Wednesday, 25 May 2016 12:54

April - Media monitoring highlights

From the accusation to the French PM to be under Jewish influence to a Greek activist to be an Israeli spy, from a bishop feeling restraint by an anti-racism law to British councillor praising “my man” Hitler, these April highlights are an overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

From the accusation to the French PM to be under Jewish influence to a Greek activist to be an Israeli spy, from a bishop feeling restraint by an anti-racism law to British councillor praising “my man” Hitler, these April highlights are an overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.


Greece activistDate of publication: 10 April 2016

Media Outlet: Hellenic National Socialist Found blog. The article was originally posted on a popular news website, Zougla.gr, but the post has been removed.

Headline: The profile of a person… in solidarity. Jews are behind “Islamization”

Description of the antisemitic content: 

This post claims that Achilles M. Peklaris, a well-known activist supporting and helping refugees in Greece, is an agent trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret services, to foster islamophobia in Europe because – the article continues – “Jews want to bring chaos and terror in everything”.

Antisemitic statements from the article:

  • “He declares proudly not only that his name is Achilles M. Peklaris, but also his ties with Israel, having scratched on his arm, in Hebrew of course, the "passport" that easily opens every ‘Mossad’ door!”
  • “In Israel Achilles M. Peklaris made the best impression on teachers and friends and he did not fail to pledge faith in the Western Wall that all agents of Mossad are obliged to honour before taking a formal service anywhere in the world."
  • "Besides, in Israel, a large penetration campaign in Greece was prepared carefully for years and intensified after the election of SYRIZA!"
  • “Achilles M. Peklaris is "coordinating", even to the farthest end of Greece, the "mobilization" of "Islamists" whom right-wing idiots treat as "red rags" ignoring the "matador" who is behind them and on whose arm there is the "passport" of Mossad!”
  • "The end of the thread will be found in some corner of Israel, sometimes in Tel Aviv, sometimes in Yotvata, either wearing Islamic headscarf or Jewish kippah, since Zionists, the inventors of international terrorism, those who invented the Haganah and Irgun that preceded Mossad, manage to fool mankind betting on its stupidity! Moreover, they had noted it in the "Protocols" in case they would have forgotten it: "We will create this and this and that because everything has to be controlled by us”.”

About the source: 

“The Hellenic National Socialist Found is governed by the Platonic Values, was founded in 1989, and promotes national socialist worldview,” says their Google+ profile. Almost all of their posts show that they are Nazis and Hitler admirers. Several ultra-right wing media outlets have shared this post. Informed about the article, Peklaris disdained it, explained the meaning of his tattoo, and chose not to press any charges against them.

Myth Debunked:  

This article is an example of joint antisemitism, islamophobia, and anti-refugee rhetoric. The author uses the current refugee crisis to fuel antisemitism and islamophobia by repeating a recent and recurrent myth of Jews wanting to destabilise Europe by encouraging the arrival of refugees and islamophobia. Jews are reduced to the entity of Israeli secret services (the Mossad), to raise fear and suspicion about their actions. We see here again the antisemitic stereotype of a Jewish conspiracy against the world. Even the Hebrew language is described as dangerous, “the ‘passport’ that easily opens every Mossad door”. The tattoo, which reads אכילס ורנטה התארסו ביטבתה, actually refers to Peklaris’ engagement (“Achilles and Renata were engaged at Yotvata”).



Greece BisshopDate of publication: 11 April 2016

Media Outlet: Pentapostagma

Headline: “Jews, Muslims and the anti-racist law”

Description of the antisemitic content: 

In a religious website, a bishop of the Greek Church, Ambrossios, has attacked Jews and Muslims as “enemies of Greeks”. Ambrossios has also claimed that he would continue further with his remarks, but the recent anti-racist law, part of the conspiracy, will be used against him.

Antisemitic statements from the article:

  • “Both Muslims and Jews coincide in their demonic fury against Christians!”
  • “And since we talk about money, isn't Jewish money running the world even today? Isn't Jewish money funding the movement of Islamic immigrants and refugees even in our Greece?”

About the source: 

Ambrossius, bishop of Kalavryta, is a well-known far-right wing public figure, with strong relations with the junta regime (1967-1974) and its remnants. It is not the first time that he expressed racist and antisemitic views that are widely disseminated by ultra-right-wing media. 

Pentapostagma is one of the most popular religious websites in Greece.

