Anti-Defamation League attempts to marginalize pro-human rights activities

(CHICAGO 10/13/2011) – The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) is a key focus in a new report released by the Anti-Defamation League, which labels AMP as an “extreme anti-Israel organization.” The report goes on to call all activism that raises awareness about Israel’s continuous violations of international law and deprivation of Palestinians’ human rights as “anti-Israel.”

The report, which was released just days before Students for Justice in Palestine chapters convene their first national conference in New York, appears to be a desperate attempt to shut down the event and smear everyone involved with it. The ADL, furthermore, tries to link AMP to this conference and decries AMP’s outreach to college students.

Framing human rights advocacy for Palestinians as “anti-Israel” completely ignores Israel’s occupation, its siege on Gaza and its ongoing and flagrant violations of international law, quite an irony for an organization that says it protects rights for all people.

“We reject the ADL’s attempt to frame this discussion in such a way that ignores Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians and instead tries to demonize those who raise awareness about Israel’s violation of international law and human rights abuses,” said Dr. Hatem Bazian, AMP chairman and professor of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. “Trying to label activists is a typical MO for the ADL. We at AMP are actually heartened by their scurrilous report because it shows that our work is effective and is starting to make a difference.”

Dr. Bazian co-founded the first SJP chapter on the Berkeley campus in 2001. However, each chapter is an autonomous unit and none is associated with AMP, which acts as a resource for students by providing speakers and materials.

The ADL’s report is actually just one component of a widespread network of tactics employed by Zionist organizations to shut down all Palestinian human rights activities on college campuses. Other tactics have included sending letters to hundreds of college presidents, threatening the loss of federal funding if they allow Palestinian advocacy – or even instruction – to take place; the training of Hillel students to conduct “pro-Israel” educational activities; and the funding of the “Israel Action Network,” an offshoot of the Israel Advocacy Initiative, a blatant public relations plan to sell the occupation to the American people.

“The ADL has a long history of questionable activities, which fly in the face of their moniker of standing for civil rights for all people,” Dr. Bazian said, “They’ve been caught spying on nearly 2,000 American citizens and organization, have worked against Affirmative Action, and employed stringent censorship tactics to try to keep the truth about the occupation from the American people. We are heartened by this new report because it shows our work is being effective and making a difference on the American landscape.”

AMP calls on all people of conscience to educate themselves about the how Zionist organizations function in this country and to expose their tactics that aim to maintain the occupation of the Palestinian people.

For more detailed information about the ADL, please click here.

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