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November 5, 2015

Continued Publication of Anti-Semitic Themed Cartoons in the Arab and Muslim World

As Palestinian terrorism across Israel persists, Arab and Muslim newspapers and social media accounts continue to promote themes in support of the violence, which is often referred to as a “mass outburst” or the “Knives Intifada.”

In addition to the image of the knives, other themes are also being featured. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent efforts to end the violence are depicted as Israel and Jews controlling the US and its leadership.  Examples of cartoons published include a figure representing the US trapped inside the Star of David, Uncle Sam being in the pocket of Israel and Secretary Kerry wiping the blood from the teeth of a wolf – which represents Israel.

Another ever-present allegation is the charge that Israel is attempting to alter the status-quo on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem.  These images show Israel as a sinister snake attacking the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Below are examples of the cartoons published:


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October 9, 2015

Terror in Israel, A Reality We Know Too Well

By: Carole Nuriel, ADL’s Jerusalem Office

Over the past two weeks, a wave of terror has once again hit Israel. For those of us who grew up in Israel during the 1980s, this is an unfortunate reality we know all too well. Israelis suffered through two intifadas, waves of terror attacks including suicide bombs, shootings, run-over attacks, stone throwing and Molotov cocktails. Yet there is a feeling now that this particular wave of terror is different. There are a few reasons for this:

•       The terrorists’ profile: They come both from Palestinian areas in the West Bank and from Israeli Arab communities

•       Most of them are relatively young, some even teenagers

Obviously, another change is the use of social media:  some of the terrorists have declared their intention to carry out attacks on social media. This tool, which has become the new “city square”, provides a platform for recruitment, incitement, how-tos, as well as for organizing crowds to demonstrate and riot against Israeli security forces.

Israel violence

In many ways, this wave of violence represents an on-the-ground version of the recent Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, which indiscriminately targeted Israeli civilians throughout the country. This wave may have started in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, but quickly caught fire to the rest of the country, and is now targeting cities like Kiryat Gat, Petach Tikva, Tel Aviv and Afula. Much like Hamas’ rockets, much of the fear Israelis are now feeling is because of the sense that no place in the country is immune from terror attacks.

Anxiety is felt everywhere, as is the nature of terrorism. I live in Modi’in and have taken Road 443 to Jerusalem daily for the past eight years. However, during the last few months I haven’t felt safe driving on 443, especially with my kids, as there have been numerous stone and Molotov cocktail throwing incidents on this road. I now feel safer taking Highway 1, even though it means a longer drive to Jerusalem. Indeed, many Modi’in residents don’t drive on 443 anymore. Something has definitely changed. Just today, I received a notice that security checkpoints will be erected at all entrances to the city, and security in all educational institutions will be increased.

Polls have shown that there is a general public consensus among Palestinians against terrorism. But last week we witnessed another kind of evil, one which greatly worries me. During Saturday night’s terrible stabbing in the Old City of Jerusalem, Adele Bennett, whose husband was killed and she herself stabbed, was reportedly spat on and laughed at by Arab bystanders as she ran to get help with a knife still in her back. What can be more insulting, upsetting and inhumane than this indecent act?

But this is not only about terror, it’s also about incitement to violence. Many of those rioting claim Israel is attempting to change the status quo on Temple Mount. This holy place to both Judaism and Islam has been the focus of clashes and provocations for years. It is hard to ignore the dangerous actions and discourse of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who have supported the Murabitun/Murabitat group, whose sole purpose is to provoke and insult Jews visiting the Temple Mount. Incitement has also come from senior Palestinian Authority officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas who infamously declared in a television interview a few weeks ago that Jews are defiling the Temple Mount with their feet.

Today more than ever, religious and political leaders must understand how easily their inciting words can lead to violence and terrorism.

There are ongoing efforts among Israeli and Palestinian leaders to deescalate tensions. Israelis hope and pray that this will be successful, and that the personal security will be restored.

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November 25, 2014

Music Videos Enhance Violent Anti-Jewish Messages Online

Songs and music videos using the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Israel to glorify the attacks and encourage more violence are part of a larger online phenomenon where individuals celebrate and promote terrorism through popular memes, graphics and videos.

Screenshot from "Runaway oh Zionist"

Screenshot from “Runaway oh Zionist”

An animated music video uploaded to YouTube on November 18 called “Runaway oh Zionist” is an explicit reference to the recent “run-over” car attacks in Israel.The song, preformed in Hebrew with Arabic and Hebrew subtitles, says, “Runaway oh you Zionist, Runaway…Minutes, and a car will run over you” and depicts a Jewish man singing about running away from cars. In the part of the video where the Jewish man gets hit by a car at a bus station and thrown into a cemetery, the lyrics are, “A car will attack you from each direction to give you a ride to the grave.” The song closes with “Runaway Zionists because you will be killed by all means.”

The video, which has received more than 98,000 views, was praised by Hezbollah’s media arm, Al Manar which stated, “the melody of this short video is very apt, and the animation is highly professional which indicates a quality boom for the ‘resistance’ art in the Occupied Territory [Palestine].”

Another song circulating online titled “Run-over this settler” is performed by a Palestinian duo. The song includes the lyrics “Prepare your ambush on the road, run-over them; may god help you.” It also praises Abdulrahman al-Shaloudi, the terrorist who rammed his car into a group of Israeli pedestrians last month, killing a baby and a young woman. One lyric says that he “Ran-over a Jewish settler…did it, with his limited resources, for his country.” The lyrics also callupon Palestinians to “wait for them at the intersection, let the settler sink in the red blood. Terrify them don’t be merciful.” Jordan-based Al Yarmuk satellite TV station aired the song on its channel as well.

Various YouTube users have created their own videos and made use of this song as well, bringing the total number of views for this song to more than 260,000.

Similar user generated content began circulating online within min­utes of the bru­tal ter­ror attack that killed five peo­ple in a Jerusalem syn­a­gogue. In addition to those images and car­toons glo­ri­fy­ing the attack, another song, titled “The one who knocks the door will hear the answer” was uploaded to YouTube by the popular Palestinian singer Qasim Al-Najar. The song received more than 154,000 views in the first several days. The song’s lyrics urge Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “to collect his Rabbis,” warning that when Jerusalem revolts it will slaughter the settlers.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which claimed responsibility for the Synagogue attack, also released a video on YouTube titled “With a butcher’s knife, a gun, and an Iron will.” The song says “oh settler, this is your destiny…your death is inevitable.” The song also praises the Popular Front and describes its members as “walking in defiance over death and slaughtering them [Israelis] like sheep.”

The PFLP’s song has attracted only 5,800 viewers on YouTube, which further attests to the significance of user generated content to spread messages of violence and anti-Semitism.

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