from veteran Israel-hater Glenn Greenwald in the wake of the recent Brazilian election won by Jair Bolsonaro, who is widely regarded as a right-wing populist and has been described as a Brazilian Trump.

As is customary, most political leaders will congratulate the winner of a democratic presidential election – here is e.g. a report on French President Emmanuel Macron’s congratulation.

But of course, the congratulation of Israel’s prime minister provides yet another irresistible opportunity to depict the Jewish state as an evil entity – both for Greenwald and Sarah Leah Whitson.

As Greenwald put it: “Like most fanatical far-right leaders, Bolsonaro loves Israel & craves closeness to it. With the western liberal world recognizing Israel for what it is and abandoning support, Israelis see an alliance with far-right nationalists as their key strategy.”

SLW RTs Greenwald Bolsonaro

 

Nariman Tamimi declares her solidarity with a murderous terrorist: “We are all Ahlam Tamimi”

B’Tselem, i.e. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, recently wrote about the proceedings against Ahed and Nariman Tamimi, claiming that they are unfairly prosecuted because “the Tamimi family has long since become a symbol of unarmed Palestinian resistance to the occupation.” Powerful human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have made similar claims, implying that “Palestinian resistance” deserves support. This stance requires these organizations to cynically ignore or whitewash the Tamimis’ longstanding and openly acknowledged support for terrorism.

I have documented in great detail that for years, the Tamimis have glorified and incited terrorism, and that they hold family members who have committed terror attacks in high esteem. This is particularly true for Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind and facilitator of the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem that killed fifteen people including seven children and a pregnant woman, and left some 130 people injured; one young mother remained in a permanent vegetative state. Ahlam Tamimi has repeatedly boasted of the carnage she planned and helped perpetrate.

Given the current efforts to whitewash the Tamimis’ glorification of terror and their openly acknowledged association with, and admiration for, murderous terrorists, it is time to demonstrate that nothing has changed. It is particularly noteworthy that in the past year, Nariman Tamimi continued to advertise her admiration for Ahlam Tamimi. Below is a screenshot of some of Nariman  Tamimi’s Facebook photos posted in 2017. The five images marked with yellow circles show Ahlam Tamimi, the Sbarro massacre  mastermind and facilitator.

Nariman WeAreAllAhlam 2017

Since Nariman Tamimi can expect that most of her Facebook friends will know Ahlam Tamimi and share her appreciation of the murderous terrorist, some of the images were posted without comment (see e.g. this example archived here; the archived copy displays the link to the original post on top).

But one image, posted on March 16, 2017, shows a poster with Sbarro massacre mastermind and facilitator Ahlam Tamimi flashing a victory sign; the text calls for solidarity with her and reads in translation:

“Out of loyalty for the sacrifices of Ahlam, and emphasizing her right to wage resistance against the plundering occupier, and in rejection of the US demand to hand her over #All of us are_Ahlam_Tamimi. Take part in our campaign of solidarity with the liberated prisoner #All of us are_Ahlam_Tamimi. Today, Thursday at 7 pm – Be with us.”

Nariman Tamimi repeated the slogan in her own writing: “#All of us are_Ahlam_Tamimi”

Nariman WeAreAllAhlam poster 2017

Another image posted by Nariman Tamimi on March 15, 2017, shows Ahlam Tamimi with her husband Nizar Tamimi, who is Bassem Tamimi’s nephew and one of the terrorists involved in the killing and burning of Haim Mizrahi in 1993; at the time, this terror attack was seen as an attempt to derail the Oslo peace process.

Nariman Tamimi posted this photo with the chilling comment “#Ahlam_will triumph” – which is likely a reference to the publication of an FBI notice that included Ahlam Tamimi among the agency’s “Most Wanted” terrorists.

Nariman Ahlam will triumph

Ahlam Tamimi FBI Most Wanted

This is presumably the first time that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem are enthusiastically campaigning for someone who has declared publicly for years that a murderous terrorist who is now on the FBI’s Most Wanted list should be viewed as an admirable hero who deserves full solidarity.

Yet, when these so-called human rights organizations insist that the Tamimis are a symbol of Palestinian “resistance,” they are entirely right. And no matter how much Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem may try to mislead, Nariman Tamimi – along with other members of the clan – has demonstrated over and over again that supporting this “resistance” is supporting terrorism.

Translations from Arabic courtesy of Ibn Boutros.

Al Jazeera needs help to see the difference between Malala and Ahed Tamimi (updated)

Al Jazeera – or at least Al Jazeera contributor Shenila Khoja-Moolji – is desperately clueless, stumped by the question: “Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?” So let’s help them out a bit.

