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June 16, 2016 5

Arabic-Language Social Media Glorify Tel Aviv Terror Attack

On Wednes­day June 8th, two Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists opened fire in the Tel Aviv Sarona mar­ket, killing 4 Israelis and wound­ing another 6. This was the lat­est in a wave of Pales­tin­ian ter­ror attacks against Israel that began in Sep­tem­ber 2015.

Shortly after the hideous attack, hash tags cel­e­brat­ing and glo­ri­fy­ing it appeared on Arabic-language social media, includ­ing “The Ramadan Oper­a­tion”, “The Tel Aviv Oper­a­tion” and “The Carlo Salvo”, a ref­er­ence to the Carlo machine gun which was used in the attack.

Car­toons and images cir­cu­lat­ing on social media ref­er­enced the fact that the attack coin­cided with Ramadan in order to give it reli­gious sig­nif­i­cance. They sug­gested the attack was anal­o­gous to break­ing the Ramadan fast, and used the slo­gan “We Were their Fast Break­ing”  or “They Were Our Fast Break­ing” (ver­ba­tim trans­la­tion: “they broke the fast on/against us”).

While it is unclear how wide­spread these car­toons are, they do high­light a dis­turb­ing phe­nom­e­non of ter­ror­ists and their actions being glo­ri­fied across social media. Here are a few exam­ples of car­toons posted on Twitter:

Lieberman and Bibi

This car­toon is enti­tled “The Tel Aviv Oper­a­tion” shows Israeli PM Netanyahu and Defense Min­is­ter Lieber­man cry­ing, while Netanyahu is say­ing that “They fasted and fasted” and Lieber­man is respond­ing “And broke the fast on us”.

Bullet

This car­toon shows a tra­di­tional Ramadan “Qatayif” dessert for break­ing the fast, which is filled with a bullet.

While some more gen­eral images didn’t include direct ref­er­ence to the attack, they were still cat­e­go­rized under the hash tag “The Ramadan Oper­a­tion”. One such exam­ple showed an ultra-orthodox Jew with two rifles pointed to his head, with the cap­tion “Blood=Blood”, “#kill-them”, “Death to set­tlers”. Another por­trayed Israel as the “mother of ter­ror­ism”, show­ing it breast­feed­ing the Devil.

Blood

Israel as terrorist

 

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May 23, 2016 2

Belgian Politicians Honor a Terrorist

Bel­gium has suf­fered sev­eral dev­as­tat­ing ter­ror attacks in recent times, includ­ing one against the Jew­ish Museum of Bel­gium.  Despite that his­tory and the con­tin­u­ing ele­vated threat from ISIS, six Bel­gian elected offi­cials have called for a ter­ror­ist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mar­wan Bargh­outi is in an Israeli prison, con­victed of the mur­der of four Israeli Jews and a Greek monk in three sep­a­rate ter­ror attacks.  The Bel­gian politi­cians would like to see him instead feted on a stage in Oslo.

In the judg­ment of an Israeli court, he deserved five life sen­tences for his direct involve­ment in ter­ror­ism.  In the judg­ment of these Bel­gian politi­cians, Bargh­outi deserves a cov­eted inter­na­tional honor.

Israeli courts are widely esteemed for their impar­tial work for jus­tice.  It will be impos­si­ble to say the same of Sen­a­tors Nadia El Yousfi (Social­ist Party) and Benoît Hellings (Ecol­o­gist Party) and Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment Piet De Bruyn (New Flem­ish Alliance), Jean-Marc Delizée (Social­ist Party), Gwe­naëlle Grovo­nius (Social­ist Party), Dirk Van der Mae­len (Social Demo­c­rat), and Vin­cent Van Quick­en­borne (Open Flem­ish Liberals).

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May 20, 2016 2

Isi Leibler: Wrong on All Counts

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared on The Jerusalem Post Blog

Isi Leibler gets it wrong on almost all counts in his crit­i­cism of my appear­ance in April before J Street U, the stu­dent arm of J Street.

As I made clear pub­licly in accept­ing the invi­ta­tion to speak, I did so both because of my con­vic­tion that it is vital to engage with all mem­bers of our com­mu­nity, even and espe­cially those with whom we might disagree.

I used this stage to deliver a dou­ble mes­sage.  First, that ADL is com­mit­ted to ensur­ing Israel remains a safe and secure, Jew­ish and demo­c­ra­tic state; and sec­ond, that peace can­not be brought about by apply­ing pres­sure only to one side of the conflict—Israel.  This in many ways is the crux of our dis­agree­ment with J Street—that fur­ther iso­lat­ing Israel at a time of great tumult and regional volatil­ity is bound to make peace less likely.

There­fore, Leibler’s accu­sa­tion that I made a moral equiv­a­lence between Israel and the Pales­tini­ans when I called for acknowl­edge­ment of “respon­si­bil­ity of both par­ties” turned my point on its head. In speak­ing to a group that is often crit­i­cal of Israel, I was mak­ing clear that “cham­pi­ons of Pales­tin­ian self-determination must hold the Pales­tin­ian lead­er­ship to task for its fail­ures as well.” Leibler ignores—or worse—willfully dis­torts my message.

What is more out­ra­geous is that any aspect of my remarks to these stu­dents could be mis­con­strued as “indi­rectly gave a seal of approval for the Obama admin­is­tra­tion to impose solu­tions on future bor­ders that could dra­mat­i­cally com­pro­mise Israel’s security.”

Rec­og­niz­ing that there are steps Israel can take to ensure the via­bil­ity of a two-state solu­tion bears no resem­blance to sup­port­ing an imposed solu­tion. I deliv­ered that mes­sage even while reit­er­at­ing that a rea­son­able approach must have expec­ta­tions of the Pales­tini­ans as well.

In talk­ing about the need to rec­og­nize two nar­ra­tives, I was, of course, not refer­ring to the Pales­tin­ian rejec­tion of Israel’s legit­i­macy, which ADL con­demns over and over again, but that there is a Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and pop­u­la­tion whose future has to be dealt with in order to have peace and secu­rity for Israel.

And in call­ing out the need for Israel to pro­tect the rights of all its cit­i­zens, I was not chal­leng­ing the fact that Israel is one of the great demo­c­ra­tic soci­eties in the world. Instead, just as we do in that other great democ­racy, the United States, we urge our­selves to do bet­ter, to make sure that all seg­ments of soci­ety are full par­tic­i­pants in our democ­racy and enti­tled to the full ben­e­fits of rights—a noble ideal, but hardly a betrayal of Israel.

As to the crit­i­cism of my deci­sion to speak to J Street U, I have no apolo­gies. I do not know if Leibler ever both­ered to attempt to meet these young peo­ple, but I was impressed: They are a group of deeply thought­ful col­lege stu­dents whose com­mit­ment to Israel is gen­uine and whose pas­sion on the issues is impres­sive. Whether Leibler likes it or not, these are future lead­ers in our com­mu­nity and in our country.

Again, while I may dis­agree with many of their par­ent organization’s posi­tions and tactics—and ADL has expressed such sen­ti­ment pub­licly in the past—if we are going to main­tain a true sense of com­mu­nity and inclu­sion, par­tic­u­larly among younger Jews, then we must engage those with whom we have dis­agree­ments and explain our posi­tions. We cer­tainly must be wary of those who cas­ti­gate those who are will­ing to engage broadly.

Israel con­tin­ues to face many threats from ter­ror­ists and extrem­ists, as well as in the form of calls for boy­cotts, divest­ment and sanc­tions. We must stand against all. But there are also dan­gers to Israel from those who do not want a two-state solu­tion, from those who do not worry about main­tain­ing Israel as a Jew­ish and demo­c­ra­tic state.

And there are those within our own com­mu­nity who seem to for­get that dis­agree­ment and dis­sent are not just Jew­ish ideas – they are Jew­ish ideals.

The chal­lenge for all of us is how to be a strong advo­cate for Israel while respect­ing a broad range of views on how best to move forward.

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