In Philadelphia yesterday, a demonstrator protesting a pro-Israel rally held a sign that said “Blaming Hamas for firing rockets is like blaming a woman who punches her rapist.”
The message is extremely inflammatory, not only because it outrageously analogizes Israel to a rapist and Hamas to a totally innocent victim, but also because it explicitly defends Hamas terrorism against Israeli civilians, something anti-Israel protesters are generally a bit more hesitant to do.
The slogan has also been seen at other protests in the U.S., including a protest in San Diego last week, and has been tweeted and posted on Facebook hundreds of times, largely by users in the Middle East but elsewhere around the world as well. It has also been posted on comment boards of online news articles reporting on the conflict, including Time magazine and the Huffington Post. Further searches have revealed that a graphic design company in Islamabad is even printing posters with the slogan. The global reach of the message is a growing reminder that contemporary international crises have no borders and that hateful and extreme messages can travel thousands of miles in an instant.
A similar phenomenon occurred several weeks ago when the hashtag #HitlerWasRight was widely used on Twitter by users around the globe.
Elsewhere in the United States, approximately eight other demonstrations took place. At a protest in Santa Fe, New Mexico, protesters marched to the offices of U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich where they delivered letters demanding an end to support of Israel. The protesters held signs referring to Israel as a “terror state” and calling for an end to the “Palestinian Holocaust.” One such sign – which appears below – featured an image of the Nazi insignia with a Star of David replacing the Swastika.