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August 19, 2015 1

Holocaust Comparisons in Arab Media Examination of the Horrifying Death of a Palestinian Child

There has been intense focus on the reac­tions within Israeli soci­ety fol­low­ing the hor­rific attack on two houses in the West Bank vil­lage of Duma, result­ing in the death of tod­dler Ali Dawab­sheh, the sub­se­quent death of his father, Saed and the wound­ing of his brother and mother.  The appar­ent price tag attack, per­pe­trated by extrem­ist Israeli Jews, has led to much soul search­ing among pub­lic Israeli polit­i­cal and reli­gious fig­ures, and among the pop­u­la­tion at large.

The Arab world also paid close atten­tion to this heinous inci­dent.  And, not sur­pris­ingly, many char­ac­ter­ized the inci­dent as merely part of Israel’s long his­tory of crimes against the Pales­tini­ans (such as the burn­ing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Jews in July of 2014), or have claimed that PM Netanyahu is per­son­ally respon­si­ble for the toddler’s death, and this attack reflected Israel’s cul­ture of hate.

Some in the Arab world used Nazi imagery and Holo­caust com­par­isons, includ­ing equat­ing PM Netanyahu to Hitler and the burn­ing of the infant to the Holo­caust; and claimed that Israel has not only adopted Nazi prac­tices, but it has focused them on Pales­tin­ian children.

One car­toon, for exam­ple, appear­ing both in Gaza’s Filastin news­pa­per (Aug. 2) and cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter, shows Israeli PM Netanyahu per­form­ing a Nazi Salute with the burn­ing baby in the back­drop, fram­ing the attack as no less than a “Holocaust”.

Another, pub­lished in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Watan news­pa­per (Aug. 3) shows the arm of an ultra-orthodox Jew form­ing a swastika while hold­ing a Molo­tov cocktail.

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The cartoon’s head­line: “The crime of burn­ing the Pales­tin­ian infant.”

The use of such com­par­isons sim­i­larly appears in opin­ion pieces in the Arab press. “No one can deny that the Nazis are mur­der­ers and that they per­pe­trated the crime of the Holo­caust, which inno­cent Jews, some say mil­lions, fell vic­tim to.”, said one arti­cle in Jordan’s Ar-Rai news­pa­per (August 2), which went on to par­al­lel the attack with those per­pe­trated by the Nazis, even draw­ing on the Torah. “But more crim­i­nal than them is the vic­tim who imi­tated the mur­derer and who didn’t learn the lessons of his­tory: instead of react­ing to what Hitler and his gang did by treat­ing with tol­er­ance and peace­ful coex­is­tence the peo­ple whose land it force­fully occu­pied – it resorted to the same Nazi meth­ods. There­fore, this crim­i­nal who killed the Pales­tin­ian infant, burned his family’s home and gravely wounded them, con­sid­ers him­self to be a Torah “hero”…”.

The cartoon’s headline: “After the burning of the Palestinian infant Ali Dawabsheh to death”.

The cartoon’s head­line: “After the burn­ing of the Pales­tin­ian infant Ali Dawab­sheh to death”.

Other such arti­cles charged that Israel not only uses Nazi meth­ods, but it specif­i­cally focuses on Pales­tin­ian chil­dren in apply­ing them. An Egypt­ian daily (Al-Yawm As-Sabi, August 1) argued this is com­mon for Israel,  writ­ing:  “The crime of burn­ing a Pales­tin­ian infant at the hand of Israeli set­tlers yes­ter­day, Fri­day, in south­ern Nablus in the occu­pied West Bank – wasn’t the first against Pales­tine. Surely it won’t be the last, since offi­cial doc­u­ments and sta­tis­tics indi­cate that Israel is an entity which has made a habit of tar­get­ing chil­dren in every form, includ­ing the use of fire. This brings back to mind the Nazi party’s crimes known as the Holocaust.”

Another arti­cle sim­ply refers to a “Holo­caust of the chil­dren of Pales­tine”: “On Fri­day, at exactly 2:30 am, took place in Duma vil­lage south of Nablus the most loath­some crime since the burn­ing of the mar­tyr Mohammed Abu Khdeir ..… the vil­lage insisted on bid­ding farewell to another mar­tyr, the village’s mar­tyr, 18 month old Ai Saad Dawab­sheh. He was burned by set­tlers in cold blood, before the eyes and ears of the world, who stood silently in the face of the Holo­caust of the chil­dren of Pales­tine…” (August 3, Filastin, Gaza).

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May 15, 2014 7

“Jews Vs. Nazis” Drinking Game Controversy

An offen­sive new Holocaust-themed ver­sion of the pop­u­lar “beer pong” drink­ing game has become a sub­ject of intense dis­cus­sion online and in domes­tic and inter­na­tional media. The game, dubbed “Jews vs.Jews vs  Nazis beer pong drinking game Nazis,” is played by set­ting up two groups of cups, one in the shape of a swastika and the other in the shape of a Star of David.

While the game has report­edly been played across the coun­try in the last few years, the most recent instance came to light after a Twit­ter feed ded­i­cated to anony­mous high school con­fes­sions tweeted a photo of cups set up for “Jews vs. Nazis” on April 27. The photo, which appeared to be from a high school in Florida, was sub­se­quently retweeted 1,800 times, favor­ited over 3,000 times, and cov­ered by the local news.

There are doc­u­mented instances of “Jews vs. Nazis” beer pong on var­i­ous social media sites going back to at least 2011. These pho­tos are fre­quently recir­cu­lated by peo­ple claim­ing they are from a recent event.

The photo from the sup­posed recent game actu­ally first appeared in March 2013 on Red­dit, a user-generated news site. It has since shown up on other blogs and web­sites where drink­ing games are a com­mon topic, as well as on a food blog and the web­site of a Col­orado radio sta­tion, which described five new ver­sions of beer pong for its lis­ten­ers to try.

The March 2013 photo, the most com­monly cir­cu­lated on social media, often also includes the game’s rules. In addi­tion to hav­ing the teams shape their cups into a swastika and a Star of David, the game’s over-the-top insen­si­tiv­i­ties include giv­ing the “Jews” the abil­ity to hide one of their cups as the “Anne Frank” cup and the “Nazis” the abil­ity to “Auschwitz” their oppo­nents, mean­ing that one of their play­ers must tem­porar­ily sit out.

Not only is this game pro­foundly offen­sive, its rules also encour­age anti-Semitism against the “Jew” team. The rules state: “Through­out the game you are sup­posed to talk a lot of s–t and say as many racist things as pos­si­ble to make it more enjoy­able. My Jew­ish friends actu­ally love this game haha.”

This game under­scores once more the crit­i­cal need for Holo­caust edu­ca­tion. A recent global poll on anti-Semitism con­ducted by ADL revealed that only a lit­tle more than half of the respon­dents had heard of the Holo­caust, though that num­ber was much higher in the U.S. where 89% of peo­ple acknowl­edged aware­ness of the Holocaust.

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