Anti-Semitism and Conspiracy Theories Run Rampant on Al-Awda Listserve
Posted: November 20, 2009
Recent messages on an anti-Israel listserve run by Al-Awda have included expressions of anti-Semitism, denials of the Holocaust and wild conspiracy theories about Israel and Jews.
Supporters of Al-Awda, a Palestinian-American grassroots organization, use its various national and regional listserves to condemn Israel and organize events expressing opposition to Israel’s policies. In recent weeks, several e-mails distributed to the listserve have featured particularly egregious comments alleging that Israel secretly orchestrates Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, that Jews are guilty of engaging in organ trafficking and that it is sensible to “doubt” the veracity of the Holocaust.
Al-Awda’s listserve has on occasion featured messages demonstrating support for terrorist groups, including the distribution of communiqués from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). But several of the recent messages, some of which appear below, reflect previously unseen expressions of anti-Semitism, slander about Jews and ludicrous conspiracy theories.
Claiming Jews Control the Media
November 6, 2009
A reply to a message about anti-Muslim sentiment following the Fort Hood shooting referred to FOX News and CNN as “Zionist Jew network[s]” and claimed that the media is controlled by “Jew Zionist masters.”
Alleging that Israel or the Mossad (Intelligence Agency) Orchestrates Palestinian Suicide Bombings
November 2, 2009
A message alleged that it is likely that the Mossad or Israel, which has a “central-command-structure,” orchestrates Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.
Denying Aspects of the Holocaust
September 22, 2009
The author of a message titled “How did the most famous Holocaust-victims leave us?,” stated that he does not deny the Holocaust but doubts its “size” and “content.” The author argued that Anne Frank, one of the “most famous” victims, died of pneumonia, as did “many many German officers” and others during World War II. [Frank actually died of typhus in a concentration camp.] He also contended that the crimes of the Holocaust have been sufficiently repaid: “And finally I refuse completely that any Palestinian pay the price for the Holocaust which, by the way, has already been totally paid…by Germany, and in Cash!!!!!”
Accusing Jews of Trafficking Organs
September 10, 2009
A message included a link to a conspiratorial article in The Palestine Chronicle accusing Jews of trafficking organs in Algeria. The message was written by Ziyad Zaitoun, the co-founder of the Arab American Community Coalition of Washington, who prefaced the link with, “Very important article. This will show you how low the Zionist will sink.”
While each message posted to Al-Awda’s listserve includes a disclaimer stating that it represents “the views of their authors and not necessarily those” of the organization, the listserve’s settings state that all postings require approval by a group moderator in order for them to be sent to list recipients.
Al-Awda’s various listserves, which began as a way for like-minded individuals to communicate with each other, quickly became a popular forum for group members to share information about anti-Israel articles, events and initiatives. Now, these anti-Israel listserves have further deteriorated into a platform for anti-Semitism, wild conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.