Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oscar Grant Becomes a Poster Boy for Jihad

The event report below was contributed by our good friend Tzipporah, who now can't get back the several hours of her life that she gave up to subject herself to this event. But at least she is able to shed some light on what's crawling around in the political gutter in Oakland, California.

Those outside the Bay Area may not know the backstory: Early on January 1, a young adult African-American named Oscar Grant was fatally shot at a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) stop by a BART police officer. The incident was captured on a few cellphones as it happened. The officer has been arrested for murder and there have been several riots in downtown Oakland.

How is this connected to the recent action in Gaza, or to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in general? Nothing published about Grant suggested that he was politically involved in this issue. However, this incident has been cynically manipulated by the local anti-Israel groups to recruit support in the African-American community for their own jihadist agenda. So, to nobody's surprise, recent anti-Israel rallies in San Francisco featured posters attempting to link Grant's death to the Gaza situation, to recruit those angry over the shooting to the side of those for whom Grad and Qassam rockets are "legitimate resistance".

Here's Tzipporah's report from a "community meeting" held in Oakland 2 days ago. For upcoming attractions, just see what's been happening in France.

Violence Brewing in Oakland: A Forum to Incite African Americans to Hate Jews

Last night I fell down a rabbit hole and found myself in a world where honesty and truth were banished and lies reigned supreme. I was not out chasing rabbits though; I was at the Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland, along with about 200 other people, participating in a program called “From Palestine to Oakland: An Emergency Community Forum.”

The forum was co-sponsored by the Eastside Arts Alliance and the Gaza Action Committee. Speakers were from various anti-Israel organizations, such as the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Communities Against Police Execution (CAPE,) and Plan for a Safer Oakland (aka, Many of the organizers looked familiar because I had seen them before, from other recycled ANSWER niche groups, such as Jews Against Zionism. The goal of the forum was to draw parallels between the so-called oppression of Palestinians and Oakland African Americans. This forum was clearly a slick attempt by anti-Israel groups to co-opt African Americans and draw them into the world wide movement against the existence of Israel and hatred of Jews.

Subtlety was not their strong point. First, three young people from the Eastside Arts Alliance and the Gaza Action Committee stood on the stage with crudely drawn maps of Oakland and Israel. In this rabbit hole, Israel was called Palestine. The speakers taught us that Palestine was once a great and peaceful Muslim country. But then in 1948 European Jews and the United States decided to work together to rid Palestine of Muslims and give the country to the Jews. These Jews are called Zionists: “Zionism: A political belief system started in the late 1800’s (sic) and based on parts of the Jewish religion that believes the land of Palestine was given by God to the Jewish People. (Not all Jews are Zionist and not all Zionists are Jewish). (sic)
The U.S and Zionist forces embarked upon genocide and ethnic cleansing because they felt that Palestine was in a strategic part of the world, and the U.S. and the European Jews wanted to have a foot-hold in the midst of the Muslim world. The speakers stuck pieces of paper with outlines of brown people on them all over the pre-Israel Palestine map. They added other pieces of paper symbolizing trees and orchards. When they declared that it was now 1948, they moved all the people to Gaza and the West Bank and filled the map with a dozen or so large blue Stars of David which took the place of the displaced Palestinians who were presumably huddling in fear on the edges of the map. They added pictures of Uzi machine guns and barricades to the map.

They taught us that “war broke out in 1967,” and Israel conquered more Muslim land. They did not explain the cause of the war. To them, war simply “broke out,” perhaps as a bad case of the hives might break out.

We learned that Israel was founded “with the purpose of creating a ‘Jewish only’ state even though the vast majority of the population was not Jewish. They told us that Muslims have curfews in Israel. Palestinians must carry ID cards that designate what limited rights they are entitled to. Only Jews have the full panoply of rights.

Then they asked the audience to make the connection to Oakland. Think, they exhorted us, how the same forces that oppress the Palestinians also oppress the Black people in Oakland. I wondered if Zionists control Oakland. Why yes, I learned, they apparently do. They moved the brown people from “occupied Palestine” to the map of Oakland. They pointed to Piedmont and stuck a couple of Stars of David there. Then they surrounded the brown, oppressed Oaklanders with the Uzis and placed barricades around Piedmont and other areas they considered to be Zionist identified.

