Australia was recently shaken to learn of the horrifying news of two blatantly antisemitic incidents within Melbourne’s public schools. One involved a Jewish boy forced to kiss the feet of a Muslim boy. Another involved a young boy humilated by bullies about his circumcision. In connection to one of those stories, according to the Age newspaper, charges were recently laid by Victorian police.
But away from these or any other specific cases, where can such hatred by children possibly come from? Often, abusive children absorb hate of others from their closest relatives, friends and family and, unfortunately, from the media.
Shamefully, Australian media in Arabic regularly includes voices spreading overt antisemitism, alongside a dosage of the modern form of antisemitism – anti-Israel fabrications. Despite this being an open secret, it seems that no effective action has been taken so far to remove this offensive content.
Examining such content in our Arabic media, the pattern which emerges is clear. It consists of re-hashing classic antisemitic tropes about Jews possessing mythical powers and endless wealth and deviously manipulating or controlling governments behind the scenes (as they demonically conspire to achieve world domination, of course).
The Zionist World Government.
A prime example of this sort of material is the output of one columnist (who is an enthusiastic fan of conspiracy theories, specifically anti-Israel ones) who writes for the respected El-Telegraph newspaper, considered one of the leading Australian media outlets in Arabic, edited by an OAM recipient. For several years now, this columnist has been channeling anti-Jewish fantasies, such as claiming that Israel has created and now operates the Islamic State from the shadows, or that Jerusalem and Teheran are conspiring together to take over the Middle East as part of the ‘Elders of Zion’ plan, supposedly devised by the Rothschild family to achieve Jewish world domination.
In one recent columns in El-Telegraph, it was alleged that the UN is merely part of a bigger ploy to erect a ‘world government’. This vicious, all-encompassing master plan is, in the author’s view, run by dark forces such as atheists and, of course, ‘World Zionism’. In the words of the columnist: ‘Some accuse world Zionism of being behind world government, and others associate it with Judaism for purely religious considerations.’ He later ‘explains’ how Zionists work to pit Muslims and other nations around the world against each other to weaken them and eventually achieve global domination. ‘While some argue that global Zionism uses Muslims to destroy regimes in order to impose its government and world order, others argue that what is happening in the world today – sharp conflicts and wars in the Middle East and confrontations between the United States and Europe on the one hand, China, Russia and Iran on the other hand – is interference in the context of fabricating wars, in order not only to reduce the world’s population, but to destroy the prevailing regimes in order to establish a new world order,’ he wrote. What can one say?
Holocaust denial and ‘The Hebrew Spring’.
This is not an isolated case. The Sydney based website Farah News is a portal which brings content in Arabic from across the world to the Arabic-speaking Australian public. According to external online traffic analysis websites, Farah News records a few hundred visits a day, in addition to running a Facebook group with more than 17,000 followers.
Articles hosted and disseminated on Farah News are often not only violently anti-Israel but also blatantly antisemitic. Recent editorial choices of Farah News include republishing an article by a Syrian columnist demonising Jews as evil and corrupt by nature who are working with the devil to destroy and control humanity, and a piece by an exiled Palestinian writer praising three Palestinian terrorists (who attempted to infiltrate Israel from Gaza) as martyrs worthy of a place in heaven next to Allah.
Another Egyptian writer regularly featured on Farah News is also a promoter of anti-West conspiracy theories. In the past, he has claimed that Iran, the Rothschild family and ‘Zionism’ are all colluding to take control of the Middle East and the rest of the world, whilst also suggesting that Islamic State is run by an Israeli Mossad agent.
One of his latest gems, re-published on Farah News, is a step further towards historical fabrication. In it, the writer ‘analyses’ the emergence of the tiny and currently internationally unrecognised Yellow Mountain Kingdom, located between Egypt and Sudan. He has little doubt who is behind this ‘alleged state’. It is ‘the story of the Zionist passion for looting gold and usury, and not to forget the Rothschild global gold mines looting, and their boy of the [same] profession and partner in the mines [George] Soros’. In his view, the protests and uprising across the Arab World at the beginning of this decade – aka the Arab Spring – were fake, just another stage in the devious ‘Hebrew Spring conspiracy – of dividing our Arab land!’.
The icing on the poisonous cake is Holocaust denial. This Egyptian writer is certain that the Yellow Kingdom is based on the ‘Zionist entity’ model when diaspora Jews emigrated to Israel after the Nazi genocide. But in this man’s version Hitler was an ‘Ashkenazi Zionist’ and ‘We may soon hear about killings of Arab immigrants in Europe to force them to leave and emigrate to the desert – by repeating the Holocaust scenario (collusion between Nazi Hitler and British Zionism…).’
Confronting any religiously- or ethnically-based bullying at our schools requires us to reach outside the confined spaces of the education system and into society as a whole. The repugnant and repeated phenomenon of antisemitism remaining unchecked within the Australian press in Arabic should be one key place to start in this process of tackling bigotry and hatred. Absent adequate community pushback or legal measures, this hateful material is destined to continue infiltrating and polluting our society, despite having been exposed and repudiated over and over again.
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