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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.”


    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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December 29, 2014

Indian Soap Opera Invoking Hitler’s Name Airs In The Arab World

An Indian soap opera that ADL criticized in 2011 for its use of Hitler in its title is now airing in the Arab world on Zee Alwan, a Dubai-based satellite television channel and one of the divisions of India’s mega-media giant Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

Promotional material on Facebook for Aukhti Hitler

Promotional material on Facebook for Aukhti Hitler (“Sister Hitler)

The show Aukhti Hitler (Arabic for “Sister Hitler”), which originally aired with the title “Hitler Didi” in Hindi, has been dubbed into Arabic. It started airing in the Arab world on December 17.

The show title refers to the lead character, a young woman known as a strict disciplinarian who takes a no-nonsense attitude with family members. The show’s plot attempts toexplain the harsh attitude of the main character as a coping mechanism “to face life’s challenges.”

The woman referred to as Hitler is also portrayed as a hardworking person with leadership skills who will not compromise. In the first episode, other characters describe the way she speaks as “Hitler’s laws.”

The show aired originally in 2011 on Zee TV in India. In response to its offensive title, ADL issued a letter at that time asking the network to change the name of the show. The network responded with a letter apologizing for the title and saying that the network was “in the process of renaming the program.”

Currently, Zee Alwan airs the show five times a week to a large Arab audience, and the network is using the same offensive language and imagery to promote the show via its Arabic social media platforms. For example, Zee Alwan TV launched an Arabic Facebook page for the show that includes images of  Hitler’s moustache; the TV network also started an Arabic Twitter hashtag #أختي_هتلر, which translates into “Sister Hitler.”

Zee Alwan is Zee network’s second largest Arabic channel catering to the Middle East. The free-to-air channel features popular Indian programs and other TV shows dubbed in Arabic.

The show plays on a myth in some parts of the Arab world that Hitler was a kindhearted person inside who was forced to be “strict” in the face of challenges.

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January 25, 2013

American Sentenced For Planning Deadly 2008 Mumbai Attacks

David Coleman Headley

A Chicago judge yesterday sentenced David Coleman Headley, a Chicago resident who helped orchestrate the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, in which over 170 people were killed, including six Americans, to 35 years in prison.

Headley pleaded guilty in March 2010 to conducting surveillance on a number of targets in Mumbai between 2006 and 2008 on behalf of the Pakistan-based terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT). The targets included the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels, the Leopold Café, and the Nariman House, the Mumbai headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement.

Indian news sources reported that Headley posed as a Jew during a July 2008 visit to the Nariman House, where suspected members of LeT tortured and killed six people during the terrorist attacks four months later. LeT reportedly also tasked Headley with gathering details of Jewish centers across India. In March 2009, four months after the Mumbai attacks, Headley allegedly conducted additional reconnaissance of Chabad Houses in several cities in India, which included other Jewish centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Pushkar.

Headley was also charged with planning attacks with LeT targeting the Danish newspaper that had printed cartoons depicting Muhammad.Since 2000 several other American citizens have been linked to LeT, which embraces an anti-Western ideology that demonizes the United States, Israel and India.

Although Headley faced life in prison, the judge listened to prosecutors’ recommendations that he receive a lighter sentence due to his extensive cooperation in other terrorism trials.  His cooperation was most visibly demonstrated in the trial of his former friend, Tahawwur Rana, who was convicted in June 2011 of assisting Headley in planning the attack in Denmark and for providing material support to LeT. Rana was sentenced to 14 years in prison on January 17.

India has expressed disappointment in the lenient sentencing, saying that “all those involved… should receive death,” and pledging to continue to seek Headley’s extradition.

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