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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘symbol’

ADL Condemns Pepe the Frog as Hate Symbol

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Pepe the Frog, the cartoon character that has become a popular Internet meme, created by artist Matt Furie in 2005 as a cute creature with the catch phrase, “feels good, man,” has since evolved into memes featuring racist, anti-Semitic or other bigoted themes, the Anti-Defamation League reported.

According to the ADL, although the Pepe the Frog character did not originally have racist or anti-Semitic connotations, Internet users appropriated the character and turned it into memes that placing the frog in a variety of circumstances, some of which proliferated in on-line venues such as 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit, which have many users who promote racist memes and imagery, and so subset of Pepe memes came into existence.

“In recent years, with the growth of the “alt right” segment of the white supremacist movement, a segment that draws some of its support from some of the above-mentioned Internet sites, the number of ‘alt right’ Pepe memes has grown, a tendency exacerbated by the controversial and contentious 2016 presidential election,” ADL reported. “Though Pepe memes have many defenders, not least the character’s creator, Matt Furie, who has called the alt right appropriation of the meme merely a ‘phase,’ the use of racist and bigoted versions of Pepe memes seems to be increasing, not decreasing.”

ADL cautioned that “because so many Pepe the Frog memes are not bigoted in nature, it is important to examine the use of the meme only in context. The mere fact of posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is racist or white supremacist. However, if the meme itself is racist or anti-Semitic in nature, or if it appears in a context containing bigoted or offensive language or symbols, then it may have been used for hateful purposes.”

David Israel

“You Killed Jesus” Scrawled on Miami Menorah

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

A large menorah covered in seashells and used to spread the light of Hanukkah at Miami Beach was vandalized on Sunday, scrawled with black graffiti stating “You Killed Jesus”.

Sunday marked the 11th anniversary of the first time the religious symbol was vandalized, according to Fox News, with the beach-themed Hanukkah vessel being torn down three times in its first year on display.

The menorah is lit annually by Chabad Rabbi Zev Katz.

The damaged shells have already been replaced, and police are investigating the incident.

Malkah Fleisher

Brooklyn Suffers Surge in Anti-Semitic Scrawling

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

A swastika was found painted in the elevator of a building in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Tuesday.

The hate symbol appeared on a building on Clymer street near Wythe avenue.  Some reports stated that the scrawling is the fourth such incident in the last few months.

Earlier this month, during the Jewish holidays, a Brooklyn subway station was marred with graffiti in red capital letters stating “THE WORLD WOULD BE MUCH BETTER OFF IF ALL THE JEWS WERE LAMPSHADES” and “HitlER (sic) WAS RIGHT RE THE JEWS”.

Malkah Fleisher

Postcard from Israel – Hatzav

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Drimia Maritima, or the Sea Squill, is known in Hebrew as Hatzav (from the word Hatzeva; quarrying, hewing or tunnelling) probably due to the ability of its long roots to penetrate cracks in rocks, and even widen them, in order to reach water or damp ground.

In Israel, this tall, impressive plant – which flowers right at the end of the summer when all the rest of the vegetation is dry and yellowed – brings with it the message of cooler autumn weather, the start of a new school year and the approaching holidays of Rosh HaShana (new year), Yom Kippur and Succot.

From late August until October the Hatzav can be seen all over the country; from the Negev Desert in the south to the Golan Heights in the north, by roadsides and even in places where summer brush fires have scorched all other vegetation.

The Hatzav is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud as a plant used to mark the borders of agricultural plots and in modern-day Israel, its status as a symbol of the changing seasons has also earned it a place in Israeli popular music, including Naomi Shemer’s Cmo Hatzav and Tislam’s “Hatzavim Porhim“, sung here by its composer Izhar Ashdot.

Visit Cifwatch.com.

Hadar Sela

ADL Criticizes Anti-Abortion Center’s Western Wall Motif

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

The Anti-Defamation League blasted a plan by evangelical pastors in Kansas to build a replica of the Western Wall as part of an anti-abortion monument as “an outrageous affront to the Jewish people.”

The International Pro-Life Memorial and National Life Center is being planned by pro-life activists in Wichita. According to its website, http://www.prolifememorial.com, the wall will be “an exact replica of the Western Wall at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.”