The audience loved it. They were very receptive to this blatant anti-Semitism and Palestinian mythology. My heart was thumping and I was certain that the word “JEW” was written on my forehead. I kept my pepper spray handy. The crowd was pumped up - lots of cheering and clapping. Two hundred happy Jew-haters surrounded me.

The remaining speakers revealed the following amazing facts:
1. The CIA and the Mossad are one big organization;
2. Oakland and Boston Police go to Israel for training (this factoid was imparted by a member of the New England Committee to Defend Palestine;)
3. Members of the IDF come to Oakland to train police;
4. During Hurricane Katrina, the Mossad sent Israeli snipers to New Orleans with orders to shoot black people “who were trying to survive;”
5. Palestine is Oakland;
6. The condos in Oakland are equivalent to the Jewish settlements in Israel, because Black people were pushed out of gentrified areas of Oakland the way the gentle Palestinians were pushed out of Palestine;
7. A speaker who identified herself as Nicole Solis said she is a teacher at a rich private school in Oakland. She described the school as a bubble for privileged kids. She said she is not permitted to talk about the things that really matter, such as graffiti art, Zionists, and guns;
8. Black people dressed in baggy pants are targets for Oakland police who are itching to kill them;
9. Oakland is heavily policed because Black people live here. The police are here to occupy the Black neighborhoods and commit genocide. Their presence has nothing to do with crime. The Oakland police are equivalent to the Jews in Israel;
10. Palestinians and American Blacks have one enemy: the U.S. Actually two enemies, because Israel is an extension of the U.S.
11. Palestinians cannot walk more than 30 minutes without violating a curfew;
12. The same Israeli people building the “wall” in Palestine are also building the “wall” between the U.S. and Mexico;
13. Gang members are now prosecuted as domestic terrorists. (As a criminal defense lawyer in Oakland, I know this is not true;)
14. Their definition of occupation is an outside power coming into a neighborhood, city, or country by military or police force, conquering the native people, and then forcing them off their land. In Oakland, this is achieved by gentrification. Gentrification is occupation;
15. Tel Aviv was an Arab city. The Zionists changed the name as part of their colonization of Palestine;
16. Schools in the U.S. should teach Arab history;
17. Oakland schools teach that slavery was a good thing and slaves were happy;
18. Palestinian and Black leaders are kept illegally in prisons so they cannot organize the people;
19. The first thing Israel does when they attack a village is to destroy the agriculture, such as the olive trees;
20. Federal police working with Oakland police intend to destroy Black culture;
21. COINTELPRO is actively trying to divide Black and Palestinian people in order to disrupt their organizing;
22. An Israeli PR firm in San Francisco is trying to entice people from grassroots organizations to visit Israel in order to feed them false information;
23. “They” do not want us to make the connections between what is happening in Palestine and Oakland;
24. Jews have invented creation myths of persecution in order to justify the genocide and colonization of Palestinians;
25. Oscar Grant represents persecution, resistance, and a great wave of grief, and love;
26. Myths are perpetuated in churches and temples to control the people;
27. Jews paint themselves as eternal victims;
28. The Committee Against Police Execution (CAPE) defends the right of people to come together to destroy property. The people who were arrested in the Oscar Brand riots should have all charges dropped against them, and the Oakland police chief should be fired.
Several times during the meeting, we were urged to attend a demonstration later in the week on the Berkeley campus to protest a lecture by Benny Morris. They reminded us several times that violence is an acceptable response to “justice denied.”

After 90 minutes of this anti-Semitic rubbish, I left. The red queen was on her head.


  1. Oh my G-d! That's the single most anti-semitic rant since WWII! Why is this type of open KKK style racism tolerated in California?

  2. Oh MY G-D! It's 1933 and Oakland is Berlin. We have lots of work to do. The truth is this kind of thing is becoming more and more common.

  3. "Several times during the meeting, we were urged to attend a demonstration later in the week on the Berkeley campus to protest a lecture by Benny Morris. "

    The Benny Morris talk at UC Berkeley was standing room only- and was literally packed to the rafters.

    Six, yes six, protestors stood outside, led by Jim Harris of Stop AIPAC. (What does AIPAC have to do with Benny Morris anyway?)

    Sure looks like the attempt at coalition building failed

  4. It seems to me like somethings are true in what they said. I am a proud jewish person and did not feel threatened in that room.

