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July 14, 2014 2

Disturbing Online Messages Say #HitlerWasRight

The pop­u­lar­ity of some dis­turb­ing Hitler-related hash­tags on Twit­ter has grown in reac­tion to “Oper­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge,” Israel’s response to the lat­est round of rocket attacks from Hamas and other ter­ror­ist groups in Gaza.HitlerWasRight-hitler-gaza-israel-twitter-hashtag

Many of these responses have included the hash­tags #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong, such as:

  • “World needs another Hitler! #Hitler­Was­Right #SavePales­tine #SaveGaza”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right but he did one thing wrong he let other Jews to live, and they are mas­sacring #Pales­tini­ans today”
  • “#Hitler­Was­Right #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong we need a clone of #hitler for #jews #Israel @IsraeliPM”

This online out­pour­ing of anti-Semitism ini­tially appeared in the con­text of the recent series of Nazi and Holo­caust ref­er­ences that flooded social media after Germany’s 7–1 vic­tory over Brazil in the World Cup semi­fi­nals. Some of those wish­ing to protest Israel’s oper­a­tion in Gaza have pig­gy­backed on this phe­nom­e­non, ref­er­enc­ing both Germany’s World Cup vic­tory and Gaza in their #Hitler­Was­Right and #Hitler­Did­Noth­ing­Wrong tweets:

  • “Ger­many won the World Cup– Israel has won mur­der, destruc­tion and dis­as­ter. #iSup­port­Gaza #Hitler­Was­Right? He did what Israel does now”
  • “I am sup­port­ing #Ger­many because #Hitler­Was­Right he killed jews with this rea­son #GAZA #Gaza­Un­der­At­tack #WorldCuptFinal2014Brazil”
  • “2014 FIFA World Cup CHAMPIONS! ***GERMANY*** #Pray­ForGaza #Hitler­Was­Right #Jew­sAre­Hu­manEn­emy #JewsAreRealTerrorist”

Invok­ing Hitler and Nazi Ger­many to demo­nize Israel is not lim­ited to social media. Bla­tantly offen­sive com­par­isons have appeared at a num­ber of anti-Israel protests in the U.S. Below are just a few examples:

  • At a protest orga­nized by the Mil­wau­kee Pales­tin­ian Sol­i­dar­ity Coali­tion, one young woman held a sign that read, “Don’t Do To Pales­tini­ans What Hitler Did To You.”
  • At a pro­test­ in Cleve­land, one sign depicted Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mus­tache and a Nazi flag jux­ta­posed with an Israeli flag.
  • At a rally in front of the Israeli Con­sulate in Chicago, among the many signs were sev­eral that accused Israel of per­pe­trat­ing a Holo­caust: “End the Pales­tine Holo­caust,” “It was Wrong in Auschwitz, it is Wrong in Gaza!” and “Gaza Concentration/Starvation Camp, Designed, Man­u­fac­tured, Fre­quently Bombed and Man­aged By Israel.”    

A recent ADL poll of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in 100 coun­tries found that knowl­edge about the Holo­caust varies widely depend­ing on the coun­try. In the sur­vey, 54 per­cent of those polled glob­ally responded affir­ma­tively when asked if they had heard about the Holo­caust in Europe dur­ing World War II. Another 35 per­cent of those polled indi­cated they had no knowl­edge of the Holo­caust, and 10 per­cent responded “don’t know.”

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July 11, 2014 0

ISIS Weighs In On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Al-Battar Media tweet threat­ens: “Patience, Jews, our appoint­ment is at al-Quds [Jerusalem] tomor­row, for the one who waits is close.”

As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, an Al Qaeda inspired ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion seek­ing to cre­ate an Islamic empire) gains con­fi­dence, ter­ri­tory and expands its exten­sive online pres­ence, the ter­ror­ist group (and its sup­port­ers) are increas­ingly mak­ing threats against Israel in response to the ongo­ing conflict.

One of ISIS’ sev­eral media wings, Al-Battar Media, tweeted a series of graph­ics threat­en­ing Israel. One graphic posted July 9 shows storm clouds over Jerusalem with a warn­ing: “Patience, Jews, our appoint­ment is at al-Quds [Jerusalem] tomor­row, for the one who waits is close.” Another image posted the same day shows the Dome of the Rock mosque super­im­posed in front of mil­i­tants and fea­tures the same language. 

ISIS’ Dawla Media Twit­ter feed, which reg­u­larly posts ISIS pro­pa­ganda mate­ri­als, tweeted a quoteon July 8 pur­port­edly from a Hamas spokesman say­ing, “All our mil­i­tary oper­a­tions till now are just [a] mes­sage for Israel.”

Dawla Media has also tweeted a state­menton July 9 indi­cat­ing that ISIS must fight the sur­round­ing Arab states before it can attack Israel “because they are the pro­tec­tive fence sup­port­ing the Jews.”

Other state­ments have been tweeted from a feed asso­ci­ated with the pro-ISIS extrem­ist forum “Al-Platform Media,” which has been tweet­ing state­ments by forum users. For exam­ple, one tweet from July linked to a con­ver­sa­tion on the forum pro­claim­ing, “Allah’s curse upon those of you who have made filth on the holy places. Zion­ist dogs…I would cru­cify you.”

