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Israeli Embassy Incites Hatred

Israeli embassy racist image

Okay, so I just had to post about this. I have been finding the latest Israeli – Palestinian conflict really, really difficult to deal with. The needless deaths and the horrific slaughter of children and civilians is atrocious. The planned bombing of a UN school, filled with traumatised refugees who were forced to flee their homes thanks to consistent shelling is a chilling tragedy, not to mention a war crime.

The dangerous propaganda coming from Israel has shocked me, I have to say.

I was accidentally exposed to this irresponsible scare-mongering and on Facebook the other day. I was scrolling absent-mindedly through my feed, when I saw a video filled with twisted facts and blame which caused me to literally say ‘WTF?’ It gave me an insight into the Israeli propaganda machine, and gave me some understanding of how people come to defend Israel; if they are fed such manipulative twisting of facts, then maybe that explains things.

The post came from an Israeli I had met in Thailand three years ago. At the time, I made an effort to steer clear of political issues with him and his friend, but I had assumed he was a well-rounded, reasonable person, and my friends and I enjoyed a couple of days in their company.

After seeing that post, I went onto his page. What I discovered was a chilling feed filled with nothing but propaganda defending Israeli war crimes and human rights violations. It really scared me to think there is so much dangerous material out there, and reading the comments underneath these videos made me feel  both utterly hopeless and tearfully frustrated in equal measure.

For many people, the situation between Israel and Palestinians is so complicated and dense, that it is really challenging to even begin to wrap your head around it. I know that when I first made the effort to understand it all, it really was a lot of effort to take in all the history.

And that is why this crap is so dangerous. 

I wanted to write a post about it, my fingers were literally itching to expel my frustration onto my screen. But, I hesitated.

Then, today, shit got personal.

I was reading the Irish Times on my phone, when an article caught my eye and caused me to stop in my tracks, in the middle of town, and literally gasp. At first, I thought it was some sort of a joke.

The Israeli Embassy had posted a disgusting image on its Twitter feed a few days ago. It was a photoshopped image of Molly Malone (a famous Irish statue and landmark), covered in a long niqab, with the words, ‘Israel now, Dublin Next.’ Along the bottom of the image read, ‘Israel is the last frontier of the free world.’

FT5+Israel+is+the+last+frontier+of+the+free+world+Molly+Malone

And, they also released images of the Mona Lisa in a hijab holding a rocket, Italy’s Michaelangelo’s David with a headscarf and a skirt of explosives, and the Little Mermaid in Denmark holding a rifle.

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The fact that an official embassy could do something so revolting absolutely blows my mind. Aside from its stench of blatant and inaccurate propaganda, it is also inciting hatred and racism.

It is wrong on so, so, so many levels.

It is no different to the absolute worst Nazi propaganda, or the most ridiculous antisemitism there is. And to come from Israelis, who are Jewish, just makes it all the more hideous. What happened to ‘Never Forget?’ and ‘Never Again?’ What the hell are the Israeli embassy up to?

Muslims around the world have a tough enough time dealing with inaccurate stereotypes and prejudices. There has been irreparable damage done to Muslims thanks to the ‘War on Terror’ and the ensuing scare-mongering and irresponsible reporting by governments and the media. There are already enough people in the world who wrongly believe that all Muslims=terrorists, and who have no idea of the difference between an extremist, a terrorist, a jihadist and a person who follows the Muslim faith. There has been more than enough damage done. And for the Israeli EMBASSY to be instigating the spreading of more damaging lies is nothing short of horrific.

Stooping to such revolting tactics in an attempt to make people afraid, afraid of something that is not in the slightest bit true is inexcusable.

The fighting between Israeli’s and Palestinians has absolutely nothing to do with religion. This is not a religious conflict. The Palestinians are not on a mission to spread extremism, or Islam anywhere, least of all Ireland, France, Denmark and Italy.

How could anyone believe that the Palestinians, who are struggling with living under constant confinement and degradation by their oppressors ever think that they are giving any thought to Ireland and the spread of their religion? Why on earth would they ever want to come to Europe bearing arms?

It is absolute bullshit.

It is racist.

