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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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June 27, 2013 3

Accusations of Jewish Affiliation Precede a Lynching in Egypt

Anti-Semitic posters Egypt

A poster in Egypt derid­ing Shia Mus­lims as “stooges of the Jews.”

Ear­lier this week, an angry mob in a small vil­lage near Cairo attacked and lynched a group of Shia Mus­lims, a hor­rific episode that resulted in the mur­ders of four men. The inci­dent came two weeks after posters were widely dis­played in the vil­lage accus­ing Shia of being “stooges of the Jews.”

Mem­bers of Al-Nour Party, an Islamist party and a mem­ber of Egypt’s gov­ern­ing coali­tion led by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, report­edly dis­played these posters on the walls of the village’s homes. One poster, cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter, has the logo of Al-Nour Party on the top right cor­ner of the poster.

The posters included images of out­go­ing Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad, who is per­ceived as a sym­bol of the Iranian-led Shia expan­sion in the Sunni Mus­lim world, shak­ing hands with mem­bers of Neturei Karta, an extreme anti-Israel group. The pho­tos rep­re­sent an absurd attempt to demon­strate a “Jewish-Shia’a alliance” that is allegedly plot­ting to gain con­trol over the Sunni Mus­lim world.

Two weeks after the posters first appeared, a hos­tile group of vil­lagers attacked the house of a Shia fam­ily who lived in the vil­lage. Mem­bers of the small Shia com­mu­nity had gath­ered in the house to attend a reli­gious cer­e­mony led by Has­san Sha­hata, a promi­nent Egypt­ian Shia cleric. Four men were killed dur­ing the bru­tal attack, includ­ing Sha­hata himself.

Graphic images of the vio­lence showed the mob drag­ging the bod­ies of the vic­tims through the streets of the vil­lage while police offi­cers watched from a distance.

A young daugh­ter of one of the vic­tims who wit­nessed the assault told a reporter from an Egypt­ian news agency, “Is this the form of reli­gion they want to imple­ment and they speak about? Even if we were Jews they shouldn’t have done this to us.”

Last week, a large bill­board in Tripoli showed Hezbol­lah leader Has­san Nas­ral­lah with a Star of David on his tur­ban and blood drip­ping from his mouth. The poster, the work of a rival Sunni group, was intended to demo­nize Nas­ral­lah in the worst pos­si­ble way: by char­ac­ter­iz­ing him as a Jew. Indeed, link­ing one’s enemy to Jews is a theme of the ris­ing sec­tar­ian ten­sion in the Mus­lim world. The recent lynch­ing inci­dent is a reminder of the poten­tially bru­tal con­se­quences of such accusations.

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June 19, 2013 0

Where Calling Someone A Jew Or An Israeli Is The Ultimate Insult

nasrallah-billboard-jew-lebanon-hezbollah

Nas­ral­lah bill­board in Tripoli, Lebanon

A bill­board in the streets of Tripoli, Lebanon, insult­ing Hezbol­lah Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Has­san Nas­ral­lah demon­strates how even an enemy of the Jew­ish peo­ple like Nas­ral­lah is sub­ject to attack by his ene­mies as being a tool of the Jews.

The bill­board, appar­ently placed last week in response to Hezbollah’s sup­port of the Syr­ian government’s ongo­ing fight with Sunni rebels, shows Nas­ral­lah with the Star of David on his tur­ban, blood around his mouth and wear­ing a black eye patch, an appar­ent ref­er­ence to the iconic image of Israeli mil­i­tary leader Moshe Dayan. The script below the image said “Your mask fell off, oh you mur­derer of chil­dren and women.”

The bill­board is a reflec­tion of a larger schism within the Mus­lim world between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. Both sides are invok­ing accu­sa­tions of being a Jew or Israeli against the other as the ulti­mate insult.

Tripoli, a city with a major­ity of Sun­nis, has expe­ri­enced esca­lat­ing sec­tar­ian ten­sion in response to Hezbollah’s sup­port for Syr­ian pres­i­dent Bashar Hafez al-Assad and his troops, which have been fight­ing Sunni rebels in Syria for over a year.

Images of the Nas­ral­lah bill­board have been widely shared on social media by those sym­pa­thetic with the Syr­ian rebels as well. Sev­eral Twit­ter users explic­itly accuse Nas­ral­lah of being a Jew, some claim­ing all Shia Mus­lims are allied with the Jews. It is a clas­sic exam­ple of blur­ring the the line between anti-Israel and anti-Semitism propaganda.

Last Feb­ru­ary ADL issued a press release denounc­ing a sim­i­lar con­spir­acy the­ory in the Mid­dle East, which claimed the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was secretly allied with Jews.

This past month, videos posted on YouTube showed demon­stra­tors in Syr­ian cities chant­ing “Shia Shia oh you Jews… The army of Muham­mad will return.” The slo­gan is a take­off on the anti-Semitic slo­gan evok­ing the story of slay­ing thou­sands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Ara­bia 1400 years ago.

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