  5. I just found your blog and this excellent post.

    Although they weren't necessarily anti-Semitic, I have thought that there are strong parallels between the recent Greek riots, of December '08, when a police shooting also sparked nation wide rioting. (See

    I strongly suspect that the organizers of the protests used the Greek riots as a model, which used the Greek Indymedia website to fan the flames.

    This is from an interview with Journalist Tomasz Pompowsk

    They started immediately after the Greek Indymedia website posted the news of the death of the young boy, with phrases such as «Revenge for the dead" "Police should pay now" "Everybody out in the streets". As I said that happened les than 30 minutes after the incident. It is interesting to note that the national TV learned of the killing only after the first rioters took out in the streets. According to unverified information, the local media were informed of the whole incident by the rioters that called them with their mobiles as soon as they were marching out in the streets....

    Further down in the interview...

    Who organized that fighting?

    The culprits in first sight are the leaders of the anarchist-radical networks in Europe. Greek radicals are an important part of the European networks along with their "comrades" in Italy, France and Spain the so-called Mediterranean networks. The other elements to be found are based in Germany and UK. The former provided human resources and the latter have already organized the so-called "Antifa" groups in Athens.

    So we have a Pan-European network, which is to an extent under the surveillance of the European intelligence services. So my rough estimation is that no operation and preparation could have been implemented if some international officers were not involved.

  6. Its unfortunate that folks do not see the connection between the occupied territories of Palestine and the occupation that exists here in America. First, the United States is an occupying force on indigenous communities, who were swindled, murdered and poisoned for their lands. Similarly, Israel continues to violate its treaties by building new settlements and destroying Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

    Its not anti-Semetic to say that moving onto someone's land in violation of an agreement that you both made is illegal AND immoral.

    When the police begin killing innocent civilians, they lose their status as "protectors of the peace" or public servants. They become occupiers and persecutors to keep the people down. As stated many times, we are not mad because Oscar Grant was a unique situation. We are mad because this has been happening routinely in our community. We are occupied by the police force that imprisons the largest 1/4 of the world prisoners.

    Thus, the situation is Oakland is political. It is affecting each of our lives. It is not racist to say so. It is racist to say nothing. It is worse to do nothing.

    Thus, Occupied Palestince = Occupied Oakland.

  7. While one can legitimately point out that the American treatment of indigenous peoples was shameful (at best), the connection to Israel and the Palestinians is contrived (at best). It ignores the fact that the Jewish people were the indigenous people of the region (where did Arabs come from? ARABIA. No Arabs were in the area that became known as Palestine until the Mohammedan conquests in the 7th century-- another imperial conquest of indigenous people...).
    it also ignores the fact that Hamas is at least honest-- it declares that the conflict has nothing whatsoever to do with settlements in the West Bank, because it insists on the eradication of any Jewish presence in the Jewish homeland. And of course the elimination of Jewish settlements in Gaza didn't prevent the escalation of the rocket fire into Israel.
    so, Anonymous, if Israel withdrew all of its West Bank settlements tomorrow, following which Tel Aviv immediately comes under daily rocket fire, what do you say about Israel's right to protect its citizens then? Will you be out protesting Hamas' genodical attacks on Jews, its collective punishment of a civilian population? Somehow, I doubt it.

  8. No one asked for permission to print my first and last name. I was completely misquoted and now I am having to deal with the ramifications of this overly dramatic and poor example of journalism which is being posted all over the internet. This is a situation where we must learn to read between the lines and question the media. How could an article be taken seriously when the author remains anonymous yet puts others on blast? I do not see why she felt the need for "pepper spray" when she was offered a free meal and people's children were running around and playing with each other? Does that sound like a dangerous, threatening environment? Lastly, I am a pacifist who is against any and all use of military force... that does not make me anti-semitic, but a follower of the non-violent teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King. I will never support the use of guns, bombs, and killings to solve political disputes... no matter who uses them, or why.

  9. I assume the previous comment is from Ms. Solis?
    If you use your name in a public forum, what expectation do you have of privacy? If you are embarrassed about what you said, why did you say it?
    If you are afraid the parents of Redwood Day school will react badly to your extra-curricular activities, maybe you should reconsider them.
    However I did not attend this talk, so I can't judge.
    In my humble opinion, you make yourself a public figure, expect scrutiny.
    And Ms. Solis, if you walk with anti-Semites, you talk with anti-Semites, and you share a podium with anti-Semites, that makes you an enabler of anti-Semitism. Think about it, sweetie.

