On Wednesday June 8th, two Palestinian terrorists opened fire in the Tel Aviv Sarona market, killing 4 Israelis and wounding another 6. This was the latest in a wave of Palestinian terror attacks against Israel that began in September 2015.
Shortly after the hideous attack, hash tags celebrating and glorifying it appeared on Arabic-language social media, including “The Ramadan Operation”, “The Tel Aviv Operation” and “The Carlo Salvo”, a reference to the Carlo machine gun which was used in the attack.
Cartoons and images circulating on social media referenced the fact that the attack coincided with Ramadan in order to give it religious significance. They suggested the attack was analogous to breaking the Ramadan fast, and used the slogan “We Were their Fast Breaking” or "They Were Our Fast Breaking" (verbatim translation: “they broke the fast on/against us”).
While it is unclear how widespread these cartoons are, they do highlight a disturbing phenomenon of terrorists and their actions being glorified across social media. Here are a few examples of cartoons posted on Twitter:
This cartoon is entitled “The Tel Aviv Operation” shows Israeli PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Lieberman crying, while Netanyahu is saying that “They fasted and fasted” and Lieberman is responding “And broke the fast on us”.
This cartoon shows a traditional Ramadan “Qatayif” dessert for breaking the fast, which is filled with a bullet.
While some more general images didn’t include direct reference to the attack, they were still categorized under the hash tag “The Ramadan Operation”. One such example showed an ultra-orthodox Jew with two rifles pointed to his head, with the caption “Blood=Blood”, “#kill-them”, “Death to settlers”. Another portrayed Israel as the “mother of terrorism”, showing it breastfeeding the Devil.