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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.

al-alam-news-tweet-netanyahu-isis

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 15, 2015

Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Continue In Aftermath Of Paris Attacks

Conspiracy theories blaming Jews and Israel for the terror attack at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris continue to surface in the U.S. and abroad.

In addition to previously reported examples, recent instances of American anti-Semites exploiting the tragedy to promote hatred for Jews include:

Brandon Martinez's on Press TV

Press TV’s reporting on the attacks

  • Paul Craig Roberts, an anti-Semitic syndicated columnist, wrote an article on his personal website claiming that there are suspicions “that the French shootings are a false flag operation.” Roberts identified several reasons for this, including “to stifle the growing European sympathy for the Palestinians and to realign Europe with Israel.”
  • On Press TV, Iran’s English-language satel­lite news net­work, in a January 13 article titled “Analyst wonders whether Cahrlie [sic] Hebdo massacre was staged,” Brandon Martinez blamed “Zionists” for a number of the world’s evils. For example, Martinez wrote that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are “all outgrowths of the same poisonous American-Zionist imperial tree.”
  • On January 12, on Vet­er­ans Today, a U.S.-based web­site that presents anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries as news, Senior Editor Gordon Duff published an article titled “Did Netanyahu Give France Their 9/11?” In the article, he describes the attacks as a “comic opera of carelessly staged false flag terrorism” carried out by “the Mossad and the criminal banks, part of the pro-Israeli ISIS organization.”

Internationally, similar conspiracy theories have been published in some media outlets and been promoted by various individuals:

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek blaming Mossad for the attacks

  • Turkey: According to a report from Anadolu News Agency circulating in the Turkish media, Ankara’s Mayor, Melih Gokcek accused Israel of being behind the Paris attacks. He made his statement during a conference by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on January 13. He claimed Israel was annoyed with the lower house of the French Parliament for voting for the recognition of a Palestinian state and with France’s vote in favor of a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for the same recognition. “Israel certainly doesn’t want this sentiment to expand in Europe. That is why it is certain that Mossad is behind these kinds of incidents. Mossad inflames Islamophobia by causing such incidents,” Gokcek said.
  • Egypt: A foreign affairs analyst at Al Wafd daily newspaper was cited in a report by the paper on January 12 as stating: “The Israeli Mossad is behind the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo French newspaper.” He added, “The Mossad planned the operation, and provided the attackers with weapons, and most likely the planning of the operation was done in the same Jewish [grocery] store which the attackers went to later.”
  • Egypt: Mohammed Tewfik, a journalist and former member of the militant al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, accused the Mossad of being involved in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. His accusations were included in a statement published by the Egypt-based Albawabh news website, on January 12. Tewfik stated, “The fast reaction by Israel to the attack, and Netanyahu’s trip to France, his request for France’s Jews to immigrate to Israel, and his call to  establish a new international coalition against Islamic terrorism, are likely [indications] of a Mossad involvement in this crime and an attempt to stick it to the Muslims.”

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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January 14, 2015

A French Jew Mourns a French Muslim Policeman

A guest blog by Eve Gani, Director of International Affairs, Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), ADL’s partner in France.

On January 11, millions of French citizens demonstrated in a historic moment of unity in defense of our democratic freedoms.  On January 13, we exercised one of those freedoms – freedom of religion – to bury 17 terror victims according to their respective families’ religious traditions, or absence of religious tradition: Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, atheist.

My colleagues at CRIF attended the Jewish funeral in Jerusalem and secular funerals in Paris.  I chose to attend the funeral of Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim policeman killed outside the Charlie Hebdo office.

I went with a Muslim friend, also a policeman.  I had met this friend a few months ago at a gala dinner to support the work of Latifa Ibn Ziaten, the mother of a Muslim soldier killed by Mohammed Merah, the terrorist who also murdered three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse. We came from two very different parts of French society, but both wanted to support Latifa Ibn Ziaten’s work with at-risk youth.

Immediately after the Charlie Hebdo attack, my friend called to alert me and urge us to be careful.  As he told me about the attack, his voice conveyed how nervous he was.  A policeman had been shot dead in the street, and he worried about his children’s future should the same happen to him. Recalling that conversation and the fact that a policewoman had also been shot in the interim, I knew I wanted to go with him to Ahmed Merabat’s funeral.

Funeral Procession of Ahmed Merabat

Funeral Procession of Ahmed Merabat

It was the first Muslim burial I had ever attended. During the prayers, I thought of the Muslim friends I have had through years, starting in high school. Some of them, like my Jewish friends, had left France. For Tunisia, London and Baltimore. They all wanted to build a better life, one safe from violence and all forms of hatred and bigotry.

At the burial, I saw Muslim colleagues of Ahmed proudly wearing their French Police uniforms, lay leaders from Muslim communities, a priest, and a rabbi.  The prayer leader thanked the Jews for attending and urged everyone to demonstrate their solidarity with the Jewish victims at an event in front of the kosher supermarket that was attacked.

Rector Dalil Boubakeur and others from the Grand Mosque of Paris were at the funeral, and we recalled a different meeting, not unrelated to the Charlie Hebdo terror attack.  Three years ago, CRIF and the Grand Mosque of Paris had organized an interfaith discussion on the topic of blasphemy and the laws of the Republic.  We underscored our common religious values and our common commitment to the rule of law, all of which the jihadists oppose.

Tragically, Charlie Hebdo was targeted because a jihadist interpretation of religion, incompatible with ours. And Ahmed, whose job was to enforce the law of the Republic, was killed on the way.

I watched as Ahmed’s coffin was borne by my friend.  My friend who fears to be next.

To my friend,

A French Muslim policeman,

May your children grow up in peace, with their father, in a France, respectful of and safe for all.

 

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