There is a new blog dedicated to disturbing developments at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: SF Jewish Film Festival Watch.
Jew-Hate at Jewish Film Festival by Jamie Glazov (FrontPageMag)
Why is a Jewish film festival giving a platform to a documentary and to an individual that serve the cause of anti-Jewish hate?
This Saturday, July 25, organizers of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival plan to show “Rachel,” an anti-Israel propaganda film. The documentary is based on the life and death of Rachel Corrie, an anti-Israel, anti-American activist who was killed in Gaza in 2003 when she deliberately ran in front of an Israeli bulldozer to protect a home that was sheltering terrorists. And not just content with showing the propaganda film, the organizers have invited Rachel’s mother, Cindy Corrie, also an Israel-basher, to speak at the screening and to participate in a question-and-answer session after the viewing.
I think this is my first time writing a letter of protest to a supposedly “Jewish” venue. ACTION OF THE WEEK: A Disturbing Addition to the Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco (StandWithUs)
Good for Koret Foundation for pulling out from this disgrace: The KORET Foundation pulls its funding from the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (StandWithUs)
All their remaining sponsors should be notified the they are about to support an anti-Israel event, providing a podium to antisemites.
Imagine walking on a campus past buildings where you have taken numerous classes with many peers, past the Student Center where you have eaten lunch many times, past all the familiar places where you have felt safe and accepted. Now imagine walking by those same places and seeing blood-stained flags of a nation that is part of your identity. Posters with “anti-hate = anti-Israel” and “Stop Israeli Genocide” parade in front of you. Displays surround you with images of cruel IDF soldiers, dead Gazans, Anne Frank — a symbol of Jewish tragedy — wearing a kaffiyeh, and of Israel’s barrier to protect Jews from terrorism, labeled an “apartheid wall.” It is as if everything Israel and Jews ever stood for is racism, bloodshed and war. You are a Jew; a proud Jew, a proud supporter of Israel. Now you are seen as nothing but a racist murderer on your own campus.
When I first walked onto campus and saw the Israeli flag blowing in the wind, ripped and blood-stained, I was filled with anger, sadness, and helplessness. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “These are lies. This is disgusting!” I didn’t scream, but I trembled with rage at the Muslim Student Union (MSU), and even more, at the UCI administration for standing by as their students are humiliated, chewed up and spit out, and depicted almost as animals.
Anyone who knows Israel’s history knows of its challenges, triumphs and mistakes. I refuse to accept vicious propaganda that demonizes Israel. I refuse to accept desecration of cherished symbols of Jewish identity. I recognize that freedom of speech entails freedom to preach hate, lies and prejudice, but I am repulsed. The MSU depicts the suffering caused by Israel’s recent war with Hamas, but it never acknowledges the reasons for Israel’s actions, the suffering of Israelis, Hamas’ goal to destroy Israel, or the tactics Hamas used, such as human shields, that raised the civilian toll. I, along with Israelis and the Jewish world, grieve for the innocent civilians who died. Why doesn’t the MSU show equal concern for Jewish fears and suffering? Could they share Hamas’ view that whenever an Israeli man, woman, or child is killed, it should be cause for celebration and passing out candy?
I have been told to censor myself so that potential students are not afraid to come to UCI, but I have had enough censorship. With truth comes power, not fear. The MSU’s hate is dangerous. I have been in Jewish private schools since second grade and I have always been taught that hatred is wrong. I know that Israelis are taught not to hate Arabs, and that Jewish national identity demands equal protection for Muslim religious identity. I know that UCI’s Jewish students never even thought of retaliating with a weeklong campaign of “The World Without Mecca” or “Palestinian Nationalism=Islamic Terrorism and Racism.” Then I came to UCI, and found that my fear of hatred was more than justified. At UCI, hate is a yearly event that lasts for a week. It isn’t just any hatred. It is hatred directed at me, my friends, my community and my history.
