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August 23, 2016 1

Arab Media Outlets Falsely Label 1969 Al-Aqsa Mosque Arsonist as “Jewish”

August 21st marked the 47th anniver­sary of the arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque com­pound by Aus­tralian Chris­t­ian fun­da­men­tal­ist Denis Michael Rohan. Rohan said that God had asked him to set fire to the site, say­ing he would be made a “king of Jerusalem.” The Mosque was seri­ously dam­aged by the fire, and Rohan was tried, found insane, and com­mit­ted to a men­tal institution. Temple Mount

While it has been well-documented that Rohan was a Chris­t­ian, some Arab media out­lets have described him as Jew­ish and an Israeli set­tler, seem­ingly in an effort to blame Jews for being behind the arson attack.

Here are some examples:

Al-Quds, edi­to­r­ial, August 22, 2016 (Pales­tin­ian Authority)

“Yes­ter­day was the 47th anniver­sary of the crime of the arson of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque by Aus­tralian Jew Denis Michael (Rohan). He had the audac­ity to carry out his loath­some act under the cover of the Israeli occu­pa­tion author­i­ties, in an attempt on their part to try to find out the Pales­tin­ian reac­tion, as well as that of the Arab and Islamic Worlds. This, as a step in a series of sub­se­quent steps over the course of years — no, decades — lead­ing to its destruc­tion and the build­ing of the alleged Tem­ple in its place.”

Filastin, “Arson of Al-Aqsa No. 47”, by Yus­suf Rizqa, August 22, 2016 (Gaza)

“Yes­ter­day was the 47th anniver­sary of Denis Michael’s arson of the Al-Qibli (Chapel) part of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. Denis Michael was a fanatic Aus­tralian Jew, who had come from Aus­tralia to occu­pied Pales­tine with the objec­tive of delib­er­ately set­ting Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire.”

Al-Masriyun, August 21, 2016 “The Al-Aqsa Fire … the Fire is Still Burn­ing” (Egypt)

“On the morn­ing of August 21st 1969, two years of the occu­pa­tion of Jerusalem, Aus­tralian Jew Michael Denis Rohan set fire to the Qibli Chapel on the Tem­ple Mount…”.

Al-Jazeera, August 21, 2016 (Qatar)

On the sec­tion ded­i­cated to The Arab Real­ity show on Al-Jazeera, it says the following:

“It should be noted that The Arab Real­ity episode coin­cided with the 47th anniver­sary of  the burn­ing of Al-Aqsa Mosque at the hand of an Israeli set­tler who car­ried out his act, leav­ing the suc­ces­sive Israeli gov­ern­ments the task of com­plet­ing the Judaiza­tion of the holy city.”

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August 22, 2016 Off

Middle East Press Review: July-December 2015

Anti-Semitism is wide­spread through­out the Arab and Mus­lim world, man­i­fested in many seg­ments of soci­ety. The Anti-Defamation League mon­i­tors and doc­u­ments anti-Semitic car­toons and arti­cles, which appear daily in the Arab media. This pub­li­ca­tion is the lat­est com­pi­la­tion of select anti-Semitic car­i­ca­tures and themes, and includes exam­ples from July-December 2015.

News­pa­pers across the Arab and Mus­lim world con­tinue to fea­ture anti-Semitic car­i­ca­tures and themes, with stereo­typ­i­cal depic­tions of Jews that include big noses, black coats and hats. Many pro­mote age-old global Jew­ish con­spir­acy the­o­ries, includ­ing con­trol of the US and inter­na­tional gov­ern­ments, blood libel, the use of ani­mal imagery – rodents, dogs, snakes, and octo­puses – and Nazi analo­gies to por­tray Israel and Jews as sin­is­ter predators.

Filastin, August 2, 2015 (Gaza)

Filastin, August 2, 2015 (Gaza)

A num­ber of cur­rent events themes are high­lighted in this com­pi­la­tion, including:

  • Car­toons relat­ing to the hor­rific Duma mur­der of Pales­tin­ian infant Ali Dawab­sheh by Jew­ish extremists.
  • Car­toons accus­ing Jews of being behind global insta­bil­ity, includ­ing Jews depicted as respon­si­ble for the ter­ror­ism and geno­cide being per­pe­trated by ISIS.
  • Car­toons depict­ing the recent Pales­tin­ian vio­lence in Israel – the so-called “knife Intifada” – with Israelis in stereo­typ­i­cal Jew­ish garb as vic­tims of Pales­tin­ian stabbings.

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August 11, 2016 3

Tunisian BDS Conference Raises Questions About Qatari Involvement

On August 4th, the Qatar-based Arab Cen­ter for Research and Pol­icy Stud­ies (ACRPS) launched a three-day aca­d­e­mic con­fer­ence in Tunisia titled “Boy­cott as a Strat­egy to Counter Israel’s Occu­pa­tion and Apartheid: Present-day Real­i­ties and Aspi­ra­tions.” The con­fer­ence served as a reminder of BDS activists’ efforts to expand their agenda and fur­ther their goal of dele­git­imiz­ing the state of Israel, but also illu­mi­nated poten­tial rifts within the movement.

Panelists at the BDS conference in Tunisia

Pan­elists at the BDS con­fer­ence in Tunisia

While ACRPS claims to be an inde­pen­dent research insti­tute, it appears to have strong ties to the Qatari gov­ern­ment. This could sug­gest that indi­vid­u­als closely affil­i­ated to the Qatari gov­ern­ment may be inter­ested in play­ing a big­ger role in advanc­ing the BDS movement.

ACRPS reg­is­tra­tion doc­u­ments list Sul­tan Ghanim Al Kuwari, a promi­nent Qatari busi­ness­man, as the founder of the Cen­ter. Report­edly, Al Kuwari, who is closely affil­i­ated with Qatar’s royal fam­ily, is also listed as the direc­tor of sev­eral Qatari inter­na­tional media out­lets. He is also described as the per­son in charge of extend­ing the reach of the Qatari soft diplo­matic power under the lead­er­ship of the Emir of Qatar. Fur­ther­more, reports from pre­vi­ous ACRPS events present the Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani as a reg­u­lar guest of honor at many of the group’s events.

The Qatari con­nec­tion could raise the hack­les of BDS activists who are skep­ti­cal of Qatar’s for­eign pol­icy posi­tions, and are con­cerned that the country’s involve­ment would trans­form the grass­roots move­ment into a ‘state brand­ing’ project. On the first day of the con­fer­ence, mem­bers of the Tunisian BDS chap­ter dis­rupted the ses­sion and protested against what they con­sider as the Qatari government’s con­nec­tion. They also protested against the direc­tor of the ACRPS, Azmi Beshara, because he served as a mem­ber of the Israeli Knes­set in the past, which the activists con­sider as an act of trea­son. An ear­lier state­ment on the offi­cial Face­book page of the Tunisian chap­ter of the BDS move­ment called fora boy­cott of the con­fer­ence because the ACRPS and the con­fer­ence itself “are spon­sored by the Qatari gov­ern­ment” which, accord­ing to the Tunisian chap­ter, is “one of the Arab gov­ern­ments most active in nor­mal­iza­tion with Israel.”

This BDS con­fer­ence was built on a series of pre­vi­ous events hosted by the ACRPS and focused on ques­tions about the objec­tives of the BDS move­ment and the role of the Arab states, émi­gré com­mu­ni­ties, and Pales­tini­ans. One speaker, Osama Abu Irshaid, the National Pol­icy Direc­tor of Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, said “it is a must to trans­form the BDS move­ment into a sys­tem and a frame­work that will go beyond only boy­cotting cor­po­ra­tions that sup­port Israel to the de-legitimization of Israel as well.” ACRPS issued a paper sup­port­ing Irshaid’s goals.

Other speak­ers at the con­fer­ence included Max Blu­men­thal, a promi­nent anti-Israel blog­ger, Peter Slezak, the co– founder of the Australian-based Inde­pen­dent Aus­tralian Jew­ish Voices, and Richard Falk, the for­mer United Nations Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Pales­tin­ian human rights.

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