The Iranian Role in Stoking Anti-Semitism in the West

As was the case in 2014, Hamas’s decision to fire hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians has inspired both verbal and physical attacks on Jews across the world, including on the streets of Manhattan and at a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. Accompanying, and likely inciting, these anti-Semitic outbursts has been a great deal of vicious rhetoric on social media. Researchers who study the spread of such rhetoric have traced much of it to Iran—which also supplies Hamas with weapons and funds. Michael Ruiz reports:

A group of pro-Iran Twitter accounts flooded the platform with “massive surges of unmitigated anti-Semitism” and disinformation, . . . according to a nonprofit, politically neutral research institution. The Network Contagion Research Institute, or NCRI, has unveiled its findings, showing a coordinated effort to push hateful content that called for “Death to Israel” and claimed, “Hitler was right.”

The activity had rapidly spiked around midday [on May 12], according to data collected by NCRI, with the most active accounts tweeting and retweeting the anti-Semitic hashtags up to 150 times per hour. The researchers said that while the coordinated accounts all self-identified is Iranian or Persian, it was not immediately clear whether another group or government was behind the effort.

What was clear was that the coordinated inauthentic activity was specifically designed to spread anti-Semitic hate speech and exacerbate violence against Israelis and other Jews around the world. The accounts also pushed the phrase “Kill all Jews” and included images reminiscent of Nazi propaganda depicting Jews as “rats and vermin.”

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Read more at Fox Business

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Iran, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, New York City, Social media

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter