As Israel Burns: Some in Region Assist, Some Celebrate

by: Susan Heller Pinto

November 28, 2016

As Israel battled widespread fires – some set intentionally – there were mixed reactions in the wider region.

Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority sent assistance to Israel to fight the fires.  Prime Minister Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and thanked him for sending firefighters.

At the same time, in Arabic-language social media there was notable celebration with images of the fires in various locations in Israel widely circulated under the hashtag #IsraelisBurning.   (The hashtag, although clearly prone to abuse, did not trend on Twitter.)

In addition, some Arab news sites included cartoons depicting Jews or Jewish symbols burning.  Others blamed the Prime Minister and Israeli policy for inciting the fires.

Following are some examples:

Al-Watan Newspaper on Twitter  (Saudi Arabia), November 25, 2016


Al-Jazira, November 27, 2016 (Saudi Arabia)


Al-Hayat, November 25, 2016 (UK)   In Arabic: "The Settlements"


Al-Watan, November 25, 2016 (Qatar)  PM Netanyahu is saying: "I smell a fire"


Al-Quds Al-Arabi, November 25, 2016 (UK)


Al-Watan, November 28, 2016 (Saudi Arabia)