ISIS’s online sup­port­ers are also tweet­ing their own threats. One sup­porter wrote that the kid­nap­pings and deaths of the three Israeli teenagers Naf­tali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach would be the first of many such attacks. And at least one sup­porter posted the anti-Semitic “Khay­bar” slo­gan evok­ing the story of slay­ing thou­sands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Ara­bia 1400 years ago. The slo­gan has been retweeted and favor­ited by many ISIS supporters.

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ISIS map that reads, “We fight in Lev­an­tine and our eyes are ded­i­cated towards beit al Maqdis [Jerusalem]”

ISIS pro­pa­ganda tar­get­ing Israel is not with­out prece­dent. Even before the cur­rent con­flict, maps dis­trib­uted online by ISIS demon­strat­ing its ter­ri­to­r­ial ambi­tions reg­u­larly included Israel as part of the Islamic State. A map released by ISIS in March claimed that the orga­ni­za­tion held ter­ri­tory 220km away from Israel and threat­ened rocket attacks, say­ing, “We fight in the Lev­an­tine and our eyes are toward Jerusalem.”

A video released by ISIS last month before the cur­rent con­flict included threats against Jews and Chris­tians to rally its mil­i­tants. The video includes explicit anti-Jewish state­ments, includ­ing “Wher­ever our war goes, Jew­ish rab­bis are humiliated.”

ISIS has a long his­tory of threat­en­ing Israel. As early as 2005, the organization’s pre­de­ces­sor, Al Qaeda in Iraq, claimed at least 2 rocket attacks against Israel. In 2008, the organization’s leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi issued an audio state­ment call­ing for attacks on Israel and propos­ing to use Iraq as a “launch­ing pad” for mis­sile attacks against Israel.

ISIS has become well known for its sophis­ti­cated use of social media, where it dis­sem­i­nates pro­pa­ganda, threat­ens west­ern nations and enables sup­port­ers to take part in that process.

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July 1, 2014 0

Iran Broadcasting Enters Ramadan With Anti-Semitism

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Screen shot from IRINN doc­u­men­tary aired June 30, 2014

In the lead up to the start of the month-long Mus­lim hol­i­day Ramadan, which is often char­ac­ter­ized with high tele­vi­sion view­er­ship fol­low­ing the break of the day’s fast, Iran’s broad­cast­ing author­ity, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB), has aired inter­views and doc­u­men­taries pro­mot­ing anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries of Jew­ish con­trol over Hol­ly­wood and a nefar­i­ous Jewish-Zionist plan to use sor­cery against Iran.

IRIB is the state-run broad­caster in Iran that uses its media plat­form to pro­mote the regime’s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ide­ol­ogy to the pub­lic. In the past, IRIB has used the Ramadan hol­i­day and the high nightly tele­vi­sion view­er­ship to broad­cast anti-Semitic films and tele­vi­sion series.

In an inter­view with a Tehran Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor and Islamic scholar Vali­ol­lah Naghipour­far on June 27, 2014, a series of out­landish anti-Semitic con­spir­a­cies were made accus­ing Jews of using sor­cery and witch­craft. When asked by the inter­viewer on IRIB’s Chan­nel 1 if Iran’s ene­mies can use jinns, super­nat­ural beings in Islamic the­ol­ogy (known as ‘genies’ in the West­ern lex­i­con), to gather intel­li­gence and spy on Iran, Naghipour­far responded that, “Jews have a very strong con­nec­tion with jinns and sehr [magic].” Naghipour­far added that the major­ity of Jews are “sor­cer­ers” who can send jinns to gather intel­li­gence and spy on Iran on behalf of the Israeli government.

Three days later, IRIB’s 24-hour news net­work, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran News Net­work (IRINN), aired a short doc­u­men­tary, called “Zion­ist Aspi­ra­tions to Con­trol the West.” The doc­u­men­tary pro­moted anti-Semitic canards of alleged Zion­ist and Jew­ish con­trol of U.S. pol­i­tics and poli­cies, Hol­ly­wood, and academia.

The doc­u­men­tary employed the terms “Zion­ist” and “Jew­ish” inter­change­ably, claim­ing that one of Pres­i­dent Obama’s biggest sup­port­ers is Gold­man Sachs, “America’s largest bank­ing net­work that has no non-Jewish own­ers and who are all Zion­ists and sup­port­ers of Israel.” The doc­u­men­tary also shows a graphic of the globe with a Star of David super­im­posed on it fol­lowed by the logo of AIPAC, claim­ing that the most pow­er­ful lobby in the U.S. “works for the inter­ests of another coun­try and every­one knows which one.” Pic­tures of sev­eral high-ranking offi­cials in global finance, such as for­mer chair­man of the Fed­eral Reserve Ben Bernanke and for­mer IMF Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Dominique Strauss-Kahn, were depicted as the Jew­ish hands in con­trol of the global economy.

Inter­spersed with scenes from Schindler’s List, the doc­u­men­tary also claimed that Jew­ish and Zion­ist con­trol of Hol­ly­wood have built their stature by exploit­ing the Holo­caust and anti-Semitism, com­par­ing it to when “the Chil­dren of Israel built the golden calf dur­ing Moses’ absence and began wor­ship­ping it.” The nar­ra­tor added that, “Zion­ist elites even say that non-Jews are not rec­og­nized as human beings and only Jews have importance.”

The month of Ramadan is a time when many Mus­lims around the world take time to reflect on their faith through prayer and fast­ing. Ramadan is also prime time tele­vi­sion sea­son for many coun­tries in the Arab and Mus­lim world when mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar tele­vi­sion series are aired nightly after the end of the fast.

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