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June 19, 2013 0

Where Calling Someone A Jew Or An Israeli Is The Ultimate Insult

nasrallah-billboard-jew-lebanon-hezbollah

Nas­ral­lah bill­board in Tripoli, Lebanon

A bill­board in the streets of Tripoli, Lebanon, insult­ing Hezbol­lah Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Has­san Nas­ral­lah demon­strates how even an enemy of the Jew­ish peo­ple like Nas­ral­lah is sub­ject to attack by his ene­mies as being a tool of the Jews.

The bill­board, appar­ently placed last week in response to Hezbollah’s sup­port of the Syr­ian government’s ongo­ing fight with Sunni rebels, shows Nas­ral­lah with the Star of David on his tur­ban, blood around his mouth and wear­ing a black eye patch, an appar­ent ref­er­ence to the iconic image of Israeli mil­i­tary leader Moshe Dayan. The script below the image said “Your mask fell off, oh you mur­derer of chil­dren and women.”

The bill­board is a reflec­tion of a larger schism within the Mus­lim world between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. Both sides are invok­ing accu­sa­tions of being a Jew or Israeli against the other as the ulti­mate insult.

Tripoli, a city with a major­ity of Sun­nis, has expe­ri­enced esca­lat­ing sec­tar­ian ten­sion in response to Hezbollah’s sup­port for Syr­ian pres­i­dent Bashar Hafez al-Assad and his troops, which have been fight­ing Sunni rebels in Syria for over a year.

Images of the Nas­ral­lah bill­board have been widely shared on social media by those sym­pa­thetic with the Syr­ian rebels as well. Sev­eral Twit­ter users explic­itly accuse Nas­ral­lah of being a Jew, some claim­ing all Shia Mus­lims are allied with the Jews. It is a clas­sic exam­ple of blur­ring the the line between anti-Israel and anti-Semitism propaganda.

Last Feb­ru­ary ADL issued a press release denounc­ing a sim­i­lar con­spir­acy the­ory in the Mid­dle East, which claimed the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood was secretly allied with Jews.

This past month, videos posted on YouTube showed demon­stra­tors in Syr­ian cities chant­ing “Shia Shia oh you Jews… The army of Muham­mad will return.” The slo­gan is a take­off on the anti-Semitic slo­gan evok­ing the story of slay­ing thou­sands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Ara­bia 1400 years ago.

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June 18, 2013 6

Leaked “Khaiber” Episodes Confirm ADL Concern Over Anti-Semitic Themes

The first two episodes of “Khaiber,” a multi-million dol­lar tele­vi­sion series com­mem­o­rat­ing the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th cen­tury, have been posted on Youtube. The episodes, which series pro­duc­ers report­edly claim have been leaked, reveal the degree to which clas­si­cal anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives are being pro­moted in the program.

Sched­uled to air dur­ing Ramadan next month, the episodes depict life prior to the rise of Islam in the Ara­bian city of Yathrib, where the Jew­ish tribe of Khaiber lived between the two Arab tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj.

Khaiber Rab­bis are por­trayed as secretly con­spir­ing to fuel war between the Arabs in order to weaken them. The main char­ac­ter, the Grand Rabbi in Yathrib, Hayi Ben Akhtab, seeks to sow con­flict between Arabs to pro­mote the weapon indus­try, which Jews con­trol, accord­ing to the episodes. Another char­ac­ter, a Rabbi by the name of Shas, is depicted as a sym­bol of Jew­ish hatred to the Prophet Muhammad.

Other Jews who live in the city are depicted as fru­gal, greedy and immoral mer­chants who profit from the Arabs. The one Jew­ish char­ac­ter that is depicted as a good man awaits the appear­ance of Muham­mad to con­vert to Islam.

Last Feb­ru­ary, ADL first reported on the Echo Media Qatar pro­duc­tion and on Egypt­ian author, Yusri al-Jindy, who wrote the script for the mini-series. ADL exposed the trou­bling his­tory of al-Jindy’s pre­vi­ous work, which prop­a­gated anti-Semitism and extreme anti-Israel themes.

