Attempts to Suppress Pro-Palestinian Views in the US
Major Conferences Cancelled, Voices Intimidated, and Support for Palestinians Under Attack
Following the recent Hamas attack on Israel, there has been a widespread effort to suppress pro-Palestinian views in the US. This has resulted in the cancellation of major conferences, demands for the dismissal of workers expressing support for Palestinians, and intimidation campaigns against Arab American voices critical of Israeli policies.
Leading US Jewish Group Forces Cancellation of National Conference
An influential US Jewish group has successfully forced the cancellation of a national conference organized by a prominent Palestinian campaign organization. The Jewish group alleged that the conference was a front for Hamas, the organization responsible for the attack on Israel. It claimed that the campaign organization supported Hamas and its violent actions.
Censorship and Advertising Pullbacks by Television Networks
Television networks, including NPR and the BBC, have faced allegations of censorship and advertising pullbacks. This occurred after a campaign of “listener complaints” following the promotion of a new book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The book received widespread praise, but it was removed from advertising schedules due to pressure.
Hilton Hotels Cancels Pro-Palestinian Event
The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce successfully pressured Hilton hotels into canceling an upcoming event held by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR). The chamber alleged that the USCPR was a conference for Hamas supporters and accused the main speaker, congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, of being a “notoriously proud Jew-hater.” Hilton canceled the event after receiving numerous calls and facing pressure, citing security concerns.
Unjust Cancellation and Discrimination
The cancellation of the USCPR event was called unjust and discriminatory by the director of the USCPR, Ahmad Abuznaid. He explained that the hotel presented a $100,000 bill for security and gave them only 48 hours to pay. Abuznaid stated that the cancellation was made unilaterally without any conversation or negotiation.
Support from Texas Governor and Campaign Against Starbucks
The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, expressed support for the cancellation and stated that Texas has no room for hate and antisemitism like that supported by Hamas. Additionally, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce is campaigning for Starbucks to close stores and dismiss thousands of workers who support Hamas. The chamber launched a boycott of the coffee chain, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
Escalation of Suppression Tactics
Palestinian American activists believe that the cancellation of these conferences is part of a larger campaign by hardline Israel supporters to shut down views critical of Israel and its policies. They argue that this campaign has escalated particularly after the recent Hamas attack. Activists have faced misinformation and attacks at a heightened level not seen in recent years.
Threats and Cancellation of Annual Banquet
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) announced the cancellation of its annual banquet after receiving bomb threats. The Marriott hotel, which had hosted the dinner for over a decade, received anonymous threats. Cair, the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the US, decided to call off the event after discussions with the hotel.
Continuing the Fight for Justice
Cair emphasized that it would not be deterred by threats and would continue to pursue justice for all. It secured alternative premises for the banquet but did not disclose the location publicly.
Media Suppression and Bias
Palestinian American human rights lawyer Noura Erakat has faced suppression and bias in media appearances. She was live on CBS and ABC, but her segments were removed from online playbacks. Erakat challenged pro-Israel narratives and sought to provide a wider context for the Hamas attack. In contrast, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, was given an unchallenged platform to make a long speech equating discussion of Israeli policies with support for terrorism.
Invited to Cry, Not Discuss Responsibility
Erakat believes that she was invited to speak about the humanitarian situation in Gaza but was discouraged from discussing the broader causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She expressed frustration that Palestinian voices are often asked to provide emotional responses without being given the opportunity to provide context or discuss responsibility.
Read More of this Story at www.theguardian.com – 2023-10-21 09:34:00
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