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Anti-Semitism  

Updated: January 28, 2003

Unlike last spring, when antiwar rallies often served as venues for anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic expression, recent protests have remained largely focused on American policies toward Iraq. At January 2003 rallies in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco sponsored by the International ANSWER Coalition, the anti-Israel presence was insubstantial – particularly in the nation’s capital. In San Francisco, as the images below indicate, a larger number of protestors waved placards with messages attacking Israel. A few of the messages, while not representative of the tone of the rally, were anti-Semitic.



Marches and Rallies: 2002

The signs and slogans below reflect themes that were incorporated into pro-Palestinian rallies nationwide last year. These include

Equating Zionism with Nazism

A prominent theme at pro-Palestinian rallies was the equating of Zionism with Nazism. This insidious comparison alleges genocide of the Palestinian people, supposedly as part of an Israeli racial program similar to Nazi Germany's attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

Zionism, New York City, April 12, 2002
New York City
April 12, 2002
Zionism, Washington DC, April 20, 2002
Washington DC
April 20, 2002
'Zionism=Racism', Washington, May 6, 2002
Washington D.C
May 6, 2002
Zionism, New York City, May 6, 2002
New York City
April 12, 2002
Zionism, Washington DC, May 6, 2002
Washington D.C.
May 6, 2002
zionism, Washington D.C., April 20, 2002
Washington D.C.
April 20, 2002

Charging that Jews "Control" the U.S. Government/Media

Charging that Jews 'Control' the U.S. Government/Media, Washington D.C., April 20, 2002
Washington D.C
April 20, 2002

Charging that Jews 'Control' the U.S. Government/Media, Washington D.C, May 6, 2002
Washington DC
May 6, 2002

Charging that Jews 'Control' the U.S. Government/Media, Washington D.C., April 20, 2002
Washington D.C.
April 20, 2002

Another anti-Semitic expression that was featured at various rallies was the notion of Jewish control of the United States government. One speaker at an April rally in Washington, D.C. declared, "Israel out of Palestine! Israel out of America!" Many signs and speakers claimed that "Zionists" controlled the U.S. Congress and that somehow America needed to be "liberated" from this "corrupting force."

Classic Anti-Semitic Propaganda

Classic Anti-Semitic Propaganda, Washington D.C, April 20, 2002
Washington D.C
April 20, 2002
 

Several signs evoked the classic anti-Semitic canard of Jews as Christ-killers

Calls for Destruction of Israel

Calls for Destruction of Israel, New York, April 12, 2002
New York
April 12, 2002

Calls for Destruction of Israel, Washington DC, April 22, 2002
Washington DC
April 22, 2002

Calls for Destruction of Israel, Washington DC, April 20. 2002
Washington D.C
April 20, 2002
Nihad Awad, Executive Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the speaker. Hezbollah flag is on the left.

Many of the speakers at anti-Israel rallies also called for the destruction of Israel. In D.C., in April, a speaker representing a national Muslim organization declared, "The Zionists live by the sword, they would die by the sword!" He also urged the crowd to chant repeatedly, "We need to bring Palestine back to 1947!" Another activist at the same rally declared, "Israel must go!" and "globalize the Intifada!" The stage that produced this rhetoric was adorned with a large flag of the Hezbollah, a group on the State Department's list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.

Support for Suicide Terrorism

upport for Suicide Terrorism, Washington DC, April 20, 2002
Washington D.C.
April 20, 2002
 

Many speakers supported violence, including suicide bombings. A speaker at a 2002 rally in Washington said, "Palestinians are martyrs not murderers!"

Denial of Jewish Religious and Historical Connection to Israel

Denial of Jewish Religious and Historical Connection to Israel, New York City, April 12, 2002
New York City
April 12, 2002
 

Examples from Rallies in Other Cities

Pro-Palestinian rallies in San Francisco
San Francisco
April 5, 2002
San Francisco
Examples of signs that appeared at rallies in San Francisco included: "Zionism is Ethnic Cleansing," "1943: Warsaw 2002: Jenin," and "Sharon = Hitler".

On April 5, 2002, a woman attending a pro-Israel rally was confronted by opposition protesters chanting, "We will redeem our land through blood..." Some pro-Palestinian protestors were seen mimicking suicide bombers and pointing their fingers in the air as if they were shooting the pro-Israeli demonstrators.

Dearborn, Michigan
On April 14, 2002, a Pro- Palestinian crowd gathered at Warren Avenue and Wyoming and marched to City Hall for a rally. One of the signs carried equated the Star of David with a swastika.

Chicago
In 2002, there were numerous Arab American and Muslim American rallies in downtown Chicago outside of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. Usually the group marches in a circle chanting “Free, free Palestine, long live Palestine,” etc. Occasionally there will be speakers who consistently condemn Israel. There have been numerous signs equating Zionism to Nazism and Sharon to Hitler. Often there are signs with the Star of David equaling the swastika as well as signs charging Israel with "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing."

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