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June 4, 2013 0

ADL’s “Viral Hate” Now Available in Bookstores

Abe Foxman's & Christopher Wolf's book: "Viral Hate"

Two lead­ing experts on big­oted speech and the Inter­net have joined forces as authors of a new book that lays out a blue­print for gov­ern­ments, indus­try lead­ers and soci­eties to take proac­tive steps to stem the tide of hate speech on the Internet.

Abra­ham H. Fox­man, National Direc­tor of the Anti-Defamation League and Christo­pher Wolf, ADL Civil Rights Chair, out­line the chal­lenges posed by online hate and pro­pose a series of solu­tions in their new book, Viral Hate: Con­tain­ing Its Spread on the Inter­net (Pal­grave Macmil­lan), avail­able in book­stores and for down­load on e-readers today.

Viral Hate dis­cusses how in the past 20 years, the Inter­net, with all of its many advan­tages to soci­ety and the free-flow of infor­ma­tion, has become one of the most pow­er­ful tools for big­ots to spread evil mes­sages of intol­er­ance and rage.

While it is a mar­velous medium for edu­ca­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, enter­tain­ment and com­merce, as the Inter­net has grown and changed over the years, racists and big­ots have found new ways to exploit the tech­nol­ogy to spread hate­ful mes­sages and recruit oth­ers to join their cause. The book pro­vides numer­ous exam­ples of how this has happened.

Viral Hate offers spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tions for the indus­try, as well as for edu­ca­tors, par­ents and Inter­net users.

The indus­try rec­om­men­da­tions include:

  • Cre­at­ing clear poli­cies on hate speech and includ­ing them within terms of service;
  • Cre­at­ing mech­a­nisms for enforc­ing hate speech policies;
  • Estab­lish­ing a clear, user-friendly process for allow­ing users to report hate speech;
  • Increas­ing trans­parency about terms of service;
  • Actively encour­ag­ing counter-speech and edu­ca­tion to address hate speech.

Rec­om­men­da­tions for Inter­net users include: 

  • Flag­ging offen­sive content;
  • Speak­ing out and, in a smart and care­ful way, being pre­pared to chal­lenge hate­ful mes­sages with pos­i­tive ones;
  • Pro­mot­ing counter-speech, applaud­ing pos­i­tive mes­sages and rec­om­mend­ing them to others;
  • Talk­ing about what you have seen, and reach­ing out to watch­dog agen­cies with expe­ri­ence deal­ing with hate and bigotry;
  • For edu­ca­tors, work­ing to ensure that schools have appro­pri­ate poli­cies in place, and empha­siz­ing the impor­tance of crit­i­cal thinking.

Mr. Fox­man, a long­time leader in the fight against anti-Semitism and big­otry, and Mr. Wolf, an Inter­net pri­vacy law attor­ney who has rep­re­sented ADL in a num­ber of inter­na­tional bod­ies tasked with fight­ing Inter­net hate, cite numer­ous instances in recent years where indi­vid­u­als like James von Brunn, the white suprema­cist and U.S. Holo­caust Museum shooter, have taken advan­tage of the power of the Inter­net to spread hate­ful mes­sages and to find like­minded bigots.

And they iden­tify the var­i­ous forms of hate speech that have pro­lif­er­ated online, includ­ing racism, anti-Semitism, reli­gious big­otry, Holo­caust denial, homo­pho­bia, misog­yny, pro­mo­tion of ter­ror­ism and harassment.

In Viral Hate, Fox­man and Wolf dis­cuss how ADL helped to con­vene a new work­ing group on online hate that is bring­ing together Inter­net indus­try lead­ers and oth­ers to probe the roots of the prob­lem and develop new solu­tions to address it head on.

The authors write it is “a national dis­grace” that schools do not have as a require­ment courses instruct­ing chil­dren on the appro­pri­ate use of elec­tronic communication.

More infor­ma­tion on the book is avail­able on the League’s web site at www.adl.org/viral-hate.

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