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September 28, 2016

Reports of Israel and Facebook Cooperation Spark Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel Cartoons

Anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons have appeared in recent days in Arabic-language media, following reports that Israel and Facebook will join forces in contending with Palestinian incitement. Notably, a campaign on social media called on people to refrain from posting materials for two hours on Sunday (Sep. 25) in protest of the agreement and focus their activity on the hash tag #FBCensorsPalestine instead.

Cartoon depictions include portrayals of Facebook as a tool at the hands of the Israeli army and as a checkpoint operated by Mark Zuckerberg.

Here are some examples:

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July 5, 2016

Arabic-Language Social Media Glorifies Killing of Israeli Rabbi

On July 1, Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered by Palestinian terrorists who shot him from their vehicle as he was driving with his wife and three of their ten children in the Hebron area, near the settlement of Otniel where he headed the local Yeshiva. His wife and two of their children were wounded in the attack.

As was the case in the recent Tel-Aviv shooting, hash tags glorifying the attack began appearing on Arabic-language social media. They included #thehebronoperation, #theramadanjihad, #road60 (the highway where the shooting took place), as well as #thequickresponse, implying that this attack was in revenge for the killing of Sara Al-Hajjouj earlier that day, who according to reports, had attempted to stab Israeli Border Police soldiers at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Glorification of the attack was also referenced under hash tags relating to the ongoing wave of Palestinian terror which began in September of 2015, including #thejerusalemintifada and #theintifadacontinues.

Images posted on Twitter in aftermath of the attack showed the wrecked car (below) with the caption “A Settler is Killed and Three Others Wounded in a Heroic Shooting Operation in Hebron”, with the hash tags #road60 and #thequickresponse, along with the icon of the current wave of terror at the bottom left corner. Also appearing below is the caption “Your blood was not shed in vain. Blessed be your right hand, you who were quick to respond”. This refers to the killing of Sara Al-Hajjouj earlier that day.

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A cartoon links the attack to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by showing the rifle against the backdrop of a crescent, with the headline “Operation in Hebron in Retaliation for the Martyrdom of a Woman near the Cave of the Patriarchs.”

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Notably, Facebook pages claiming affiliation with Hamas student cells of Palestinian universities also circulated similar images. One proclaiming to be Al-Quds University’s Hamas student cell posted (July 1) an image of the attack’s aftermath, with the caption “This is the Pure Weapon … the Weapon of the Resistance: a settler is killed and three others wounded in a shooting operation on their vehicle near Hebron.”

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The same picture was posted (July 1) by another Facebook page proclaiming to be part of the Hamas student cell, this time of Hebron University. It also posted the following image, with the caption “The Month of Ramadan.. a Month in which the West Bank’s Men Recorded a Fierce and Heroic Battle.” Below appears the caption “A Settler is Killed and Three Others Wounded in a Shooting Operation on their Car near Hebron.”

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A Facebook page presenting itself as that of the Hamas student cell of Bir Zeit University in the West Bank posted (July 1) a picture of late Rabbi Mark with the caption “Crushed”. The picture even specifically states that represents the Bir Zeit University Islamic Bloc of Hamas.

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July 1, 2016

Iranian Commemoration of Al-Quds Day Includes Anti-Semitic and Harsh Anti-Israel Expressions

Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, which takes place on the last Friday of Ramadan, was initiated in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, as a show of solidarity with the Palestinians and to assert the Islamic claim over Jerusalem. While events are held around the world, in Iran, it is often marked by a hateful demonstration of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment, manifest in government organized rallies and other activities. Before this years’ Al Quds day (July 1), Iran’s leadership rallied the country.  Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called its commemoration and support for the oppressed Palestinians an important religious duty.

The Islamic Propagation Coordination Council in a statement called for widespread participation in Quds Day demonstrations and asked them to repeat the same slogans “Death to America, Death to Israel and Death to international Zionism and Imperialism.” It was reported that in one Quds Day demonstration, placards were held up which called for Israel’s destruction by the year 2040, and people chanting “Death to America” threw stones at a mock Statue of Liberty. In advance of Al Quds day, Iran’s Fars news agency published a wave of harsh anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons, some with classical anti-Semitic themes, such as Jewish world domination, depicting the world under the control of a Jewish/Israeli octopus, worm or spider:

Others are of a more anti-Israel nature, yet similarly conspiratorial in that they imply Israel is a part of a broader, if not global, U.S. plot. One depicts Israel as a dog operated by the U.S. against Gaza, while another shows the U.S. and an Arab figure – most probably representing the Saudi royal family who are bitter rivals of the Islamic Republic – forming together a Star of David, as though they are working in the service of Israel and the Jews.

Other cartoons depict an Israel on the verge of destruction.  One depicts an Israeli figure running away just before a dam with a Star of David collapses, as a result of a mass of people, with the caption “Death to Israel”. Another cartoon shows an Israeli soldier drowning in blood represented by the red part of the Palestinian flag.

Other cartoons demonize Israel by deforming the appearances of an Israeli soldier shown with satanic ears and with teeth shaped like nuclear missiles, while another of former Israeli president Shimon Peres depicts him as a demonic figure.

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