Malala Yousafzai gained prominence as a teen blogger for BBC Urdu, where she described her life under the harsh rule of the fundamentalist Islamist Taliban. The Taliban eventually decided to target Malala. On October 9, 2012, “[a] masked gunman boards Malala’s school bus and asks for her by name. He shoots Malala in the head, neck and shoulder.”

As far as Ahed Tamimi is concerned, masked gunmen are great. In September, Ahed Tamimi posted a picture of gunmen masked with Palestinian keffiyeh scarves on her Facebook page and repeated the message written on the image in Arabic: “Tell the fighters all over the world that they are my friends.”

Ahed loves terrorists

So the masked gunman who shot Malala was someone Ahed would consider a friend.

Sadly, Ahed was brought up to consider masked gunmen as her “friends.”

Her father Bassem Tamimi has shared a propaganda video for the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, and his wife, i.e. Ahed’s mother Nariman, “liked” this video glorifying Hezbollah.

Bassem Nariman Tamimi like Hezbollah

Ahed’s father also “likes” the Hamas-affiliated jihadist Al-Qassam Brigades: as I documented some two years ago, Bassem Tamimi responded with a “Like” when someone praised a photo Ahed had posted on her Facebook page, showing her throwing rocks, with the short comment “Good ahed” accompanied by an image glorifying the Al-Qassam Brigades.

BTamimi likes AlQassam3

Then there’s the sad fact that Ahed has several relatives who are convicted terrorist murderers – and who are greatly admired by her family for the ruthless murders they perpetrated.

Here’s little Ahed back in 2012 when her uncle Nizar Tamimi – the murderer of Chaim Mizrahi – married her aunt Ahlam Tamimi – the proud mastermind and facilitator of the 2001 Sbarro massacre that claimed the lives of fifteen people, including seven children and a pregnant woman; some 130 people suffered injuries; one young mother was left in a permanent vegetative state.

Ahed at Ahlam Nizar Tamimi wedding1

Ahed’s mother Nariman Tamimi has surely taught her daughter that ruthless terrorist murderers like her aunt Ahlam are admirable rebels.

NTamimi rebels not terrorists

When Malala was shot by the Taliban gunman in October 2012, she was 15. She survived. Here you can read the story of Malka Chana Roth, a 15 year-old girl who didn’t survive the terrorist bombing Ahed’s aunt Ahlam Tamimi remains so proud of.

3 ATamimi laughs

This is how the Facebook page of Ahed’s aunt Ahlam looked before it was made private – it is adorned with images of the suicide bomber who carried out the terrorist bombing of the Sbarro restaurant exactly as Ahlam Tamimi had planned. Needless to say, Ahed and her parents and many other Tamimi family members are Facebook friends with their murderous terrorist relative.

Sbarro bomber FB page2

Ahed FB friend Ahlam

 

Ahed’s mother Nariman Tamimi has presumably also taught her daughter that the murder of teen girls brings honor to the cause the Tamimis are devoted to. In June 2016, Nariman Tamimi shared a Facebook post from another Tamimi family member to honor the teenaged Palestinian terrorist who had just killed the 13-year-old sleeping Hallel Yaffa Ariel after breaking into her home. As far as the Tamimis are concerned, the murder of Hallel Yaffa helped “to return to the homeland its awe/reverence.”

NTamimi cheers 13yo murder3

If Malala was an Israeli Jewish girl and the gunman who shot her was Palestinian, Ahed’s family would have cheered and considered him a hero who brought honor to their cause.

* * *

It wouldn’t have been hard for the author of this Al Jazeera op-ed to find out what the Tamimis stand for – a few minutes of Googling could have gone a long way… That Shenila Khoja-Moolji either didn’t bother to inform herself about the Tamimis before writing about them, or decided to ignore their terrorist associations and sympathies, is noteworthy. Her Al Jazeera profile describes her as “a scholar of gender, Islam, and youth studies. She is the author of ‘Forging the Ideal Educated Girl’ forthcoming in June 2018.” On her Twitter account, she links to her page at the University of Pennsylvania.

Given Khoja-Moolji’s expertise – or at least interest – in “youth studies,” it is striking that she apparently sees no problem in the fact that Ahed has been sent out by her parents to try to provoke confrontations with Israeli soldiers since she was a little girl. An Avaaz petition for Ahed Tamimi – which at the time of this writing has more than 230,000 signatures – states: “Ahed’s been on the frontline defending Palestine since she was 7 years old.”

That is a good reminder of the long and sordid Palestinian tradition to abuse children as child soldiers. Perhaps Shenila Khoja-Moolji knows nothing about Palestinian child soldiers, but it would have been arguably very good if she had tried to find out a bit about it before praising Ahed Tamimi for her “substantial history of standing up against injustices.”

As I’ve shown, Ahed considers masked gunmen as her “friends,” and there’s another revealing indication of who might be her “friends” and indeed role models. A Twitter account set up recently to promote the Avaaz petition posted a tweet declaring: “Israel is dreading that Ahed is the next Leila Khaled, they will try to break her in anyway or shape. But what they forgot is to see the fierce and fearless & determine look through her blue eyes. #FreeAhedTamimi #FreeGeorgesAbdallah.”

It isn’t all that important if this Twitter account can be considered an “official” account sanctioned by the Tamimi family, because the images attached to the tweet are really worth a thousand words.

Ahed Leila Khaled Georges Abdallah

Ahed for terrorist G Abdallah

Ahed for terrorist G Abdallah2

So let’s recall who Leila Khaled and Georges Abdallah are.

Leila Khaled, with whom Ahed posed for a photo, is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is notorious for having “pioneered such terror tactics as airline hijackings” and the group perpetrated “hundreds of terrorist attacks.” As Wikipedia puts it without a trace of irony, Leila Khaled “is credited as the first woman to hijack an airplane.”

If Ahed Tamimi wants to be “the next Leila Khaled,” we can only wonder and worry what pioneering acts of terror she will once be “credited” with.

Georges Abdallah, for whom Ahed campaigned alongside her father Bassem Tamimi, is “a Lebanese militant” who “was arrested in 1984 and sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for the 1982 murder of Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Ray, who was an assistant US military attaché and murder of Israeli diplomat Yaakov Bar-Simantov outside his home in Paris on 3 April 1982, as well as involvement in the attempted assassination of former American consul in Strasbourg Robert O. Homme.”

I wonder when Malala (and her father) attended an event alongside a terrorist in order to campaign for another terrorist? Perhaps Shenila Khoja-Moolji will tell us in her next Al Jazeera column.

* * *

Translations from Arabic courtesy of Ibn Boutrous. A previous shorter version of this post was first published at EoZ

Linda Sarsour’s white knights: Max Blumenthal, David Duke &Richard Spencer

It’s terrible. Every morning Linda Sarsour wakes up – and because she has apparently set Google alerts for her name, she wakes up to “a new headline, a new google alert.”  She finds it “exhausting,” “so damn exhausting.” Maybe cancel the Google alerts? Or maybe grow up and accept that newspapers have op-eds and that not every op-ed writer falls for your hypocrisy and bigotry???

complains abt criticism

But here’s the good news, dear Linda Sarsour: in the past few days, three sort of well-known guys came to your defense. Among those heroes was your fellow-Israel-hater – and award-winning antisemite – Max Blumenthal, who happily joined so many of your wonderful fans in denigrating the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt, who had the temerity to doubt your absolutely FABULOUS credentials as an antisemitism expert. After all, the expertise you get from learning by doing is unbeatable, isn’t it…

And of course you love it when your fans stand up for you and tell Greenblatt that compared to you, he and his organization are just utterly clueless about antisemitism. I mean, the ADL has been fighting antisemitism, racism and bigotry for a century, but really, that means absolutely nothing, nothing at all if they can’t see that there’s no antisemitism expert as brilliant as you are, right?

MB defends Sarsour

Indeed, we should all remember that you never really liked the ADL. For example, you had a big problem with the ADL’s campaign against Hamas back in the summer of 2014; indeed, you condemned the ADL for “inciting hate here in the US” with this campaign. Absolutely right – why oh why should anyone hate a murderous Islamist terror organization like Hamas???

Attacks ADL anti-Hamas campaign 2014

And naturally, dear Linda Sarsour, you were appalled [archived] when the ADL’s Abraham Foxman condemned the kidnapping and murder of three teenaged Israeli students by Hamas terrorists: “The ADL should be the PDL (Pro Defamation League) – defaming Palestinians. Shame. Shame.” Again – absolutely right, of course!!! (Never mind some two decades worth of opinion surveys that document Palestinian support for terror…)

ADL defames Palestinians

Well, dear Linda Sarsour, there’s no doubt that Hamas fan Max Blumenthal fully agrees with you on all these issues.

But let’s have a quick look at the other two heroes who came to your defense. Admittedly, David Duke was a bit lukewarm, comparing you to a broken clock that is right twice a day…

David Duke defends Sarsour

But hey, I think David Duke and you could find a lot of common ground when it comes to the ADL – he would surely LOVE your witticism about the “Pro Defamation League” given that the ADL has described him as “perhaps America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite”…

And let’s not forget that alt-rightist Richard Spencer also came to your defense – indeed, given your complaints about how exhausting you find it to get criticism, you’ll surely appreciate his thoughts about why you are so terribly unfairly criticized.

