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November 17, 2015

Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Crop Up In Wake Of Paris Attacks

In the after­math of the wave of coordinated ter­ror attacks across Paris, con­spir­acy the­o­ries linking Jews or Israel with the attacks have begun to sur­face in the U.S and abroad.

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Tweet from Iranian news channel Al-Alam

Supposed links between Israel and the Paris attacks have been discussed in international media outlets:

  • Iran’s Fars News Agency (FNA) published a report on November 16 that read in part: “After the terrorist attacks in Paris, it was once again confirmed that French Jews were informed that the tragedy would happen. Just as it happened in the September 11 attacks 14 years ago, when Jews working in the Twin Towers did not attend to work.” The report added that “Zionist officials wanted to exploit [the attacks] to achieve their specific goals.” The report listed several conspiratorial theories about Jewish responsibility for the September 11 attacks.
  • On November 14, Egypt-based Al-Asima TV interviewed Colonel Hatem Saber as an expert on international terrorism to comment on the Paris attacks. Saber suggested that Israel stands behind the terrorist attacks in Paris because France agreed to provide Egypt with arms, which was considered threatening to Israel.
  • A cartoon tweeted by the Iranian news channel Al-Alam on November 17, shows Israeli PM Netanyahu putting an explosive vest on an ISIS terrorist in the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.

    al-arab-tweet-israel-paris-attacks

    Tweet from Qatari newspaper Al-Arab

  • A cartoon depicting Israel as the driving force behind the attack was published in Qatar’s Al-Arab newspaper on November 17 and circulated on Twitter. It shows Israel as the ultimate operator of the small figure in the picture, which represents terror.

These theories about the Paris attacks are similar to past conspiracies that have been circulated in the Middle East about Israel being behind ISIS.

In the U.S., fringe anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rists, who rarely miss an oppor­tu­nity to exploit tragedies to pro­mote their hatred of Jews, blamed Jews or Israel for the attacks, much as they did after the January terror attacks in Paris.

  • Mark Glenn, a vir­u­lently anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist, posted an image on his blog The Ugly Truth on November 15 of a dog thinking “All the ISIS guys smell like Mossad” in a post titled “France should have beefed up anti-terror laws.”  In a November 16 post on the attacks, Glenn wrote “Until people begin to grasp this simple fact, that there is no such thing as a ‘good Jew’, and that Judaism–AT ITS CORE AND FROM THE MOMENT OF ITS INCEPTION–is and has been the embodiment of religiously-induced mental illness, the world will continue to march at break-neck speed towards its own destruction, the people of the Middle East being its first victims, and then everyone else, one by one, taking their turn as well.”
  • On November 16 in Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, a Pakistani contributor named Sajjad Shuakat wrote in an article titled “Is Israel Behind Paris Attacks?” that “…we are living in a world of Zionist-controlled media which is very strong and whatever it release [sic] by concealing truth and propagating Israeli interests as part of the disinformation, impress the politicians and general masses in the whole world.”

    mary-hughes-thompson-anti-semitic-tweet

    Retweet from anti-Israel activist Mary Hughes-Thompson

  • Kevin Bar­rett, an anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­rist and fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Iran’s Eng­lish lan­guage pro­pa­ganda news net­work, Press TV, wrote a November 13 arti­cle in Vet­er­ans Today titled “Another French False Flag?” In the article Barrett states that “Since we now know the Charlie Hebdo attack was a…false flag by the usual suspects (NATO hardliners and Zionists), can we safely make the same assumption about these new Friday the 13th Paris atrocities? I think we can.” Barrett added “The first question, as always, is: Who gains? And the answer, as always, is: Authoritarian insiders. Zionists. Militarists. Islamophobes. New World Order-Out-Of-Chaos freaks.”
mary-hughes-thompson tweet

Tweet from anti-Israel activist Mary Hughes-Thompson

At least one anti-Israel activist also linked Jews and Israel to the attacks:

  • On November 14, Anti-Israel activist Mary Hughes-Thompson, co-founder of the Free Gaza Move­ment, tweeted that “I haven’t accused Israel of involvement. Still, Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] is upset about the European settlement boycott. So who knows.” She also posted a cartoon on her Twitter page depicting an anti-Semitic caricature of a Jewish man saying “Merci [Thank you]” to an ISIS fighter, with the comment that “Everything is working out as planned. Soon those White goyim will be on their knees.”

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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.”

    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.

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November 16, 2012

Anti-Semitism and Legitimization of Terror Abound in Reaction to Israeli Operations in Gaza

Anti-Israel activists are using various social media platforms to express their opposition to Israel’s ongoing military operations in Gaza and comment on the unfolding situation. These remarks frequently contain extreme language. Several statements tend to legitimize Hamas and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilian communities. Others compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

The banner at right, for example, which has been widely circulated on Facebook, calls the operation, “the Holocaust in Gaza.”

Mary Hughes-Thompson, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, commented on her Facebook page: “Operation Israeli Gestapo is underway in Gaza.” Another anti-Israel activist who posted on Facebook almost immediately after the strike that killed Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari yesterday wrote: “Jewish Zionist ‘morality and bravery’ on display in Gaza is no different than that which was displayed by the Nazis in the Concentration Camps.”

George Galloway, a former member of the British Parliament and leader of Viva Palestina, used extremely caustic and virulent language on a program he hosts on Press TV, an English-language Iranian satellite station. Galloway called on viewers advocating for nonviolent resistance and/or diplomacy to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to “get off their knees” and acknowledge that diplomacy won’t be useful against Israel’s “blitzkrieg of death and gas.”  He also claimed that Palestinians in Gaza are being “gassed” and “roasted” by Israel.

Attempts to legitimize or minimize Hamas’s rocket attacks against Israeli civilians have also appeared. A student at George Washington University who is involved with Students for Justice in Palestine on campus wrote, “The Resistance has reached Tel Aviv! Long Live the Resistance.” The comments appear to celebrate that an Iranian rocket launched by Islamic Jihad in Gaza had landed in Tel Aviv. After a comment appeared questioning his support for violence, the student responded, “Violent resistance is our right” and compared the situation to a raped woman striking her assailant in self-defense.

Ben White, a prominent anti-Israel activist and author of “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide,” wrote on his Facebook page: “Israel’s hasbara says context for assault is rocket fire. Well, context for rocket fire is 64 years of expulsion and occupation.” (As a side note, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank began in 1967. White’s reference to “64 years” of occupation suggests that he considers all of Israel to be occupied Palestinian land.)

Noura Erakat, a fellow at Georgetown University and former organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, expressed frustration with what she deemed to be a response from Israel that was wholly unprovoked. She wrote on Twitter: “#Hamas has observed ceasefire, Shalit returned, now what?” [Contrary to this claim, Hamas did not observe the ceasefire and was responsible for launching more than 100 rockets into Gaza in the days preceding Israel’s response.]

Other extreme comments include statements by:

  • Julio Pino, a professor at Kent State University who infamously shouted “Death to Israel” during a pro-Israel presentation on campus last year. Pino called the action a “genocide” on his Facebook page.
  • Alison Weir, the director of the Council for the National Interest and If Americans Knew, who referred to Israel’s actions as a “slaughter.”
  • Remi Kanazi, an anti-Israel activist and rapper based in New York who wrote, “Dear Zionists: You have never ‘defended yourselves.’ You came in, stole land that wasn’t yours & maintained a racist state through massacres and brute force.”
  • Sherry Wolf, a Jewish anti-Zionist and member of the International Socialist Organization, who wrote: “The homicidal racists who run Israel have launched an all-out bombing campaign on Gaza…#FuckIsrael.”

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