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January 22, 2016 2

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is Still…..A Jew

Saud Al Shureem anti-semitic Tweet

Saud al-Shuraim’s anti-Semitic tweet about the Jewish-Iranian alliance

Over the past month, esca­lat­ing ten­sion in the Mid­dle East between Iran and the Arab Gulf States helped fuel a resur­gence of anti-Semitic state­ments and con­spir­acy the­o­ries about a sup­posed link between Israel and Jews to Iran.

Angered by Iran’s increas­ing influ­ence in the region, promi­nent Arab fig­ures includ­ing politi­cians, reli­gious lead­ers and jour­nal­ists have accused Jews and Israel of secretly sup­port­ing Iran and Shi’a Mus­lims in their war against the Sunni Mus­lim world.

Just last week, promi­nent Saudi scholar, Saud al-Shuraim, an Imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca wrote the fol­low­ing state­ment on his Twit­ter account: “It is no won­der the Safavids [Ira­ni­ans] ally with Jews and Chris­tians against Mus­lims because his­tory tes­ti­fies that this is the case. What is strange are the minds which took too long to under­stand this fact.”

Some went as far as accus­ing “the Jews” of orches­trat­ing Iran’s war against the Sunni Mus­lim world. Jor­dan­ian online news agency Ammon News pub­lished an arti­cle on Jan­u­ary 19, titled “Iran started its holy war on the Sun­nis with the bless­ing of the Jews.”

The online pub­li­ca­tion, Al Khaleej Affairs, which spe­cial­izes in Arab Gulf States’ Affairs, inter­viewed Iraqi Sunni activist Falih Al Shi­bly on Jan­u­ary 21 to talk about the Iran­ian involve­ment in Iraq. In the inter­view Al Shi­bly claimed, “Unfor­tu­nately, there is igno­rance in the region about the Jew­ish sup­ported Per­sian plot.” He added that “This plot is against all Arab coun­tries from the Ara­bian West to the ‘Ara­bian’ Gulf.”

Other anti-Semitic accu­sa­tions included con­spir­acy the­o­ries that the Jew­ish lobby in the U.S. is respon­si­ble for dri­ving America’s pol­icy in Iran’s best inter­ests. Dubai Police Chief, Dahi Khal­fan, whose bizarre state­ments in the past included accus­ing the Jews of being linked to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, claimed on Jan­u­ary 18 that Pres­i­dent Obama is of Shi’a roots and “the sons of Zion” [the Jews] helped him  reach pres­i­dency to “bring Iran and Amer­ica closer.” Khalfan’s state­ments were widely cir­cu­lated in the Arab world.

Such a claim about Jew­ish sup­port for Iran was the sub­ject of sev­eral tweets by for­mer Man­ager of the Dubai Gov­ern­ment Media Office, Dherar Bel­houl Al Falasi, on Jan­u­ary 11. He claimed that Jews revere Iran because it is con­sid­ered a “holy” coun­try in Judaism. He wrote “Jews revere Iran more than ‘Palestine.’”

The ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion ISIS is cap­i­tal­iz­ing on this anti-Semitic trend as well. The fea­tured arti­cle in their most recent English-language mag­a­zine Dabiq issue included a 14-page screed link­ing Jews and Shi’as. The back cover of the mag­a­zine also fea­tured a full page image of Jews pray­ing in a syn­a­gogue with a clear ref­er­ence to the Jews of Isfa­han in Iran.

This anti-Semitic rhetoric is more than just a delu­sional per­spec­tive. It is a tool that has been used time and again to gal­va­nize Arab pub­lic opinion.

These con­spir­acy the­o­ries also fail to rec­og­nize both the very real threat Iran rep­re­sents to the Jew­ish state and the cen­tral­ity of anti-Semitic pro­pa­ganda in the ide­ol­ogy embraced by Iran’s rul­ing regime. It is ironic that such accu­sa­tions emerge while Iran is orga­niz­ing  an inter­na­tional car­toon contest–on the Holocaust.

Ten­sion between Iran and the Arab world has a long his­tory, but it has esca­lated notably over the past few months as a result of the Iran nuclear agree­ment and grow­ing con­cern among Arab Gulf States about Iran’s expand­ing regional influ­ence and its involve­ment in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Arab world. Both sides have used the media to prop­a­gate anti-Semitic accu­sa­tions against the other through the lens of their own agen­das. It seems that  Shi’as  and Sun­nis can agree on one thing: blam­ing the Jews for their problems.

In the past, ADL doc­u­mented a num­ber of sim­i­lar con­spir­acy the­o­ries in the Arab world includ­ing that ISIS has Jew­ish roots and that Israel and Jews are linked to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.

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June 27, 2013 3

Accusations of Jewish Affiliation Precede a Lynching in Egypt

Anti-Semitic posters Egypt

A poster in Egypt derid­ing Shia Mus­lims as “stooges of the Jews.”

Ear­lier this week, an angry mob in a small vil­lage near Cairo attacked and lynched a group of Shia Mus­lims, a hor­rific episode that resulted in the mur­ders of four men. The inci­dent came two weeks after posters were widely dis­played in the vil­lage accus­ing Shia of being “stooges of the Jews.”

Mem­bers of Al-Nour Party, an Islamist party and a mem­ber of Egypt’s gov­ern­ing coali­tion led by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, report­edly dis­played these posters on the walls of the village’s homes. One poster, cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter, has the logo of Al-Nour Party on the top right cor­ner of the poster.

The posters included images of out­go­ing Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad, who is per­ceived as a sym­bol of the Iranian-led Shia expan­sion in the Sunni Mus­lim world, shak­ing hands with mem­bers of Neturei Karta, an extreme anti-Israel group. The pho­tos rep­re­sent an absurd attempt to demon­strate a “Jewish-Shia’a alliance” that is allegedly plot­ting to gain con­trol over the Sunni Mus­lim world.

Two weeks after the posters first appeared, a hos­tile group of vil­lagers attacked the house of a Shia fam­ily who lived in the vil­lage. Mem­bers of the small Shia com­mu­nity had gath­ered in the house to attend a reli­gious cer­e­mony led by Has­san Sha­hata, a promi­nent Egypt­ian Shia cleric. Four men were killed dur­ing the bru­tal attack, includ­ing Sha­hata himself.

Graphic images of the vio­lence showed the mob drag­ging the bod­ies of the vic­tims through the streets of the vil­lage while police offi­cers watched from a distance.

A young daugh­ter of one of the vic­tims who wit­nessed the assault told a reporter from an Egypt­ian news agency, “Is this the form of reli­gion they want to imple­ment and they speak about? Even if we were Jews they shouldn’t have done this to us.”

Last week, a large bill­board in Tripoli showed Hezbol­lah leader Has­san Nas­ral­lah with a Star of David on his tur­ban and blood drip­ping from his mouth. The poster, the work of a rival Sunni group, was intended to demo­nize Nas­ral­lah in the worst pos­si­ble way: by char­ac­ter­iz­ing him as a Jew. Indeed, link­ing one’s enemy to Jews is a theme of the ris­ing sec­tar­ian ten­sion in the Mus­lim world. The recent lynch­ing inci­dent is a reminder of the poten­tially bru­tal con­se­quences of such accusations.

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