It is dishonest.

It is criminal and it is so, so dangerous.

People were unhappy about Russia not supporting gay rights, and wanted to take the Olympics away from them for it. The US and the EU has imposed sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. So these people need to turn their attention to Israel, who should most definitely be reprimanded for spreading such lies and inciting hatred. At the very least it is defamatory.

The Israeli Embassy in Ireland declined to comment on the images, and the Israeli ambassador said he couldn’t comment as “We are now in the middle of a war and I have other things to deal with.’

In an amazing show of hypocrisy, on July 23rd, the Israeli Embassy tweeted an image of the Palestinian flag and an image of Hitler, stating ‘Hamas take lead from Hitler.’ Yet Israel is the one using their official representatives to spread such sickening propaganda.

 

israeli propaganda

You  can read the Irish Times article here.

I realise this post is not the normal travel blogger type article, but I think it is okay to talk about this sort of thing, particularly when it evokes such a strong reaction in me. As a journalist and a member of the media, I think it is important to shine a light on the type of racism, incitement of hatred and misinformation that can such damage and false impressions of people. Especially when those responsible are representatives of a nation. 

Update- After people voiced their disgust at the images, the Israeli embassy posted on their Facebook page- 

‘Dear Friends, 

Some of you may have seen/ heard some recent media coverage regarding a set of images that were posted on the Israel in Ireland social media pages. We have thus far refrained from commenting in the Irish media on the subject but we would now like to share with you the following information. One of the administrators of the embassy’s social media accounts posted the images, which originated from a media site. When the account administrator received a request from one of our followers to take down the images, the request was complied with immediately. There was no intention to cause insult or offense to anyone.

Thank you so much for all your support!’

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Tim
    July 29, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I understand your anger and frustration Christine but please remember to temper this with history and a “Put Yourself in the other Persons Shoes” type of attitude. I don’t profess to know the answer but I do know that neither side are angels. I won’t go into a long drawn out argument as all the facts are not available to us. What I have heard, and not from any embassy, is that Hamas uses schools, hospitals, and the like as launch pads for rockets sent to Israel and thereby using their own people as shields. Hamas waited a full 10 minutes to begin launching rockets once the cease fire limit was up. What would you do if your house was under constant attack for years and years. I don’t believe all Muslims are evil and I know for a fact that the Palestinians I met were very nice warm people. But what is a country to do when being attacked and the attacker attacks from a place where children and women are in school or in hospital or occupying the apartment next door or underneath. What course of action is best in those situations?

    I don’t know if these allegations are true or false but both sides are working the propaganda machine in different gruesome ways. There is a great book called the “Haj”…it gives another perspective. We would all love to live in a world that holds peace in as high regard as money; maybe one day.
    Tim recently posted…Bring on the SlumdogMy Profile

    • Reply
      Christine
      July 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Hi Tim, thanks for your comment. I completely agree with you that neither side are angels in this! This post really wasn’t meant to be about defending Hamas or getting into the justifications given by either side for their attacks. The point was meant to be about the fact that the Israeli embassy had used such irresponsible and hateful images in an official capacity. Using racist tactics designed to make people fear Palestinians is what I found so shocking, especially as it came from an Israeli Embassy and involved European countries.

      I agree with you that anyone looking at this situation needs to do so with a knowledge of the history and with empathy for both sides, but I have to say that I am confident that I do that. My personal feelings about the situation have come from much research and interest in the subject.

      I really don’t want to get into an argument either, but I will try respond to your points. Your question about what I would do if my house was under attack for years is a useful one, and could be applied to both sides here, as both sides are currently living in terrifying conditions. I feel for anyone who has to live in fear, but I don’t feel that that should be used as an excuse to condone civilian deaths. I don’t know what the best course of action would be, but my feeling is that bombing a UN school filled with civilians is a war crime and sets a dangerous precedent, especially as Israel bombed another UN school housing 3,300 displaced people today! The people sheltering in the schools literally have nowhere to go, aside from the streets which are a war-zone. Hamas hiding weapons in schools is also awful, but my opinion is that it isn’t on the same scale as, nor is is a justification for, bombing a protected building filled with civilians.

