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Anti-semitic hate literature found at SSU

This was disturbing to see:
picture of flyer

To explain the slogans to anyone unfamiliar with them: "Palestine" is the old name for the Jewish territory of the 20th-century British mandate period before it gained independence and renamed itself. The name comes from the 1st-century Roman renaming of Judah in a failed attempt to erase the Jews from historical record. Calling Israel "Palestine" is a way of insulting the Jews and denying the Jewish historical connection of the land.

"The Occupation" is an euphemism for Jews living at all in their own country. It has nothing to do with Israel's territorial gains in the 1967 war, the West Bank and Gaza Strip which were ceded to Israel in 1993 and 1979. Use of the term "occupation" in regards to Israel predates 1967 by years and it has always meant Jewish existence in the Middle East.

In short, this flier says KILL THE JEWS and says it loudly. It worries me to see something like this here at SSU which has always been a tolerant campus.

Some propaganda analysis if anyone is interested: The flyer conflates Bush's unwarranted war of aggression against Iraq with the Afghan war and Israel's existence. In Afghanistan there was a civil war in which one side, the Taliban, was merged with al-Qaeda. The US took the side of the other Afghans who now control most of their country. This is not an occupation. Neither is Israel, a progressive nation which has suffered decades of efforts by its Arab-supremacist neighbours to destroy it. The common thread in the three is that the sides ANSWER supports are all opposed to the United States.

The flyer also conflates ANSWER's extremism with mainstream populist issues in an attempt to attract people who aren't politically aware: opposing the billions of dollars spent on bank bailouts, opposing the immense size of the Pentagon's war budget, opposing police brutality (a hot issue with the recent Oscar Grant shooting). There is no "massacre of Palestinians" (members of the right-wing terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization) but it sounds good to be opposed to massacres, even nonexistent ones, and the phrasing makes the genocidal fascist Palestinians look like sympathetic victims.

Background on International ANSWER: Despite ANSWER's claim to oppose war and racism, ANSWER will support some of the most racist and pro-war groups on Earth. The Taliban. The PLO. Hamas. Hezbollah. As long as they oppose the US, their motivations are overlooked. I remember an ANSWER paper from 2002-2003 which praised the favourable qualities of Saddam Hussein's government, the only time I ever saw an anti-Iraq-war group take a pro-Saddam position. In short, these guys are the nuts that Republicans accuse the entire left of being.

ANSWER got famous and powerful by infiltrating other organizations' protests, claiming it organized them, and having racist speakers deliver virulent tirades against the Jews and the USA. The first part brought them donations and prestige while the last part made many competing organizations quit the protest scene, leaving ANSWER as the highest-profile spokesmen for a range of issues concerning the left. The populist labour/environmental protest movement that was growing in the 1990s is dead in large part because ANSWER associated "protester" with "lunatic anti-semite" in the minds of so many people. If you have ever wondered why so few people were protesting in the streets against Bush as his crimes became more obvious and why the protests never had an effect, this is one reason why. People were protesting Bush and Clinton before him from 1996-2003, but fewer and fewer were willing to be associated with International ANSWER's racist agenda.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2009 10:09 am (UTC)
When I see this poster, I see nothing Anti-Semitic about it. You make excellent points about ANSWER's past and the obvious effort to touch on many peoples emotions with the listing of unrelated current issues; however, I know many Jews (and even Israelis) completely opposed to the current treatment of Palestinian civilians. I think calling this poster Anti-Semitic is embracing the same breed of rhetoric you accuse ANSWER of implementing.

The desire to end military occupations around the world in no way implies the killing of Jews must take place. At first glance, I would say this poster is actually advocating the end to violence in general. An obviously quite idealistic approach, yet definitely something people should be able to gather for and promote without being labeled Anti-Semitic.
Feb. 15th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
This is dog-whistle politics. ANSWER is using specific slogans that have long-standing meanings going back decades. The words ANSWER is using specifically mean "KILL THE JEWS". "Palestine" means Jews have no right to live. "The Occupation", in reference to Israel, means Jews have no right to live. ANSWER has a long track record of protesting against Jews living on what certain Arab racist hate groups, such as the Palestinians, believe should be ethnically pure Arab land. Whatever your opinions on anything are, do not confuse them with ANSWER's hateful ideology.
Feb. 15th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
This poster just looks like another "Bring our troops home" protest. Ending the United States occupation of Iraq, complaining about budget allocations, etc. I didn't see any hate or advocation of killing Jews. Then again, my knowledge of international politics is practically nil.

Do you have any other sources where I can read more about who/what/why ANSWER really is?
Feb. 15th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, whenever someone says "end occupation," I think Holocaust.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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