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January 9, 2015

Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Predictably Surface After Paris Attacks

Update –January, 15, 2015: For more examples, see also: Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Continue In Aftermath Of Paris Attacks

In the aftermath of the terror attack in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo office, conspiracy theories blaming Jews and Israel for the attack immediately surfaced in the U.S and abroad.

Image accompanying Kevin Barrett's Veterans Today article

Image accompanying Kevin Barrett’s Veterans Today article

The subsequent hostage situation at a Kosher supermarket in Paris, where at least four hostages were killed, will undoubtedly feed into the conspiracy theories as they continue to spread, as they often do after a terrible tragedy.

In the U.S., anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, who never miss an opportunity to exploit tragedies to promote their anti-Jewish hatred, and two anti-Israel activists blamed Jews or Israel for the attacks:

  • Mark Glenn, a virulently anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, wrote on his blog The Ugly Truth that “The massacre in Paris as [sic] yet another False Flag event aimed at re-igniting and re-invigorating Judea’s declared war against Islam.” The statement is accompanied by an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the caption “…It will generate immediate sympathy for Israel.”
  • On Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, Gilad Atz­mon, an Israeli-born anti-Semite based in London, claimed that France somehow deserved these attacks due to actions he claims were pushed for by “the Jewish lobby group CRIF.” He also chastises France for “following the whims of The Lobby.” He posited, “It is quite probably that this was another false flag operation. Who could be behind it? Use your imagination…”
  • Kevin Bar­rett, an anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist and fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Iran’s Eng­lish lan­guage pro­pa­ganda news net­work, Press TV, wrote an article in Veterans Today titled “Paris ‘Charlie Hebdo Attack’: Another Zionist False Flag?” In the article Barrett describes the attack as Zionist “orchestrated” retribution for French foreign policy on Israel and the Palestinians. Barrett also implies that Israel is behind “Malaysian planes…falling out of the sky” as punishment for Malaysian foreign policy on Israel, and that the 2011 attacks in Norway that killed 77 people were perpetrated by Israel against Norway’s Labor Party for its policies on Israel.
  • Greta Berlin and Mary Hughes-Thompson, anti-Israel activists who co-founded the Free Gaza Move­ment (FGM), have also alleged Israel is behind the attack. Greta Berlin wrote on Facebook that “MOSSAD just hit the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in a clumsy false flag designed to damage the accord between Palestine and France…Here’s hoping the French police will be able to tell a well executed hit by a well trained Israeli intelligence service and not assume the Muslims would be likely to attack France when France is their freind [sic.] Israel did tell France there would be grave consequences if they voted with Palestine. A four year old could see who is responsible for this terrible attack.” Mary Hughes-Thompson posted on Twitter that “#Hebdo killings indefensible. Can’t help thinking #JSIL Mossad false flag though….” JSIL is the acronym for “Jewish State in the Levant,” a term being used by anti-Israel activists to equate Israel with ISIS.

Internationally, such conspiracy theories have entered into more mainstream media and been promoted by various individuals:

  • India: Mother Jones reported that International Business Times India published an article that posited that the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence service, was to blame. “Although there is no way to verify the claims that Mossad was involved, the backdrop in which the attack took place seems to indicate that they might be involved, many conspiracy theorists have noted. Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection and has undertaken many covert operations for Israel in Europe that aim to further their Jewish cause.” The article has since been replaced with an editor’s note stating that the article alleging this link “should never have been published.”
  • Tunisia: Tunisia Times posted an article on January 9 on its website titled “American Resources: The Mossad is behind Charlie Hebdo operation in France” According to the report, “Eventually, the Mossad hired Muslims from Arabic origins to carry the attack to increase hostility towards Muslims worldwide.”

    charlie-hebdo-al-dostor-egypt

    Image from article in Egypt’s Al Dostor newspaper describing the Mossad as carrying out the attack.