Georges-Elia Sarfati is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Clermont Ferrand in France. In his recent interview entitled Language as a Tool against Jews and Israel, he talks about Europe, but this universally applies to antisemites anywhere (the emphasis is mine):
“Europe created Nazism, totalitarianism, racism and colonialism. Linguistically, we see what we might call a ‘displacement,’ or in psychological terms, ‘projection.’ All these traumatizing elements in Europe’s history are redirected toward Israel.
“Theologically speaking, this recalls the mechanism of the scapegoat. The latter is loaded with everybody’s sins, and then expunged. This biblical gesture is taken over by anti-Zionism. With all its verbal violence it constructs a despicable image of the state of Israel.”
How to React?
When asked how Jews and their allies should relate to the discourse, Sarfati quotes from his book: “This Judeophobia…should be judged as a pornographic vision: the speakers, listeners and those who watch it, all enjoy it.” He points out that one should not fall into the trap by starting to respond to one’s enemies’ arguments.
“If the anti-Zionist says the Zionist state is a fascist or a Nazi state, it would be mistaken to answer ‘How could you say such a thing? Israel has been the victim of fascism.’ That will only lead to the anti-Zionist’s next slogan: ‘The victims have become perpetrators.’ Entering into such debates is useless.
“One can reply that by using the equation ‘Zionism is fascism’ the anti-Zionist has become a successor of Hitler’s tradition. His slogan says Zionism and Israel are the movers of the absolute evil. It recycles what the Nazis said about the Jews. Racism dehumanizes a certain segment of humanity in order to justify its expulsion before its destruction. The latter is then covered up as a goal of public health.” Sarfati explains: “In this way, language serves the perfect crime. That is why the anti-Zionist discourse hardly speaks about Zionism, but is very telling about anti-Zionists.”
Collective Psychological Processes in Anti-Semitism by Avner Falk
On Campus Anti-Semitism, Pro-Terrorism by Joe Kaufman
The Muslim Students Association (MSA), the extremist group which began as an American component of the violent Muslim Brotherhood (MB), once again has found itself sponsoring anti-Semite and terrorist supporter Abdul Malik Ali. The event is taking place this weekend, from the 10th through the 12th, at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).
In February 2004 at UC-Irvine (UCI), Ali declared that Israelis staged the September 11th attacks “to give an excuse to wage war against Muslims around the world.” In March 2006 at UC-Santa Cruz, he referred to the U.S., Britain and Israel as an “axis of evil.” In May 2006 at UCI, he praised Hamas and Hezbollah, whilst warning Israel, “We will fight you until we are either martyred or we are victorious.”
In October 2006 at UCI, he again threatened Israel, stating, “If history is any indication, there’ll be peace when you’re gone and we are in control again.” In May 2007 at UCI, he described Hamas as “freedom fighters, not terrorists,” Hezbollah as “people with a higher moral character,” and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as “a nice guy” and “an honorable person.” All this, while calling for the destruction of Israel.
In addition to the offending speaker, much of the blame for these outrageous statements must be shouldered by the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the group who continues to organize these events.
… it was the MSA who was guilty of bringing Taliban senior advisor to Mullah Omar, Syed Rahmatullah Hashimi, to the University of Southern California (USC) to speak in March 2001. It was the MSA who was recently responsible for using a USC website to propagate Islamic religious statements calling for the murder of Jews. And it was the MSA at UC-Los Angeles (UCLA) who referred to Osama bin Laden, in its July 1999 edition of its publication Al-Talib, as a “freedom fighter,” “philanthropist” and “great Mujahid.”
In addition to Ali, also featured as a speaker at this weekend’s event will be the Civil Rights Coordinator of the Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Los Angeles), Affad Shaikh. Like his ‘keynote’ speaking counterpart, Shaikh has a history of antagonism against Jews, Israel and the United States.
In December 2008, Shaikh posted onto a blog, which he is affiliated with, a picture of an individual holding a sign with the words, “DEATH TO ALL JUICE” [read JUICE meaning JEWS]. This, whilst in the same post, he demeaned Israel and stated that Muslim groups should end their full participation in interfaith gatherings with Jews…
Ultimately it is the schools themselves who allow this environment of hate to enter their institutions and who provide absolutely no accountability towards violence-inducing infractions committed by their radical Muslim students.
