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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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January 22, 2016 2

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is Still…..A Jew

Saud Al Shureem anti-semitic Tweet

Saud al-Shuraim’s anti-Semitic tweet about the Jewish-Iranian alliance

Over the past month, esca­lat­ing ten­sion in the Mid­dle East between Iran and the Arab Gulf States helped fuel a resur­gence of anti-Semitic state­ments and con­spir­acy the­o­ries about a sup­posed link between Israel and Jews to Iran.

Angered by Iran’s increas­ing influ­ence in the region, promi­nent Arab fig­ures includ­ing politi­cians, reli­gious lead­ers and jour­nal­ists have accused Jews and Israel of secretly sup­port­ing Iran and Shi’a Mus­lims in their war against the Sunni Mus­lim world.

Just last week, promi­nent Saudi scholar, Saud al-Shuraim, an Imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca wrote the fol­low­ing state­ment on his Twit­ter account: “It is no won­der the Safavids [Ira­ni­ans] ally with Jews and Chris­tians against Mus­lims because his­tory tes­ti­fies that this is the case. What is strange are the minds which took too long to under­stand this fact.”

Some went as far as accus­ing “the Jews” of orches­trat­ing Iran’s war against the Sunni Mus­lim world. Jor­dan­ian online news agency Ammon News pub­lished an arti­cle on Jan­u­ary 19, titled “Iran started its holy war on the Sun­nis with the bless­ing of the Jews.”

The online pub­li­ca­tion, Al Khaleej Affairs, which spe­cial­izes in Arab Gulf States’ Affairs, inter­viewed Iraqi Sunni activist Falih Al Shi­bly on Jan­u­ary 21 to talk about the Iran­ian involve­ment in Iraq. In the inter­view Al Shi­bly claimed, “Unfor­tu­nately, there is igno­rance in the region about the Jew­ish sup­ported Per­sian plot.” He added that “This plot is against all Arab coun­tries from the Ara­bian West to the ‘Ara­bian’ Gulf.”

Other anti-Semitic accu­sa­tions included con­spir­acy the­o­ries that the Jew­ish lobby in the U.S. is respon­si­ble for dri­ving America’s pol­icy in Iran’s best inter­ests. Dubai Police Chief, Dahi Khal­fan, whose bizarre state­ments in the past included accus­ing the Jews of being linked to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, claimed on Jan­u­ary 18 that Pres­i­dent Obama is of Shi’a roots and “the sons of Zion” [the Jews] helped him  reach pres­i­dency to “bring Iran and Amer­ica closer.” Khalfan’s state­ments were widely cir­cu­lated in the Arab world.

Such a claim about Jew­ish sup­port for Iran was the sub­ject of sev­eral tweets by for­mer Man­ager of the Dubai Gov­ern­ment Media Office, Dherar Bel­houl Al Falasi, on Jan­u­ary 11. He claimed that Jews revere Iran because it is con­sid­ered a “holy” coun­try in Judaism. He wrote “Jews revere Iran more than ‘Palestine.’”

The ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion ISIS is cap­i­tal­iz­ing on this anti-Semitic trend as well. The fea­tured arti­cle in their most recent English-language mag­a­zine Dabiq issue included a 14-page screed link­ing Jews and Shi’as. The back cover of the mag­a­zine also fea­tured a full page image of Jews pray­ing in a syn­a­gogue with a clear ref­er­ence to the Jews of Isfa­han in Iran.

This anti-Semitic rhetoric is more than just a delu­sional per­spec­tive. It is a tool that has been used time and again to gal­va­nize Arab pub­lic opinion.

These con­spir­acy the­o­ries also fail to rec­og­nize both the very real threat Iran rep­re­sents to the Jew­ish state and the cen­tral­ity of anti-Semitic pro­pa­ganda in the ide­ol­ogy embraced by Iran’s rul­ing regime. It is ironic that such accu­sa­tions emerge while Iran is orga­niz­ing  an inter­na­tional car­toon contest–on the Holocaust.

Ten­sion between Iran and the Arab world has a long his­tory, but it has esca­lated notably over the past few months as a result of the Iran nuclear agree­ment and grow­ing con­cern among Arab Gulf States about Iran’s expand­ing regional influ­ence and its involve­ment in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Arab world. Both sides have used the media to prop­a­gate anti-Semitic accu­sa­tions against the other through the lens of their own agen­das. It seems that  Shi’as  and Sun­nis can agree on one thing: blam­ing the Jews for their problems.

In the past, ADL doc­u­mented a num­ber of sim­i­lar con­spir­acy the­o­ries in the Arab world includ­ing that ISIS has Jew­ish roots and that Israel and Jews are linked to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.

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