Two Jewish men attempt to trademark pro-Palestinian rallying cry, prompting mixed reactions

Two lawyers are doing their part to combat the spread of antisemitic rhetoric over Israel’s war on the Hamas terror organization in Gaza and are looking to trademark a controversial slogan that has become a mantra of the Jew-hating left.

In two separate filings, the Jewish Americans individuals are seeking federally protected trademark status for “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a phrase that is widely interpreted to be a call for the eradication of Israel as a country and the extermination of Israeli Jews.

The slogan has been changed at the “ceasefire” rallies that have served as a magnet for antisemites and has also been promoted by sitting Democrat members of the U.S. Congress like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)  despite its genocidal implications.

“One trademark, filed by Joel Ackerman of New Jersey, seeks to cover the entire chant ‘From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free,’ while the second trademark from Oron Rosenkrantz of Pennsylvania seeks only to cover the first part of the phrase,” Fox Business reported.

Screenshots have been posted on X, but the trademarks have not actually been issued yet as a reader note states, “Although the application for trademark is real, the trademark is still ‘Awaiting Examination’. In other words, not granted or in effect.”

If the applications do get approved, some warn that they could have the potential to backfire.

“It could backfire, and eventually all kinds of people we don’t want to wear hats and shirts with this slogan will buy the goods and use them, and it will spread around the world,” one law firm partner who “specializes in trademarks and intellectual property,” told the Jerusalem Post.

Lihi Katzenelson added that the chances of the two men receiving the trademark “is not that good,” and that “since it only applies to hats and shirts, stopping its use on other services and goods would be very difficult.”

“I assume the applicants, when they applied, assumed it would get a lot of publicity, which has already happened. I am not sure they assumed this slogan would eventually be registered to them,” she said.

“I would be amazed if they get this mark, irrespective of who they are or why they want it,” intellectual property attorney Fred Tecce told Fox Business, noting that there are “a number of significant barriers” to obtaining the trademark.

“It takes months (at the very least) to get a mark registered,” Tecce said in an email, according to the outlet. “Even if the trademark office examining attorney (the person responsible for seeing if you can be awarded a mark) decides you’re entitled to the mark, it gets published for what is called ‘opposition’.”

“As I said earlier this week, ‘decolonization’, ‘from the river to the sea’ and similar euphemisms necessarily imply genocide,” X owner Elon Musk wrote on the platform last week. “Clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension.”

In a rare bipartisan rebuke, Rep. Tlaib was recently censured by her House colleagues for her use of the incendiary slogan.

“Everyone is talking about this slogan,” Katzenelson said. The decision to try to trademark it “may not serve the purpose of the applicants.”

Chris Donaldson

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