  10. 'I do not see why she felt the need for "pepper spray" when she was offered a free meal and people's children were running around and playing with each other?'

    I have some ideas.
    Maybe because she was Jewish?
    Maybe because she didn't buy into the lies?
    Maybe because she was afraid she'd be recognized in an environment where anti-Semitism was being incited.?
    Maybe because she was old enough to remember that Hitler also began with simple rhetoric, and by the time he was through, 2/3 of the European Jews were dead?

    Just a few ideas.

  11. Ms. Solis is quite correct. She very well MIGHT not be an anti-semite. Simply because an individual might do such things as hang out with anti-semites, stand silently next to anti-semites at street protest while they scream "Kill the Jews" in Arabic, assist anti-semites to achieve anti-semitic goals, doesn't mean that an individual is an anti-semite...

    they might just be a Dumb Sh-t!

    In either case, such an individual should not be permitted to have access to developing, young minds and should not be teaching our youth.


  12. Or they might be trying to HEAR another perspective... and make their own decisions. It's important not only for opposing factions to have dialogue to actually work for peace, but also for that open dialogue to be available to people who haven't formed an opinion on the subject yet.

    Its not accurate to label anybody anti-semitic for attending a pro-palestine meeting. Who's to say that their next stop wasn't to a Pro-Israel meeting to get another view on the situation? Certainly not the people commenting on this blog, who weren't even at the meeting, where the alleged comments were made. Its the judgement of these situation that we are unfamiliar with that has done so much to polarize the supporters of these communities...

    And, of course, the greatest way to show your intelligence and make a solid argument is by calling other people names. Is that the best that the commenters have to offer? Please accept my humble suggestion and find something more productive to do with your time.

  13. According to the Webster's Dictionary:

    libel (n) - (1) a spoken or written statement or a representation that gives an unjustly unfavorable impression of a person (2) the act or crime of publishing a libel

  14. wow!!
    for someone who witnessed Nicole Solis, first hand at the peaceful gathering at Eastside Arts Alliance... i am speechless at the attack aimed at her.
    and all this based off of misinformed journalism. not only were her words printed incorrectly but taken completely out of context.
    i'm appalled that no one has asked Miss Solis directly what was said. instead this mob mentality of 'racism' hidden under an anonymous cloak is shocking.

    and for the supposed journalist that printed the article based on the gathering at the ESAA... you are the exact person the elders on the panel were speaking of in regards to the divide and conquer tactic of the elite ruling class. this event was meant to be educational for all present, bridging a gap and creating dialog between opposing groups...

    finally, i appreciate the words here from the Jewish person present who did NOT feel threatened and found some truth in what was shared. perhaps if the journalist stepped up to the mic and shared their perspective (and perhaps asked permission to paraphrase those present, thus printing accurate quotes) a richer conversation might have taken place.

    as a Woman of Color, i didn't agree with all that was shared at this gathering but i am an intelligent adult who is able to research on my own and at the very least respect other view points.

  15. Anonymouse: "Its not accurate to label anybody anti-semitic for attending a pro-palestine meeting."

    No one was called anti-Semitic. The meeting however, appears to have had an anti-Semitic agenda. Whats with the Jewish stars in Piedmont? Can you explain that?

    Re: libel. Truth is an absolute defense.

    The author of this post doesn't appear to have been the only one upset with the blatant anti-Semitism and hate mongering in Oakland that day.
    The local head of the Anti-Defamation league was also there, apparently:

    Beware of Anti-Semitism Germinating in Oakland
    By Jonathan Bernstein
    ADL San Francisco Regional Director
    This article originally appeared in Jewish Newsweekly of Northern California on February 13, 2009

  16. I am studying journalism and one of the first things we learned about quoting people is that you must never ask the person if you can print their name. You simply do it, that way by the time they can complain, the paper is already out. Our defense? You didn't specify that you wanted to remain anonymous.

  17. "and for the supposed journalist"

    No where does the author of this claim to be a journalist- s/he is an attorney. Perhaps just a community member who drifted in and was shocked by what was heard.
    Personally, I'm shocked by what I've read.

    "you are the exact person the elders on the panel were speaking of in regards to the divide and conquer tactic of the elite ruling class."

    Quite the opposite- it sounds like the organizers of this event fear a Jewish/black alliance and are taking great pains to prevent it.

