jordan » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘jordan’
March 10, 2016

The Economic Costs Of Boycotting Israel: An Arab Perspective

Anti-Israel activists have often argued that the goal of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign is to encourage Israelis to think critically about the “economic cost of the Occupation,” but a recent article published by Al-Hayat, one of the leading daily pan-Arab newspapers, may be challenging them to consider thinking about the costs some Arabs endure as a result of calls to resist normal relations with Israel.al hayat

“Resisting Normalization [with Israel] in Jordan adds economic losses to the defeat” by Jordanian journalist Ibrahim Gharaiba, which appeared on the international edition of Al-Hayat on March 7, offers a realistic picture of the real price Jordanians are paying as a result of calls to boycott Israel.

According to Gharaiba, the Israel–Jordan peace treaty, known as Wadi Araba, could have transformed the status of war between the two counties into great economic and development opportunities for Jordan. “Israel, which its status has changed into a non-enemy country is located at the same geographic region as Jordan, and it has an advanced economy which achieves very high levels of human development.”

This Israeli success story, according to the article, is focused around areas with strategic importance for Jordan, such as water desalination and agriculture.

“Jordan, which suffered a military defeated in 1967 and regional crises creating a refugee proportion close to 70 percent of the population, is also plagued by bizarre political trends working against its best interest in a puzzling way. [This political trend] turned work in Israel, export to and import from it, and training and technical cooperation with it into something taboo.”

Israeli goods burned as part of the BDS activities in the Arab world

Israeli goods (and goods perceived as Israeli) burned as part of the BDS activities in the Arab world

The author also defends his fellow Jordanian citizens who seek work opportunities in Israel against attempts to criminalize their actions. “Citizens who work in Israel are trying to preserve their [human] dignity, especially as the unemployment rate [in Jordan] is too high.”  Gharaiba also responds against those who label cooperation with Israel as “treason” by offering a paradoxical realistic definition: “Treason is when a government abandons the interests and economic opportunities of its people.”

The article compares the consequences of such political rhetoric about boycotting Israel with the situation in 1967 when Jordan joined several other Arab countries in attacking Israel. Many in the Arab world remember the political rhetoric in these years, which rejected any compromise with Israel. According to the author, today’s calls to boycott Israel would add an economic defeat to the military defeat of the Six Day War.

Gharaibah is not the only one in the Arab world who emphasizes the economic hardships that are shaping the future of the Arab world. A number of Arab intellectuals have challenged attempts to mask the role of economic conditions in triggering frustrations of the Arab youth.

While many who support the BDS movement may be motivated by what they believe to be the human rights agenda of its leaders, they often choose to disregard realities on the ground when it comes to the real burden endured by the average Arab citizen. This article is a sobering reminder that the BDS movement’s rhetoric is disconnected  from the reality of the citizens of Jordan and potentially others in the Arab world, many of whom are in serious need of the economic benefits that could come from further cooperation with Israel.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

March 27, 2015

Arab Media Cartoons Relating to the Israeli Elections and Tensions with the US

Following Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s election victory earlier this month, and the increasing tensions in the relationship between PM Netanyahu and President Obama, newspapers across the Arab world published a number of related anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoons. Some represent unhappiness within the Arab world over PM Netanyahu’s victory, portraying him and the Israeli voters as inherently violent and racist, while others resort to the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews and Israel controlling President Obama and the US government.

The cartoons reflect a widespread view within the Arab world that Israeli election results represent a shift towards a more extreme right-wing stance on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which will ultimately result in damage to the Palestinian cause. They also highlight a belief that the rift in US-Israel relations will ultimately fail to alter overall US support of and perceived bias towards Israel and its policies.

The following are some examples of the cartoons published:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.”

    charlie-hebdo-al-dostor-egypt

    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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,