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November 16, 2012 1

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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