      Israeli claims of self defense are not proportionate to the level of risk they are under. It is awful that Israeli civilians are at risk of shelling, but so are the Palestinians, and that doesn’t mean it is acceptable to knowingly bomb buildings filled with people who have sought refuge, buildings which are meant to be protected under international law. The UN has denied that there was any militant activity in the school hit today, and said they had repeatedly told the IDF that they were housing so many refugees. As you said, we don’t have all the facts, and the propaganda on both sides is not to be trusted, but the facts we do have show too many innocent deaths.

      The numbers of deaths this afternoon stand at 1,240 Palestinians, the majority of which are said to be civilians, including children, 3 Israeli civilians, 53 Israeli soldiers, and one Thai national. The death toll from the school attack has not yet been released. Either way, they are all human beings and the entire situation is horrendous. I hope you are right that one day peace will be as important as money, fingers crossed!
      Christine recently posted…Israeli Embassy Incites HatredMy Profile

      • Reply
        Tim
        August 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        I agree Christine. The level of retaliation from the IDF was/is way out of line and that an embassy attempting to paint an entire population with the same brush is bullshit. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the latest cease fire holds.
        Tim recently posted…Disappearing LisaMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kayla
    July 30, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Hi Christine! I can completely understand where you are coming from. I recently got back from Israel and Palestine (before the rockets) and I saw and experienced frustrations first hand. I like to think of myself as an open-minded person and I have studied the conflict in University and I know that it is a very complicated issue. I saw things that made me question who was really the “good” and “bad” side. I am not choosing sides. I am on the side of innocent people who are being used and taught to hate by both governments. It is hard to know that little children are brought up to hate one another. It is also hard to walk through a Holocaust Memorial Museum and then visit a town in Palestine where Jewish Settlers and Arabs live and see “Gas the Arabs” spray painted near a children’s school. You don’t forget things like that. I know I wont and those children that have to walk by it every day won’t either. It is hard to see with your own eyes and it is hard to hear about what is happening from the other side of the world.

    I think, no matter what other comments you get, that this is an important post because it shows real frustrations from people in the world like you and I who cannot even fathom what it takes for a person to treat another person like this. It is cruel, disgusting and both ‘governments’ are at fault for serious human right violations.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    I have 2 posts up about my trip so far if you would like to check them out.
    http://theprincessoftea.blogspot.ca/2014/07/finding-peace-in-palestine.html
    http://theprincessoftea.blogspot.ca/2014/07/shalom-shabbat-shawarma.html

    • Reply
      Christine
      July 30, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Kayla, thanks a lot for your comment. It must have been an unforgettable experience to visit both Israel and Palestine. I can’t wait to read about your experience! That must have been so disturbing to go from a Holocaust memorial to see such a thing written on the wall. It is such a tragedy that the world hasn’t seemed to have learned much after all the horror of the Holocaust. I remember when I was younger being so scared to think of what it must have been like back then, but also being entirely confident that stuff that that didn’t happen anymore. It’s such a terrible situation, and your experience there must make hearing about the current situation really hard to bear.
      Both sides are definitely cruel, and the rest of the world isn’t much better for failing to put a stop to it all. Thanks again for your comment! 🙂
      Christine recently posted…Israeli Embassy Incites HatredMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rachel of Hippie in Heels
    July 30, 2014 at 7:08 am

    I feel your frustrating and I’m glad you wrote this… I was fascinated by the propaganda Hitler used and how well it worked, but it is terrifying to see it used in this way (like many other countries have done too) but by people you wouldn’t think would do things like this. It’s hard to know the truth of the situation and I agree, what I see on my FB and such are people very pro-isreal which I find shocking.
    Rachel of Hippie in Heels recently posted…13 Little Known Tips for Taj Mahal VisitMy Profile

    • Reply
      Christine
      July 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Rachel, thank you! I’m the same, I always found Hitler’s propaganda to be morbidly fascinating, that’s why I find it so scary to see similar methods being used so openly today! Thanks for your comment! 🙂
      Christine recently posted…Israeli Embassy Incites HatredMy Profile

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