  • Egypt: Cairo-based daily newspaper, Al Dostor, published a report on its website yesterday titled “Surprise… Accusing the Mossad of carrying out the operation against the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.” According to the newspaper, the Berlin-based Free Gaza movement accused the Mossad of executing the attack which targeted the headquarters of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and not any other terrorist group as it was reported.
  • Jordan: Rawafed News website published an article by Assad Al Azony on January 8 titled” The tragedy of satirical Charlie Hebdo… Search for Jews and the extreme French right wing [to be behind it]. According to the article, “One must be certain that Jews and the French extreme right wing executed this terrorist attack.”
  • Lebanon: Middle East Panorama Media and News Agency published an article today on its website by Ahmed Al Sharqawy titled “Charlie Hebdo… Oh Arabs, be aware of the Zionist trap.” Al Sharqawy claimed in his article that a pro-Palestinian Jewish friend who lives in France contacted him in the past warning that the same newspaper is suffering from a financial crisis and that “Zionist Jews advised the newspaper to fabricate a barbaric attack against the freedom of expression to increase its sales.”
  • Turkey: Coordinator  of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated organization International Rabia Platform, Turkish journalist Cihangir İşbilir, posted a comment on his Twitter account on January 7, stating “Alternative scenario: France angered Israel, because it would support Palestine in the UN security Council. Mossad committed the terrorist attack.
  • West Bank: Mazin Qumsiyeh, a conspiratorial anti-Israel activist who has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, sent an e-mail on January 9 to his listserv suggesting that the attacks in France may have been perpetrated by a state intelligence service. He stated, “Whether this was yet another false flag operation or by rogue terrorists not left alive to be questioned, Zionists are milking it to the best of their (very large) media abilities.”

Anti-Semites have promoted such absurd theories to explain events in Syria, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Sandy Hook Massacre, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the Middle East, there are those that claim that ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood have secret alliances with the Jews or that the Jews created such terrorist groups for nefarious purposes.

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October 5, 2012

Free Gaza Founder Embraced by Jewish Groups Despite Recent Anti-Semitic Tweet

Update, October 10, 2012: Jewish Voice for Peace issued a statement on October 7 announcing that it  is “disassociating ourselves from sponsorship of Berlin’s current book tour in the U.S.” and would no longer endorse Free Gaza Movement-related activity. The statement described Berlin’s explanations and apology as inadequate, saying “We unfortunately don’t think her responses adequately address our concern about circulating anti-semitic materials.”

Greta Berlin, the co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), is planning to visit the West Coast next week to promote her new book, Freedom Sailors, which is about the travails of the Free Gaza Movement and its boat campaigns to Gaza. Two Jewish anti-Zionist groups based in Los Angeles, Jewish Voice for Peace-LA and LA Jews for Peace, are sponsoring one of her appearances, which will take place next Thursday, October 11, at the Levantine Cultural Center. 

Last week, Berlin posted a virulently anti-Semitic tweet to the FGM Twitter account, which she operates, that claimed that Zionists “operated the concentration camps.” The tweet has since sparked significant media attention and outrage, even from some anti-Israel activists. Berlin and FGM subsequently apologized, claiming that the tweet was an accident and was only intended for Berlin’s Facebook page.

Berlin initially claimed that she had not watched the video, which was titled “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews,” and was unaware of its content. Later, FGM issued an apology on its website offering a different reason for the alleged oversight. The statement claimed that the post was intended to be received by a group of people on her Facebook page who were in the midst of a discussion about “propaganda and racism.” There is no evidence of this discussion on Berlin’s Facebook page.

In fact, Berlin’s Facebook page contains several other recent hateful postings. On the same day Berlin posted the offending tweet, she posted a picture to her Facebook page of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shaking the hand of a member of the anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta. Berlin added the following commentary: “if he hated jews so much, as he is often accused of, would he be warmly greeting some of them? what he hates is zionism, and so do i!”

Berlin is also scheduled to make several other speaking appearances next week to promote her book, including an appearance at UCLA, and various stops in the Pacific Northwest.

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