    In the words of Clarence B. Jones:
    I was Martin Luther King Jr.'s lawyer and one of his closest advisers, and I can say with absolute certainty that Martin abhorred anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism. "There isn't anyone in this country more likely to understand our struggle than Jews," Martin told me. "Whatever progress we've made so far as a people, their support has been essential."

    " this event was meant to be educational for all present, bridging a gap and creating dialog between opposing groups..."

    Can you show me any discusssion/summary/written material indicating this? I see no indication any pro-Israel group was represented. What opposing groups are you referring to? Both articles I've seen show this talk as classic hate-mongering- yes, much like Germany in the 1930's.

  18. The room dripped with anti-Semitism. Most of the speakers were rabidly anti-Semitic. The impression that the organizers imparted was that Jews are responsible for violence against African-Americans in Oakland. Taken logically, they implied (actually stated outright,) that Jews were responsible for Oscar Grant's death and the prevalence of guns in Oakland. It's a good thing that the officer who killed Grant is not Jewish because the panel would have had a field day and used that as the final nail in the coffin of Jews.

    Furthermore, almost all of the information given about the founding of Israel was patently untrue. It was hard not to laugh out loud when one of the speakers said that Tel Aviv was an old Muslim city stolen by the Jews. Hey people! Read some history books and you will learn that the Jews founded Tel Aviv in modern times. It was never an Arab city. Pure lies.

    My dear Ms. Nicole Solis: You should not be teaching school. You are not qualified. Your agenda is to teach lies to kids. Does Redwood Day School know this? I think they do.

    By the way, I taped the meeting. I believe the organzers taped it as well. I listened to my tape several times before I wrote my article to make sure it was accurate. And it was.


  19. when students in Oakland were shown Schindler's List for free in '93 or '94 at the Grand Lake Theater, courtesy of Spielberg, they laughed out loud at the scenes of emaciated prisoners. Spielberg was aghast, but perhaps it sparked something in him -- realizing he had shown little interest in African American suffering in all his years in film but then there he was trying to school them about historical Jewish suffering -- because he produced Amistad within the next few years.

    I wonder how interested anyone here was in Oscar Grant or other victims of police violence before this post (or after even). was there a single post about Oscar Grant or the sufferings of other people of color here? somehow I doubt it

  20. "was there a single post about Oscar Grant or the sufferings of other people of color here?"

    No. You arent going to find pasta recipes, car care tips or vacation photos, either. The mission of Bluetruth is stated clearly on our homepage

    "BlueTruth is devoted to refuting the accusations and exposing the lies that are being told on the streets and in cyberspace about Israel, Jews and pro-Israel organizations. A severe campaign of disinformation is underfoot that relies on anti-Semitic stereotypes, intimidation, half-truths, and outright lies."

    Thats why this expose was published- because now, as always, exposing lies to the light of day is the best way to deal with them.

  21. well, Dusty, your "me me me" approach to social justice is only going to get you so far. until you can build bridges with other peoples, especially others who suffer more than you do because of their race/ethnicity/religion/gender/orientation, many people simply won't care what you have to say. you'll just be preaching to the choir, so to speak, and not really advancing anything. but if it makes you feel better to be so single-minded, carry on then...

  22. well, Dusty, your "me me me" approach to social justice...blah blah blah...

    An ad hominem is NOT a rebuttal.

    This blog has a clear focus. It is one that sorely needs to be addressed, especially in the Bay area.

    I have worked for years to ensure justice and equality for all. It is precisely because of my progressive values that I support Israel, the only real democracy in the Middle east. Israel is a liberal democracy with a free press, an independent judiciary and equal rights for all regardless of national orgin, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Thats why THIS proud progressive is also a proud Zionist

  23. As my wife and I participated in the No on Prop 8 rally last night in front of the California Supreme Court, I realized that we would be shot dead or tortured at an LBGT rally in any Middle Eastern country but Israel.

    In fact, Israel recognizes same-gender marriages from other countries. None of the 60+ Muslim countries do so.


  24. It seems to me that this event was an open attempt to incite racial hatred in Oakland, and in particular, to place divions between two traditionally allied, progressive communities, the African-American and the Jewish communities, presumably for some bad purpose. As all prejudice comes from ignorance, it is especially bad to promote prejudice by spreading hate based ignorance.