In recent weeks, newspapers across the Arab and Muslim world have published cartoons with anti-Semitic caricatures and themes relating to Operation Protective Edge, Israel's military action in Gaza targeting Hamas and other terrorists responsible for firing missiles and rockets into Israel.
Since early July, Israeli cities and towns have been bombarded by over 2000 missiles, rockets and mortars fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza. In response, on July 7, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, an aerial campaign targeting Hamas and other terrorist leaders. Ten days later, on July 17, Israel expanded its military operation by sending IDF ground troops into Gaza in order to destroy Hamas’s infrastructure, including rocket storage sites and tunnels which cannot be destroyed by aerial attacks. Hamas smuggles rockets and other weapons into Gaza through its tunnels, and uses them to infiltrate Israel with the intention of killing and kidnapping civilians and soldiers.
The reaction in the Arab media has been predictably critical of Israel, which is portrayed as initiating an unprovoked attack on Gaza rather than reacting to attacks against its cities and towns. Some of this criticism has spilled over into anti-Semitism, including cartoons which portray Israel as a devious animal intent on killing Palestinians, claim Jews control the US and other international governments and use Nazi analogies.