The popularity of some disturbing Hitler-related hashtags on Twitter has grown in reaction to “Operation Protective Edge,” Israel’s response to the latest round of rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.
Many of these responses have included the hashtags #HitlerWasRight and #HitlerDidNothingWrong, such as:
- “World needs another Hitler! #HitlerWasRight #SavePalestine #SaveGaza”
- “#HitlerWasRight but he did one thing wrong he let other Jews to live, and they are massacring #Palestinians today”
- “#HitlerWasRight #HitlerDidNothingWrong we need a clone of #hitler for #jews #Israel @IsraeliPM”
This online outpouring of anti-Semitism initially appeared in the context of the recent series of Nazi and Holocaust references that flooded social media after Germany’s 7-1 victory over Brazil in the World Cup semifinals. Some of those wishing to protest Israel’s operation in Gaza have piggybacked on this phenomenon, referencing both Germany’s World Cup victory and Gaza in their #HitlerWasRight and #HitlerDidNothingWrong tweets:
- “Germany won the World Cup- Israel has won murder, destruction and disaster. #iSupportGaza #HitlerWasRight? He did what Israel does now”
- “I am supporting #Germany because #HitlerWasRight he killed jews with this reason #GAZA #GazaUnderAttack #WorldCuptFinal2014Brazil”
- “2014 FIFA World Cup CHAMPIONS! ***GERMANY*** #PrayForGaza #HitlerWasRight #JewsAreHumanEnemy #JewsAreRealTerrorist”
Invoking Hitler and Nazi Germany to demonize Israel is not limited to social media. Blatantly offensive comparisons have appeared at a number of anti-Israel protests in the U.S. Below are just a few examples:
- At a protest organized by the Milwaukee Palestinian Solidarity Coalition, one young woman held a sign that read, “Don’t Do To Palestinians What Hitler Did To You.”
- At a protest in Cleveland, one sign depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a Hitler mustache and a Nazi flag juxtaposed with an Israeli flag.
- At a rally in front of the Israeli Consulate in Chicago, among the many signs were several that accused Israel of perpetrating a Holocaust: “End the Palestine Holocaust,” “It was Wrong in Auschwitz, it is Wrong in Gaza!” and “Gaza Concentration/Starvation Camp, Designed, Manufactured, Frequently Bombed and Managed By Israel.”
A recent ADL poll of anti-Semitic attitudes in 100 countries found that knowledge about the Holocaust varies widely depending on the country. In the survey, 54 percent of those polled globally responded affirmatively when asked if they had heard about the Holocaust in Europe during World War II. Another 35 percent of those polled indicated they had no knowledge of the Holocaust, and 10 percent responded “don’t know.”