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November 5, 2015

Continued Publication of Anti-Semitic Themed Cartoons in the Arab and Muslim World

As Palestinian terrorism across Israel persists, Arab and Muslim newspapers and social media accounts continue to promote themes in support of the violence, which is often referred to as a “mass outburst” or the “Knives Intifada.”

In addition to the image of the knives, other themes are also being featured. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent efforts to end the violence are depicted as Israel and Jews controlling the US and its leadership.  Examples of cartoons published include a figure representing the US trapped inside the Star of David, Uncle Sam being in the pocket of Israel and Secretary Kerry wiping the blood from the teeth of a wolf – which represents Israel.

Another ever-present allegation is the charge that Israel is attempting to alter the status-quo on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem.  These images show Israel as a sinister snake attacking the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Below are examples of the cartoons published:

 

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October 9, 2015

Terror in Israel, A Reality We Know Too Well

By: Carole Nuriel, ADL’s Jerusalem Office

Over the past two weeks, a wave of terror has once again hit Israel. For those of us who grew up in Israel during the 1980s, this is an unfortunate reality we know all too well. Israelis suffered through two intifadas, waves of terror attacks including suicide bombs, shootings, run-over attacks, stone throwing and Molotov cocktails. Yet there is a feeling now that this particular wave of terror is different. There are a few reasons for this:

•       The terrorists’ profile: They come both from Palestinian areas in the West Bank and from Israeli Arab communities

•       Most of them are relatively young, some even teenagers

Obviously, another change is the use of social media:  some of the terrorists have declared their intention to carry out attacks on social media. This tool, which has become the new “city square”, provides a platform for recruitment, incitement, how-tos, as well as for organizing crowds to demonstrate and riot against Israeli security forces.

Israel violence

In many ways, this wave of violence represents an on-the-ground version of the recent Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, which indiscriminately targeted Israeli civilians throughout the country. This wave may have started in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, but quickly caught fire to the rest of the country, and is now targeting cities like Kiryat Gat, Petach Tikva, Tel Aviv and Afula. Much like Hamas’ rockets, much of the fear Israelis are now feeling is because of the sense that no place in the country is immune from terror attacks.

Anxiety is felt everywhere, as is the nature of terrorism. I live in Modi’in and have taken Road 443 to Jerusalem daily for the past eight years. However, during the last few months I haven’t felt safe driving on 443, especially with my kids, as there have been numerous stone and Molotov cocktail throwing incidents on this road. I now feel safer taking Highway 1, even though it means a longer drive to Jerusalem. Indeed, many Modi’in residents don’t drive on 443 anymore. Something has definitely changed. Just today, I received a notice that security checkpoints will be erected at all entrances to the city, and security in all educational institutions will be increased.

Polls have shown that there is a general public consensus among Palestinians against terrorism. But last week we witnessed another kind of evil, one which greatly worries me. During Saturday night’s terrible stabbing in the Old City of Jerusalem, Adele Bennett, whose husband was killed and she herself stabbed, was reportedly spat on and laughed at by Arab bystanders as she ran to get help with a knife still in her back. What can be more insulting, upsetting and inhumane than this indecent act?

But this is not only about terror, it’s also about incitement to violence. Many of those rioting claim Israel is attempting to change the status quo on Temple Mount. This holy place to both Judaism and Islam has been the focus of clashes and provocations for years. It is hard to ignore the dangerous actions and discourse of the Islamic Movement in Israel, who have supported the Murabitun/Murabitat group, whose sole purpose is to provoke and insult Jews visiting the Temple Mount. Incitement has also come from senior Palestinian Authority officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas who infamously declared in a television interview a few weeks ago that Jews are defiling the Temple Mount with their feet.

Today more than ever, religious and political leaders must understand how easily their inciting words can lead to violence and terrorism.

There are ongoing efforts among Israeli and Palestinian leaders to deescalate tensions. Israelis hope and pray that this will be successful, and that the personal security will be restored.

