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.”

Read more at Fox Business

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

Why Arab Jerusalem Has Stayed Quiet

One of Hamas’s most notable failures since October 7 is that it has not succeeded in inspiring a violent uprising either among the Palestinians of the West Bank or the Arab citizens of Israel. The latter seem horrified by Hamas’s actions and tend to sympathize with their own country. In the former case, quiet has been maintained by the IDF and Shin Bet, which have carried out a steady stream of arrests, raids, and even airstrikes.

But there is a third category of Arab living in Israel, namely the Arabs of Jerusalem, whose intermediate legal status gives them access to Israeli social services and the right to vote in municipal elections. They may also apply for Israeli citizenship if they so desire, although most do not.

On Wednesday, off-duty Israeli soldiers in the Old City of Jerusalem shot at a Palestinian who, it seems, was attempting to attack them. But this incident is a rare exception to the quiet that has prevailed in Arab Jerusalem since the war began. Eytan Laub asked a friend in an Arab neighborhood why:

Listen, he said, we . . . have much to lose. We already fear that any confrontation would have consequences. Making trouble may put our residence rights at risk. Furthermore, he added, not a few in the neighborhood, including his own family, have applied for Israeli citizenship and participating in disturbances would hardly help with that.

Such an attitude reflects a general trend since the end of the second intifada:

In recent years, the numbers of [Arab] Jerusalemites applying for Israeli citizenship has risen, as the social stigma of becoming Israeli has begun to erode and despite an Israeli naturalization process that can take years and result in denial (because of the requirement to show Jerusalem residence or the need to pass a Hebrew language test). The number of east Jerusalemites granted citizenship has also risen, from 827 in 2009 to over 1,600 in 2020.

Oddly enough, Laub goes on to argue, the construction of the West Bank separation fence in the early 2000s, which cuts through the Arab-majority parts of Jerusalem, has helped to encouraged better relations.

Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: East Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs, Jerusalem