However, who is there to hold the schools accountable?
Khaled Abu Toameh, a brilliant Palestinian journalist, was surprised at the intensity of anti-Israel feelings on some US campuses: “Listening to some students and professors on these campuses, for a moment I thought I was sitting opposite a Hamas spokesman or a would-be-suicide bomber.”
I was told, for instance, that Israel has no right to exist, that Israel’s “apartheid system” is worse than the one that existed in South Africa and that Operation Cast Lead was launched only because Hamas was beginning to show signs that it was interested in making peace and not because of the rockets that the Islamic movement was launching at Israeli communities.
I was also told that top Fatah operative Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life terms in prison for masterminding terror attacks against Israeli civilians, was thrown behind bars simply because he was trying to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
What struck me more than anything else was the fact that many of the people I met on the campuses supported Hamas and believed that it had the right to “resist the occupation” even if that meant blowing up children and women on a bus in downtown Jerusalem.
Here’s the personality type, sounds familiar?
The good news is that these remarks were made only by a minority of people on the campuses who describe themselves as “pro-Palestinian,” although the overwhelming majority of them are not Palestinians or even Arabs or Muslims.
The bad news is that these groups of hard-line activists/thugs are trying to intimidate anyone who dares to say something that they don’t like to hear.
When the self-designated “pro-Palestinian” lobbyists are unable to challenge the facts presented by a speaker, they resort to verbal abuse.
He definitely has a point, my emphasis here:
The so-called pro-Palestinian “junta” on the campuses has nothing to offer other than hatred and de-legitimization of Israel. If these folks really cared about the Palestinians, they would be campaigning for good government and for the promotion of values of democracy and freedom in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Their hatred for Israel and what it stands for has blinded them to a point where they no longer care about the real interests of the Palestinians, namely the need to end the anarchy and lawlessness, and to dismantle all the armed gangs that are responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent Palestinians over the past few years.
The majority of these activists openly admit that they have never visited Israel or the Palestinian territories. They don’t know -and don’t want to know – that Jews and Arabs here are still doing business together and studying together and meeting with each other on a daily basis because they are destined to live together in this part of the world. They don’t want to hear that despite all the problems life continues and that ordinary Arab and Jewish parents who wake up in the morning just want to send their children to school and go to work before returning home safely and happily.
What is happening on the U.S. campuses is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state. It is not really about ending the “occupation” as much as it is about ending the existence of Israel.
For those who haven’t heard, the first week in March has been designated as Israel Apartheid Week by activists who are either ill intentioned or misinformed. …
So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology:
You are part of the problem, not part of the solution: If you are really idealistic and committed to a better world, stop with the false rhetoric. We need moderate people to come together in good faith to help find the path to relieve the human suffering on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Vilification and false labeling is a blind alley that is unjust and takes us nowhere.
You deny Israel the fundamental right of every society to defend itself: You condemn Israel for building a security barrier to protect its citizens from suicide bombers and for striking at buildings from which missiles are launched at its cities – but you never offer an alternative. Aren’t you practicing yourself a deep form of racism by denying an entire society the right to defend itself?
Your criticism is willfully hypocritical: Do Israel’s Arab citizens suffer from disadvantage? You better believe it. Do African Americans 10 minutes from the Berkeley campus suffer from disadvantage – you better believe it, too. So should we launch a Berkeley Apartheid Week, or should we seek real ways to better our societies and make opportunity more available.
You are betraying the moderate Muslims and Jews who are working to achieve peace: Your radicalism is undermining the forces for peace in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. We are working hard to move toward a peace agreement that recognizes the legitimate rights of both Israel and the Palestinian people, and you are tearing down by falsely vilifying one side.
To the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week I would like to say:
If Israel were an apartheid state, I would not have been appointed here, nor would I have chosen to take upon myself this duty. There are many Arabs, both within Israel and in the Palestinian territories who have taken great courage to walk the path of peace. You should stand with us, rather than against us.