Richard Spencer defends Sarsour

Mea culpa, mea culpa is all I can say here: I’m afraid I was the first one to highlight this tweet of yours, along with a whole lot of similar ones…

But in any case, there can be little doubt that also Richard Spencer would just LOVE your “Pro Defamation League” quip – can you imagine that the evil ADL has accused him of trying “to mainstream racism and anti-Semitism”???

So you see, the ADL isn’t just defaming Palestinians – they’re also defaming the likes of David Duke and Richard Spencer, and of course, worst of all, they’re defaming you, dear Linda Sarsour!!! But isn’t it a consolation that you are in such great company???

* * *

A previous version of this post was published on EoZ.

When an antisemitic picture from Michael Chikindas is worth a thousand words from Linda Sarsour

Michael Chikindas is a professor at Rutgers’ Department of Food Science who recently really made a name for himself thanks to numerous utterly bigoted posts on Facebook. The material was first exposed on the blog Israellycool and then reported by many other sites, including The Algemeiner and Tablet. The writer John-Paul Pagano, who authored the Tablet piece, also posted an archive with screenshots of the Facebook posts Chikindas shared with the world – though the professor apparently didn’t have many Facebook “friends” who noticed. Pagano later found additional bigoted posts from Chikindas on social media.

While most of the material is shockingly vile, I was particularly struck by one image – because it could have served as the perfect illustration of one of Linda Sarsour’s tweets that I documented earlier this year. As I noted back then, Sarsour wrote several tweets with a similar message, but the one I immediately recalled when I saw the Chikindas post is: “Homeless on the streets, Americans who haven’t recovered from natural disasters, unemployment, and we have extra $$$ for Israel. Smh. [Shaking my head].”

Chikindas greedy Jews

Chikindas Sarsour

The interesting point is of course that the image Chikindas posted will be recognized by most people as antisemitic, while the text Sarsour posted will be widely justified as legitimate criticism of US support for Israel. Some people will also argue that Sarsour didn’t blame Jews – not even “Zionists” – for the “extra $$$ for Israel” and that it is therefore completely unfair to compare her tweet with the vile image posted by Chikindas.

However, this argument works only if you look at this one tweet in isolation, because Sarsour posted plenty of tweets suggesting that Israel was either controlling or corrupting US lawmakers. As I pointed out in my documentation, Sarsour repeatedly insinuated that American politicians who back strong bonds between the US and Israel must be suspected of dual loyalties or corruption. Echoing the “Israel-firster” slurs – which caused much controversy a few years ago and were widely considered as reflecting antisemitic tropes – Sarsour suggested in July 2014 that “Israel should give free citizenship to US politicians. They are more loyal to Israel than they are to the American people.” At the end of last year, Sarsour reacted to a statement by Senator Lindsey Graham with the question “Are you a US Senator or do you work for Israel?”

Sarsour also repeatedly shared her conspiracy theories about AIPAC, i.e. the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Sarsour apparently believes that AIPAC lobbies to get the US to “revolve around Israel;” she therefore demanded in 2012: “Our country’s future should not revolve around #Israel. #aipac2012.” Sarsour also complained “#Election2012 issue priorities should be Jobs, jobs, jobs, immigration, and economy NOT #Israel. #AIPAC2012”.

In July 2014, Sarsour asserted that there was an “awkward moment when the White House goes off AIPAC script and says ‘Israel must end the occupation;’” according to Sarsour, this meant for the White House that “#theyareintroublenow.” When someone challenged her claim that the Obama administration was an “AIPAC puppet,” Sarsour insisted “that’s why we send $3 billion in military aid to Israel while Michigan/Detroit is bankrupt. Detroit doesn’t have AIPAC lobby.” It was hardly surprising when another Twitter user felt it was appropriate to affirm and illustrate the views Sarsour had expressed with an image that showed President Obama and the 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney licking the boots of “Rothschild.”

AIPAC script

Last year, when Hillary Clinton addressed AIPAC, Sarsour commented: “What was in Hilary’s goodie bag at AIPAC. Had to be real nice after that speech that almost bought her a prime minister seat in Israel.”

It is hard to imagine that someone who is as hyperactive politically as  Sarsour would not know that US support for Israel enjoys broad backing among Americans because Israel is widely regarded as “a clear strategic asset to the United States,” and the bilateral relationship is therefore widely regarded as based on “tangible, steadily increasing security and economic interests.”

Seen in this context, the message conveyed by Sarsour in her repeated efforts to suggest [http://archive.is/kZpAj] that US military assistance to Israel comes at the expense of health care, education funding and various other social benefits for US citizens is not that much different from the message Chikindas tried to convey with the vile image of a greedy Jew stealing money from an American family begging on the streets.

* * *

Note: A previous version of this post was published at EoZ.