Myth Debunked:  

The antisemitic and Islamophobic statements by the bishop of Kalavryta show how the refugee crisis is used to fuel hatred against Jews and Muslims, seen as threats and enemies of Christians. Ambrossius’ words on Pentapostagma reflect the conspiracy theories according to which a Jewish world domination is financing the refugee movement, and in particular the refugees coming to Greece. Following a trite antisemitic belief, Ambrossius says that the “Jewish money” is responsible for the refugee crisis and for terrorism. Talking about the refugee crisis, Ambrossius tells lies about how generous the Greek Orthodox behavior is towards people of different religion (as it was towards Jews during WWII) and how ungrateful both Muslims and Jews are.



flyerDate: 22 April 2016

Description of the antisemitic content

Flyers have been found in Glasgow and Edinburgh university campuses with false claims about the Holocaust, saying that Jews made it up just for financial gain, quoting professor Norman Finkelstein and calling it a “the greatest robbery in the history of mankind” and a “fraud”.

About the source: 

Both universities have condemned the flyers and the police in Scotland started an investigation. A spokesman for the University of Glasgow told the Glasgow Guardian: “In common with other universities in Scotland a small number of leaflets containing objectionable comments on the Holocaust were found, and removed, from university premises. The University of Glasgow has a zero tolerance policy on racism, anti-Semitism and the distribution and display of materials that are likely to cause offence. Given the public nature of many of our buildings it is possible that someone from outwith the University was responsible for this incident. We will continue to be vigilant and to again emphasise that such literature has no place on our campus”.

Henry de Lesquen, French journalist at the far-right ultra-Catholic “Radio Courtoisie” and far-right politician running for the presidential elections has also been tweeting antisemitic lies on “the industry of the Holocaust” in reference to Norman Finkelstein’s book. 

Myth Debunked:  

The flyers describe the Shoah as “the greatest swindle of all time”, deny the genocide against Jews during WW2 (“for the facts gentlemen, not the Hollywood production, visit…”) and accuse Jews of inventing it for financial purposes. In order to strengthen their arguments, and probably – as paradoxical as this may seem – also to counter any accusation of antisemitism, the authors of the flyers quote the Jewish American Professor Norman Finkelstein, author of The Holocaust Industry. Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (2000). By choosing three sentences taken out of their context, the authors manipulate and misuse the original content to suggest that the Shoah has been invented by Jews for financial gain.

For example, the first sentence’s exact quote should be “The Holocaust may yet turn out to be the ‘greatest robbery in the history of mankind’” where “Greatest robbery in the history of mankind” is itself a quote from the “Guide to Compensation and Restitution of Holocaust survivors” by the Claims Conference, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (the institution negotiating for compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs).



UK naz shahDate: 27 April 2016

Description of the antisemitic content: 

In a Facebook post from 2014, the politician Naz Shah shared a graphic of Israel’s outline superimposed on a map of the US under the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States”, with the comment: “Problem solved.” The graphic suggested that moving people would be cheaper than the money that is spent on defence at the moment. 

About the source: 

Naz Shah, Bradford West MP for the Labour party, stepped down as the parliamentary private secretary to the shadow chancellor over the Facebook posts. Shah has then made an apology to the House of Commons on 27 April 2016: “I hope you will allow me to say that I fully acknowledge that I have made a mistake and I wholeheartedly apologise to this house for the words I used before I became a member.” The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said he accepted the apology and rejected calls from the shadow energy secretary, Lisa Nandy, to suspend the backbench MP.

Myth Debunked:  

The Facebook post shared by Shah may easily be perceived as antisemitic as it is drawing upon stereotypes and generalizations (“Israelis are most loved by Americans”). The statements further refer to financial (“America will no longer have to spend $3 billion tax payer money per year for Israel’s defense”; “The transportation cost will be less than 3 years of defense spending”) and territorial (“America has plenty of land to accommodate Israel as its 51st state”; “Palestinians will get their land and life back”) arguments, suggesting the myth of a Jewish power shared between the United States and Israel. 



UK hitler tweetsDate: 10 April 2016

Description of the antisemitic content: 

Luton councillor Aysegul Gurbuz published some antisemitic comments on social media.  Tweets on her profile, dating back between 2011 and 2014, praise Hitler as the “greatest man in history”, say "the Jews are so powerful in the US it's disgusting", and suggeste Iran could develop a nuclear weapon to "wipe Israel off the map".

About the source: 

Aysegul Gurbuz, the youngest Councillor in Luton, is also a Politics and International Relations student at the University of Warwick. Gurbuz ran for the university’s Ethnic Minorities Officer with a manifesto commitment to raise more awareness of Holocaust Memorial Day.  After a party investigation on her tweets, Gurbuz has been suspended from the Labour party. Her twitter account has also been deleted but Gurbuz claimed that she could not remember tweeting those antisemitic comments and that her sister must have sent the messages as it was a joint account.

Myth Debunked:

Aysegul Gurbuz’s tweets support the “work” of Hitler and at the same time accuse the Jews of committing the same “abuse” as Hitler, as well as complain about how “Jews” are so “powerful”. The antisemitic statement according to which Jews are “performing the same abuses” [as Hitler and the Nazis] on innocent people [i.e. Palestinians]  is minimising the Shoah, the systematic murder of the European Jews carried out by the Nazis during the Second World War (1939-1945). The tweets further strengthen the antisemitic stereotype of the Jewish monopoly and power in the United States. By calling Adolf Hitler “my man Hitler” and “the greatest man in history”, Aysegul Gurbuz is clearly taking pro-Nazi positions.



UK tell mamaDate of publication: 15 April 2016

Description of the antisemitic content:

Dilly Hussain, deputy editor of 5FivePillarsUK, sent several hateful tweets against the Tell MAMA, an organisation that works to combat anti-Muslim hatred, claiming that they are “run by Zionists who support murder of children” and have “militant Zionist patrons and trustees”. 

About the source:

Muhammad Dilwar Hussain is deputy editor of 5FivePillarsUK, political blogger for the Huffington Post and a features writer for Al Jazeera.

Myth debunked:

Tell MAMA is a British non-governmental organisation which works on tackling anti-Muslim hatred by measuring and monitoring anti-Muslim incidents as well as supporting victims of anti-Muslim hate. Since Tell MAMA works to combat anti-Muslim hatred, one would think that Dilly Hussain would be in favor of their work, but apparently he is not because they partner with the Jewish organisation CST (Community Security Trust). Dilly Hussain confuses the meaning of the words “Jewish” and “Zionist”. Zionism is a Jewish national-political movement founded in 1896 by the Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl with the aim of re-establishing a Jewish homeland in the Holy Land. As the CST says, “it [antisemitism] sometimes just swaps the word “Zionist” for “Jew”, in the naïve hope that doing so will change an antisemitic statement into a political one.”



france jewish influenceDate: 8 March 2016

Description of the antisemitic content: 

A French deputy mayor, Jallal Chouaoui, claimed on Facebook that the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls should stop making financial and social decisions based on the advice of his Jewish wife, Anne Gravoin.

“The fact that Manuel Valls is loaded in favour of the Jewish community is well-known, among others because of the connection to his wife who herself is Jewish. But at a certain point and as a simple French citizen, I want to say: shit and stop! Enough, we got it: since the election of [French President] Hollande, Valls has been devoted body and soul to our fellow citizens of Jewish belief. From a global point of view I do not incriminate them, on the contrary, why would they refuse a governmental support? But this is ridiculous and sheer abuse. Mister Prime Minister, your country is drowning, is bankrupt, in crisis, divided and close to the civil war. So now it is enough, between Dieudonné and your hundreds of love declarations, when will we finally simply care about France and French citizens?”

It was not the first time Valls was accused to be under the Jewish influence of his wife.

In 2015, former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas said: “he has personal alliances, everyone knows that he’s married to someone who has an influence on him.” In 2014, the footballer Nicolas Anelka Valls’ wife influenced him to oppose Dieudonne.

About the source: 

Jallal Chouaoui is a deputy mayor of the northern municipality of Nogent-sur-Oise for the centrist UDI party. His Facebook post, made on 8 March 2016, was also praised EuropeBlanche in a post saying “as soon as you touch the youpins [Yids, very antisemitic word], it starts a scandal.”

Myth Debunked:

Accusing the French Prime Minister of being under “Jewish influence” because his wife is Jewish is an antisemitic statement. It recalls classic stereotype that Jews are behind global politics and the global economy. Chouaoui also states that the government is working only for the Jewish community and disregarding French citizens. In this way, Chouaoi presents two distinct entities – on one side, the Jews, and on the other, France and the French citizens – ignoring the fact that one can be French and Jewish.

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