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January 3, 2014 0

WhatsApp Hezbollah?

Hezbollah’s media arm, Al Manar TV, which is listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist Entity” is exploit­ing yet another Amer­i­can tech­nol­ogy com­pany to reach and inter­act with audi­ences around the world.whatsapp-hezbollah

Al Manar is using the ser­vices of a California-based instant mes­sag­ing ser­vice called What­sApp to deliver “break­ing news” via text and to allow its sup­port­ers to inter­act with the station.

Al-Manar broad­casts Hezbollah’s mes­sages of hate and vio­lence, dis­sem­i­nates anti-Semitic and anti-American pro­pa­ganda and glo­ri­fies sui­cide bomb­ings to mil­lions of view­ers in the Arab world, Europe and South East Asia for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Al Manar web­site has already pub­lished selected mes­sages sub­mit­ted by users of What­sApp from around the world; some of the mes­sages include state­ments express­ing loy­alty and alle­giance to Hezbol­lah Chief, Has­san Nas­ral­lah.Hezbol­lah, a U.S. des­ig­nated For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tion, has increased its pres­ence on var­i­ous inter­net plat­forms includ­ing social media net­works such as Twit­ter, Face­book and YouTube, in recent years. This exploita­tion of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy has enabled Hezbol­lah to dis­sem­i­nate its mes­sages more broadly and quickly than ever before.

In July of 2012, ADL exposed Al Manar’s efforts to cre­ate free appli­ca­tions for smart­phones avail­able through iTunes and other online stores. The appli­ca­tion was removed from the iTunes store and Hezbol­lah issued a state­ment blam­ing ADL for the removal of its applications.

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December 5, 2013 0

Hezbollah Video Games Targeting Youth Promote War Against Israel

Hezbol­lah has launched a web­site for chil­dren “ages 11 and above” fea­tur­ing games that sim­u­late Hezbol­lah mis­sions against Israel from the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions per­spec­tive dat­ing back to 1982.hezbollah-video-game-adl

Play­ers can take part in sim­u­lated mis­sions from 1982, 1986, 1996, 1999 and 2000. The web­site says that “The games…are not ran­dom. Their goals are to strengthen the cul­ture of resistance.”

Each game is made up of three lev­els requir­ing play­ers to shoot with period-appropriate weapons rang­ing from machine guns to Katyusha rock­ets to tanks. Play­ers also under­take other actions such as fig­ur­ing out codes to dis­able radar and advanc­ing on tar­gets in the face of oppos­ing fire.

The web­site, launched in Novem­ber, also fea­tures videos pro­duced by Hezbollah’s satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion Al Manar. The videos pro­vide play­ers with Hezbollah’s nar­ra­tives on the conflicts.

  • In the 1986 game, play­ers advance on a for­ti­fied hill to an Israeli out­post using a vari­ety of weapons until they are able to kill all the Israeli sol­diers, take con­trol of the out­post and seize ammu­ni­tion and equipment.
  • In the 1999 game, play­ers must first dis­able mon­i­tor­ing equip­ment before they can explode a road­side bomb to destroy a con­voy trans­port­ing Israeli Gen­eral Erez Gerstein.
  • The 2000 game involves fir­ing rock­ets into Israeli ter­ri­tory to kill Israeli sol­diers on patrol.

Hezbol­lah has pre­vi­ously pro­duced video games; in 2003, it began sell­ing a game called “Spe­cial Force,” which was fol­lowed in 2007 by “Spe­cial Force 2.” Both depicted attacks against Israelis. Hezbol­lah claimed that the orig­i­nal Spe­cial Force sold over 10,000 copies inter­na­tion­ally, in loca­tions rang­ing frospecial-force-hezbollahm Lebanon and Syria to Canada, Ger­many and Australia.

The new games, which are avail­able for free through Hezbollah’s main web­site, had attracted nearly 350 “likes” on an asso­ci­ated Face­book page, pri­mar­ily from Lebanese young adults aged 18–34, with many oth­ers likely play­ing directly on the web­site. The Face­book page was appar­ently removed on Decem­ber 3 or 4 but has since been recreated.

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May 13, 2013 0

Spotlight On Al Aqsa Television

al-aqsa-newseum

Al Aqsa TV describes Salama and Al-Kumi as “Martyrs”

Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, a Trea­sury Depart­ment Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist entity, has been the focus of media scrutiny after a deci­sion by the New­seum to honor two Al Aqsa TV mem­bers as part of its ongo­ing memo­r­ial to jour­nal­ists who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2012.

On Sun­day, the Anti-Defamation League described the inclu­sion of Hus­sam Salama and Mah­moud Al-Kumi in the New­seum Jour­nal­ists Memo­r­ial as “a dark day for an Amer­i­can insti­tu­tion devoted to free speech and the First Amendment.”

Today, the New­seum issued a state­ment on its web­site indi­cat­ing that it has “decided to re-evaluate their inclu­sion as jour­nal­ists on our memo­r­ial wall pend­ing fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion.” ADL wel­comed the museum’s decision.

Al Aqsa TV was estab­lished by Pales­tin­ian Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil mem­ber and cur­rent Hamas Inte­rior Min­is­ter Fathi Ahmad Ham­mad. It began broad­cast­ing in the Gaza Strip in Jan­u­ary 2006.

Mod­eled after Al Manar, which is owned and oper­ated by the Lebanese-based ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Hezbol­lah, much of Al-Aqsa TV pro­gram­ming reg­u­larly glo­ri­fies vio­lence and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis focuses on chil­dren or is geared towards children.

For exam­ple, at the begin­ning of Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense in Novem­ber 2012, Al Aqsa TV inter­viewed the chil­dren of Hamas mem­bers who were killed in Israeli airstrikes. One of the boys inter­viewed said that he wants to fol­low in his father’s path, “I want to fol­low the path of Jihad like daddy and I want to be mar­tyred like daddy.”

Over the years, Al Aqsa TV has fea­tured music video aimed at rad­i­cal­iz­ing chil­dren. For exam­ple, a few years ago a music video aired by the net­work depicted a 4-year-old girl singing to her “mother,” iden­ti­fied as “mother Reem,” (an appar­ent ref­er­ence to Hamas’s first female sui­cide bomber Reem Riyashi).  Later in the video, the woman det­o­nates her­self and kills four Israeli sol­diers. After her mother car­ries out the attack, the lit­tle girl holds an explo­sive and sings to the cam­era, “I am fol­low­ing Mommy in her steps.”

In April 2007, the show “Tomorrow’s Pio­neers” fea­tured a Mickey Mouse-like char­ac­ter called “Far­four” pro­mot­ing a mes­sage of rad­i­cal Islam, anti-Semitism and hatred for the West. The “Far­four” char­ac­ter and child actors on the pro­gram taunt West­ern lead­ers and urge chil­dren to take up AK-47 assault rifles to defeat Israel and the United States.al-aqsa-tv

The Newseum’s Jour­nal­ists Memo­r­ial pre­vi­ously included Ahmed Haidar, a cam­era­man for Al Manar who was killed in 1993. Al Manar was des­ig­nated a Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist entity in 2006.

This year’s memo­r­ial also plans to honor Maya Naser, a cor­re­spon­dent for Iran’s Press TV, Iran’s gov­ern­ment-run Eng­lish lan­guage satel­lite news net­work. Press TV has emerged as the Iran­ian government’s pri­mary pro­pa­ganda tool to pro­mote a wide range of per­ni­cious anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries in Eng­lish to a world­wide audience.

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