From messaging to targeting – Jews in the firing line
By David E. Kaplan
Its hunting season – and the prey are Jews!
Hardly a day goes by that Jews around the world – and over the last month on streets across Israel – are not in the deadly ‘crosshairs’ of some raving antisemite or raging jihadist terrorist.
Last Thursday there was blood on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street with three young Israelis shot dead at a popular pub; and several days ago there was a knife attack – thankfully not fatal – in the port city of Ashkelon.
Should we be surprised?
Sadly no when a soundtrack of hate against Jews is being played over and over by murderous messages ranging from ‘finishing Hitler’s job’ to doing ‘God’s work’.
FROM THE DEVIL TO THE DIVINE
So who are the “VOICES” sending these messages?
With over 120 books under his belt and sometimes described as a “moderate Islamist”, Sunni religious authority Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi who is Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars called in one of his recent sermons for his flock to finish what:
“HITLER HAD STARTED“.
Based in Doha, Qatar, this Egyptian-born spiritual leader publicly advocates for the extermination of Jews.
His defenders will point out that he is a “moderate” referring to his cautionary dissertation on the danger of extremist groups of Islam, but then will ignore that Al-Qaradawi has condoned Palestinian suicide bombings against Israelis.
One of the deadliest “voices” inspiring violence against Jews is Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iran-backed Hezbollah, the most powerful group in Lebanon who has said that it was good that Jews congregated in Israel because:
“there will be no need to chase them around the globe, and in Israel, the final solution could be implemented to the end.”
In other words – ‘easier to kill’
Nasrallah’s choice of the Nazi parlance of “Final Solution” is chilling as it is revealing and a reminder that Israel needs to be strong and resolute. His message is to expunge any Jewish presence on earth and coming from him, it is perceived by his Shia followers as doing “God’s work”.
CAPITALISING ON CRISES
Whatever the current crisis is in the world – economic, pandemic or presently Ukraine – it always provides the ‘perfect platform’ to attack Jews. Only last month, the director of the Jewish community of the city of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine where many refugees have fled to escape Russian attacks, Igor Perelman, was stabbed while delivering aid by an assailant yelling antisemitic obscenities. A few days later in Turkey, on April 3, leading Palestinian Muslim scholar claimed on Turkish TV that Jews started the “Ukraine-Russian war” to establish “a second Jewish state in Ukraine”.
The scholar was the Secretary-General of the Jerusalem Committee of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Mraweh Nassar, who made the statements on Turkey’s Channel 9, an Arabic-language outlet affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Towards the end of his maniacal rant, the ‘scholar’ could not resist adding that the Holocaust was a Jewish hoax:
“Even in the false Holocaust… There is a book written by a Jew, which asks ‘Who killed the Jews?”
ANTISEMITISM IN VOGUE
When not gracing the pages of Vogue and other fashion magazines, supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid – with a combined 125 million Instagram followers – are quick to vilify Jews and Israel on social media. Far more plunging than her necklines, Gigi Hadid reached an all-time low in March 6, 2022, when she posted on Instagram that she was pledging to donate her earnings “to aid those suffering from the war in Ukraine, as well as continuing to support those experiencing THE SAME IN PALESTINE.” In other words, she was equating the massacres of civilians in Europe not seen since the Second World War to what the Palestinians experienced in Gaza during Israel’s defensive war in 2021. While Israel was trying to stop unprovoked rocket attacks aimed at her civilian population, supermodel Gigi saw this as the same as Putin set on destroying a country and mass-murdering its civilian population. The false comparison is not only obscene – its antisemitic.
Should the Hadid sisters ever parade their scantily clad bodies in Gaza as they do on runways and magazines, they would unlikely ever again have the opportunity to ‘parade’ their warped ideas. With Gaza patrolled by the “modesty police”, Gigi and Bella may well find themselves arrested or far worse!
And what of our local “voices” in Israel?
What message did Knesset Member Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List send when he called on Arabs serving in security forces to give up their weapons and quit?
In a Ramadan video that he posted from Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate – a flashpoint of ongoing clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police – he said:
“It is humiliating for our sons to join the security forces of the occupation… The young people must not join the occupation forces. Throw their weapons in their faces and tell them that our place is not with you.”
To say this during a period when. Israel is facing the deadliest wave of terror in recent years, is inflammatory.
To say this when one of the victims of the recent attack in Bnei Brak included an Arab police officer, Amir Khoury, who was fatally wounded as he shot the terrorist in a firefight, shows insensitivity and a message to fellow Arabs to not integrate into Israeli society nor join its civil service.
To say this when there have been constant appeals from the Arab community and its leaders to the Israeli government to fight the escalating crime in Arab areas is hypocritical.
To say this from the same man when he once said when he served on the Haifa Council that “Arabs and Jews must work together”, shows he is not a man of his word nor of principle.
Is it any wonder that Odeh’s calling triggered outrage.
Instead of acting as a responsible member of the opposition, Ayman Odeh’s calling joins all the other VOICES in weaponizing their rhetoric aimed at harming Jews.
If there is to be any fighting, we need to fight hate!
*Feature picture courtesy: Avshalom Shoshoni
While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves. LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).