The wall will be fronted with 60 white cross that “symbolize 60 million abortions…60 million little baby boys and girls have been murdered since 1973 in America alone. The International Pro-life Center will endeavor to stop this world wide genocide.”

The activists behind the initiative view the Western Wall – which is also referred to as the Wailing Wall on the website – as the symbol that commemorates Jewish suffering during the Holocaust, and want their replica to memorialize the 60 million aborted fetuses.

“The International Pro-life Center will be a national and international focal point to connect and integrate a variety of services which have the goal of promoting, bring healing, and enhancing human life,” the website says.

The ADL called the proposed center and a perversion of Judaism’s holiest site.

“Over the years we have seen a number of anti-abortion groups compare abortion to the Holocaust, but this takes the misuse of Jewish symbolism and history to another level,” Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, said in a statement issued Monday. “The Western Wall, this monumental symbol of Jewish grief and redemption is being co-opted and distorted to promote an anti-abortion agenda and message. Members of the pro-life movement are entitled to their opinions, but we wish they would not express them at the expense of Judaism’s holiest site and the Holocaust.”

The controversy coincided with another Israel-related Christian initiative – the seventh annual gathering of “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI), which is taking place in Washington, D.C.

The conference, the theme of which was Pro-Israel activity on college campuses, drew 5,000 participants from across the U.S., including Pastor John Hagee, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke via video.

“Without Jerusalem there is no real life in Israel,” Pastor Hagee told a galvanized audience. “The President of the U.S. told people of Jerusalem they can’t build additional homes there. He has no authority to tell them that! They are a democracy!”

JTA content was used in this report.

Solomon Burke

Anti-Israel Scottish Student Loses Appeal of Racism Conviction

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

A university student in Scotland lost his appeal of a racism conviction for insulting a fellow student’s Israeli flag.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh turned down Paul Donnachie, 19, in a bid to have his conviction overturned. Donnachie had been sentenced last August to 150 hours of community service and was expelled from St. Andrews University.

Donnachie in March 2011 told Chanan Reitblat, an exchange student from Yeshiva University in New York, that Israel was a terrorist state and the flag was a terrorist symbol. He then put his hands down his pants and rubbed them on the small flag hanging on the wall, the BBC reported. He also called Reitblat a terrorist.

The flag had been a gift to Reitblat from his brother, an Israeli soldier.

“This is a ridiculous conviction,” Donnachie said at the time of his conviction, according to the BBC. “I’m a member of anti-racism campaigns, and I am devastated that as someone who has fought against racism I have been tarnished in this way.”

A second student, Samuel Colchester, 20, was acquitted due to insufficient evidence. He was suspended from the university for one year.


It’s My Opinion: The Rush To Judgment

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida has riveted the attention of the entire nation. Martin, a Miami Gardens teenager, was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Many believe race played a role in the shooting. Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

Media reports portrayed Zimmerman as an overzealous busybody. Trayvon was seen as the victim of racial profiling, a black teen in a hoodie who accidentally wandered into the cross hairs of a frustrated cop wannabe.

Zimmerman had called police to report a young man who he claimed looked drugged and suspicious. Media portrayal of Zimmerman’s subsequent actions pointed to a misguided vigilante who hunted down and killed an innocent youngster.

The occurrence has taken on disturbing overtones. The unfortunate youth has become a symbol of racial unrest. He has been called a “martyr for the cause.” It is, of course, possible that Trayvon’s race was a factor in this tragedy. But not every act of violence perpetrated against blacks is necessarily racially motivated, just as not every act of violence against Jews is necessarily fueled by anti-Semitism.

A lynch mob mentality has emerged. The “new” Black Panther party has offered a reward of $10,000 for a citizen’s arrest of Zimmerman. The Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have done whatever they can to fan the flames. Sharpton sees the event as an indication of “open season on us.” Jackson points to an undercurrent of anger in the black community caused by police, banks, insurance companies and “people in striped suits.” President Obama added an emotional component when he said that if he had a son ”he would look like Trayvon.”

We Jews have long been victims of unfounded accusations. But this phenomenon is not unique to the Jewish world. Recall the charges made by Tawana Brawley, the allegations against Atlanta Olympic Park security guard Richard Jewell, and the attempted framing of the Duke Lacrosse Team.

I certainly am not an advocate for George Zimmerman. I am an advocate of not rushing to judgment.

Shelley Benveniste

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-the-rush-to-judgment/2012/04/05/

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