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September 18, 2015

Violence on the Temple Mount in the Arab Media

For the past couple of months, the Temple Mount has been the focus of confrontations between Muslim worshipers and Jewish visitors. Encouraged by anti-Semitic invective in public statements by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in recent days this has escalated to violence by Muslim worshipers who have hurled stones, fireworks and metal bars at Israeli security forces. The Mount is the holiest site for Jews, and the third holiest Muslim site (after Mecca and Medina) known as Al-Haram Ash-Sharif. The responsibility for the Temple Mount is shared by Israel, which has sovereignty over the site, and Jordan, whose Custodian Ministry has managed the site since the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.

The ongoing turmoil on the Temple Mount has escalated partly in reaction to an increase in Jewish visitation to the site and to highly politicized efforts by some Israeli politicians agitating to change the status quo and allow Jews to pray on the Mount (which is forbidden by the agreement with Jordan). In spite of these developments, nothing justifies the extreme reaction and violence on the part of the Palestinians.

In recent years, events on the Temple Mount have caused tensions between Jerusalem and Amman, which resulted in the recalling of the Jordanian ambassador to Israel and  populist calls within Jordan to expel the Israeli ambassador to Amman. The Jordanians claim Israel is attempting to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount by “Judaizing” the site. In response, an initiative was launched by the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement (Israel) called the Murabitat/Murabitun – a civil protest group whose goal is to provoke Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. Their significance is mainly symbolic in that they peacefully demonstrate Muslim presence on the Temple Mount. Their name, derived from the Arabic root Rabata meaning “to station and stay in place”, testifies to their defiance against the Israeli sovereignty.

The charge that Israel is conspiring to take over the site has been a constant in Arab media for years, particularly in cartoons published in Arab newspapers and website.   Palestinian Authority leaders often issue incendiary statements alleging nefarious Israeli action, while also diminishing or even refuting the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Yet the imagery and language used in recent weeks represents an escalation of tensions over the Temple Mount. In an interview earlier this week with Palestinian TV and Sky News in Arabic, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Jews of defiling the Temple Mount: “Al-Aqsa is ours, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is ours, it is all ours. They have no right to defile them with their filthy feet, and we will not allow them,” he said.

There have also been a number of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons published which depict Israel as animals attempting to devour Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the invocation of classic anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews as thieves and using money to Judaize Jerusalem.

Here are some examples:

A cartoon published on September 14th in the Palestinian Authority’s Al-Quds newspaper depicts Israel as an alligator attempting to devour Jerusalem, represented by a woman, while a figure representing the Arab World says “We express our concern”.

alligatorAnother published on September 14th in Jordan’s Al-Ghad, shows Jerusalem being devoured by a giant bird representing Israel.

birdA cartoon published on September 12th in Qatar’s Ar-Raya newspaper, implies that Jews use money to Judaize Jerusalem.

Written on the right: “Rich Zionists’ expenditures.” Written on the left: “Rich Muslims’ expenditures.”

money in hatOn Twitter, under the hashtag of #al-aqsaisindanger, a cartoon was published on September 15th depicting a Jew stealing the Mosque behind the back of the Arab World. The cartoon’s headline: “The Israeli Military Rabbinate Published Pictures of Al-Aqsa Mosque without the Dome of the Rock”. And as the Jew is stealing the Mosque, the Arab figure is saying: “Don’t be afraid, we have the original picture!”

stealing temple mountUnder the same hashtag, another cartoon was published showing Israel stealing Al-Aqsa Mosque under a US umbrella.

stealing temple mount2Other hashtags include #alaqsaisburning and #shallnotbedivided (referring to an initiative to divide the time and place of the Temple Mount between Jewish and Muslim worshipers).

Some cartoons described ways in which Al-Aqsa is victimized by Israel, including one cartoon published (Sep. 16) in Jordan’s Ammon news site, which shows the bleeding Mosque sawed in two by Israeli soldiers, under the title “Storming the Temple Mount.”

cutting up JM

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