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December 13, 2012

Disturbing Messages about Female IDF Soldier Circulated Widely on Facebook, Twitter

Update, December 17, 2012: After ADL urged Columbia University President Lee Bollinger to take action regarding the disturbing picture of an IDF soldier, the picture was subsequently removed and no longer appears on the Facebook page of the Columbia University employee mentioned below.

The program director of Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies, Maryam Zohny, shared a picture on Facebook earlier today of a female Israel Defense Forces soldier that describes the soldier as a “terrorist” and “killer” and claims that she is “WANTED by the RESISTANCE.” The image contains the logos of various Palestinian terrorist groups, including Al Qassam Brigades Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Other versions of the image that have been posted by others on Facebook and Twitter have also included a picture of the soldier with a gun being pointed at her head and a message claiming that she’s “Wanted” by Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing.

These images have generated an outpouring of comments from individuals across the Middle East calling for her death; one commenter, for example, wrote, “May Allah make 60 bullets emptied in her head.” Others wrote, “God willing they will shoot you and they will leave no spot in your body without a bullet” and “ a soul for a soul… punishment, punishment.”

The soldier is allegedly responsible for shooting and killing a Palestinian teenager in Hebron earlier this week after he pointed what turned out to be a toy gun at another Israeli soldier standing near her.

The Center for Palestine Studies was created in October 2010 as an academic program dedicated to Palestinian history and writings. Since its inception, however, the Center has hosted numerous anti-Israel events, including “Debunking the Myth of Israeli Democracy,” “Someone Please Call 911: Israel’s Failure to Protect Palestinians and their Property” and “Gaza: Israel’s War and the Goldstone Report,” which featured Norman Finkelstein, an anti-Israel speaker who has accused Israel of committing a “Holocaust” in Gaza, expressed support for Hezbollah and described Israel as a “satanic state.”

The Center also co-sponsored a panel discussion last year at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. The event featured three speakers who claimed that Israel “pinkwashes” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by promoting its progressive record on LGBT issues in an effort to distract attention from the occupation.

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