As violence continues in Israel, with a deadly shooting and multiple stabbing and other attacks against Israelis this past week, individuals celebrating and promoting terrorism have taken to social media to encourage violence against Jews and Israelis.
Violent hashtags including #stabajew and the Arabic-language hashtag #theknivesintifada are being used by a wide spectrum of individuals who appear to support the murders of Israelis. The hashtag #alqudsunderattack is also being used in conjunction with the violence, particularly by Palestinian organizations and their supporters seeking religious justifications for terrorist incitement.
Online videos promoting the violence have included a cartoon re-enactment of the killing of Eitam and Naama Henkin, a young couple killed by Palestinian terrorists last Thursday in front of their children while driving in the West Bank. The video parallels cartoon videos that grew popular during car attacks against Israelis last fall.
Palestinian groups including Hamas and Fatah have added to the climate of online hate. Hamas’s social media pages and website have applauded the violence; one Tweet from an official Hamas platform read, “We bless and support all forms of resistance in which our people use whatever weapons are available under the complicated security situation.” Another Hamas tweet said Israel had brought “lone wolf” attacks upon itself, borrowing the phrase from ISIS and Al Qaeda, which have encouraged independent, ‘lone wolf’ action in their propaganda materials. Other Hamas posts glorified individuals associated with the murders of Israelis.
Social media posts affiliated with the Palestinian Fatah party have included images of identifiable Jewish caricatures being stabbed with knives.
ISIS supporters online, known for their adept manipulation of social media, are vocal on the issue as well. Multiple ISIS supporters have posted online threats against Jews. One individual who is a prominent ISIS supporter on Twitter based on his persistent online presence, strong following among other ISIS supporters, and regular posting of pro-ISIS news and propaganda posted a series of Tweets encouraging stabbings of Jews, including, “Kill jews. Kill all of them,” “Stab a Jew
today. Tomorrow. Everyday,” “Happy international stab a Jew day guys,” and “Stab jews and have a juice.” Another equally prominent individual posted a similar series of Tweets that included, “Don (sic) stop oh muslims ,They (sic) are the worst 123456789…… #STABajew,” and “One of the worst creation, 123456789…… #STABaJEW.”
Other ISIS supporters have posted statements claiming that ISIS will soon conquer Israel. Another prominent ISIS supporter on Twitter re-tweeted a newspaper headline, “The Islamist extremism plaguing the Middle East has arrived” with the caption, “We told you we were coming.” Another ISIS supporter posted a graphic depicting ISIS fighters in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem with the hashtag #Qaribanqariba, which is associated with ISIS attacks. Posts threatening ISIS attacks against
Israel were also common during the violence in Israel last fall, when they were distributed by ISIS supporters as well as by official ISIS propaganda outlets.
A third genre of posts by ISIS supporters attempts to widen the conflict, making it clear that they believe it is not a localized issue but rather a global battle between Muslims and Jews. This type of sentiment is common in Islamic extremist ideology, which often attempts to portray local issues as part of a larger conflict between Islam and the West. One user, for example, wrote, “Do you want to liberate Qudus (Jerusalem)? You have to kill All Jews in the World.” Another wrote, “#Jews who kill #MuslimsThey amuse themselvesBy continuing to abuseAnd accuse of killingAnd refuse to stop this#ISIS #Israel #poem,” and, most blatantly, yet another wrote, “So see it’s not Israeli on Palestinian thing. This is a yahoodi (Jewish) verses (sic) Muslim thing. Islam vs. Judaism.”
ISIS actively promoted the above sentiments as recently as last month, when ISIS propaganda magazines in French and English both featured cover stories about Jews. ISIS has previously released videos threatening to conquer Israel as well as other propaganda statements that threatened both Israel and Jews. Additional examples may be found in the ADL’s recent report, Anti-Semitism: A Pillar of Islamic Extremist Ideology.
The online activity is broadly reminiscent of social media posts last November, when calls for and glorification of stabbing attacks against Israelis proliferated on Facebook, Twitter and other sites after a terrorist stabbed worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue.