MUNI anti-Israel bus ads sponsors’ pro-terror and antisemitic links

The writer is Chief Programs Officer for the Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.
February 23, 2015

Once again in San Francisco, city buses are sporting anti-Israel banners. This time they boldly state: “ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES – Your Tax Dollars at Work.”  These ads are the products of two sponsors, Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) and “NoTaxDollarsToIsrael.com”.

This website is registered to Bay Area resident Paul Larudee, a co-founder of both the Free Palestine Movement and Free Gaza Movement.  

Larudee also received a Medal of Honor.   

From Hamas. 

In 2008, after he sailed to Gaza to “break the Israeli siege” with the Free Gaza Movement.  Larudee and his fellow mariners met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who awarded them with a “medal of honor.”  That Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the US, the EU, UK, Canada, and many other countries did not seem to be an issue for Larudee and his shipmates.

It would be wrong to conclude that this Hamas link is “ancient history” from seven years ago.  Larudee’s Free Palestine Movement website currently displays a photograph of him and his former Free Gaza Movement colleagues surrounding Haniyeh while proudly wearing their Hamas medals.  

Larudee’s relationship with Hamas makes sense in light of comments he made to KPFA: “Not everybody that we work with in the Palestinian community is necessarily devoted to non-violence. And under international law, it is permitted for oppressed and occupied peoples to resist using armed resistance. This is permitted and we recognize their right to do so.”

Of course, international law does not permit “armed resistance” against civilians (i.e. terrorism), but why should reality stand in the way of a good argument?

Larudee’s extremism also extends into Jewish conspiracy fantasies.  Last September, he penned an article called “Strangler Fig Nation,” alleging that Israel, through the American Jewish community, is a “parasite” feeding off the “host/victim nation” – the United States – by “controlling” key U.S. institutions. He wrote also of how “the Israel Lobby has grown with few constraints, fed by its domination of the American Jewish community, extensive control of publishing and the media, the establishment and control of strategic think tanks that provide governmental advisers, and by a well-coordinated and lavishly funded political campaign machine.”

His conclusion is that Israel “constructed a strangler fig network of roots and vines that is feeding itself from the resources of world’s (sic) most powerful nation while gradually starving that nation… if a strangler fig is allowed to thrive, its host will wither and die, and only its form will remain as an empty shell for as long as the parasite continues to survive.”

Get it? Israel “the parasite” is slowly killing America with the conniving of internal parasites, American Jews.  

Where have we heard this “Jew as parasite” theme before?  One example is the pamphlet Der Jude als Weltparasit, used by the Hitler Youth for indoctrination to the ideals of National Socialism:   

The German people has recognized that the Jew has crept in like a parasite not only into our people, but into all the peoples of the earth… in order to destroy them both racially and as states, and thereby rule over them.

Larudee once told the Islamic Republic of Iran’s official Press TV, “Well, any non-Jew is a threat to Israel. So they need to be gotten rid of one way or another.” In another interview he told Press TV, “the Western media is controlled by pro-Zionist propagandists and this is why the international community does not react to the Israeli crimes.” 

Arch-anti-Semite and white supremacist David Duke also shares this fantasy of Jewish control.  His video “CNN Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix” purportedly “reveals how the Zionist Matrix of Power controls Media, Politics and Banking…”  

Larudee’s partner in this bus ad is the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), which places similar ads on buses and billboards in other cities.  This same ad appeared on buses in Portland, Oregon. That campaign was sponsored by SeaMAC, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights.  

But, don’t expect any of these groups, particularly JVP, to call out Larudee on his Hamas ties and overt antisemitism. After all, they share a higher overarching principle: to bash Israel. 

While SeaMAC doesn’t espouse Larudee’s bigotry, the group nonetheless supports a Palestinian claim of a “right to return” (a euphemism for demographically wiping Israel off the map) and accuses Israel of a litany of delegitimizing terms such as “war crimes,” “apartheid,” and “ethnic cleansing.” The group also supports BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign. 

So, if you visit San Francisco and see a MUNI bus sporting an anti-Israel ad, you know from which toxic soup of violent hate it spilled. 

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.