Australia/Israel Review


Farah News: Hate springs eternal

Aug 3, 2022 | Ran Porat

Mohammad Seif al-Dawla: Regularly featured in Farah News (Screenshot)
Mohammad Seif al-Dawla: Regularly featured in Farah News (Screenshot)

Continuing its long and established behaviour of spreading conspiracy theories, extremism and antisemitism, the Australian Arabic online news and opinion portal, Farah News, has hosted several articles featuring antisemitic and extreme anti-Israel content over the last few months.

 

Al-Dawla: Israel an “aggressive, racist, terrorist entity”

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood supporter and purveyor of antisemitic tropes Mohammad Seif al-Dawla is regularly featured in Farah News.

Noting the passing of 55 years since the 1967 Six Day War, known as the Naksa (setback) in Arabic, al-Dawla reminds readers in his column (originally on the Palestinian website Qudsnet, but republished in Farah News on June 5) that “On the anniversary of the setback… Israel is still the enemy.”

Al-Dawla claims, “the Zionist entity is still based on the alleged and false allegations that Palestine, Egypt and all the countries of the region have been occupied lands and peoples for 14 centuries of Arab and Islamic colonisation, and that the Zionist movement is a national liberation movement that succeeded in liberating part of its occupied land from these occupying Arabs.”

The mega-evil plan of the Jewish state, according to al-Dawla, is to divide and conquer the Middle East by encouraging peoples living within the Arab world to rebel against their governments: “It [Israel] provides all support to the ‘indigenous peoples and groups’ to liberate themselves from their Arab and Muslim colonisers and to establish their own independent states and states on the model of the Jewish state within the framework of its declared project to break up the current Arab states.”

Moreover, asserts al-Dawla, Israel is “the spearhead of the Western colonial project and its military base and advanced strategy in our region, with the aim of separating our easts from our wests and preventing our unity, and a condition of … subjugation against anyone who tries to liberate themselves from the grip of Western hegemony to the American squad.”

Israel is also the “settler enemy that uproots the Palestinians, abandons them, demolishes their homes, and seizes and settles on a daily basis what remains of Palestine’s land in the West Bank,” he adds. The Jewish state is also an “aggressive entity that has not stopped waging dozens of wars against us [the Arabs] and causing thousands of victims… It is the terrorist entity that considers terrorism and murder a cornerstone of its Zionist ideology and not just a means.”

A similar tone is found in al-Dawla’s ‘analysis’ (June 19 in Farah News, first published on Qudsnet) on an emerging coalition of Arab countries working together with Israel to counter the threat from Iran.

Al-Dawla is convinced, in line with the classic conspiracy about Jewish domination, that Israel (the “aggressive, racist, terrorist entity”) will transform these countries in the region into “protectorates” under Israeli control. “Which is more dangerous to the national security of countries like Egypt and Jordan? Iran or [Israel]?” he asks.

Al-Dawla also expresses dissatisfaction that the Arab states did not pursue nuclear weapons in response to Israel’s alleged capabilities: “Why did the Arab countries accept to play the same American-Israeli-European tune that bans nuclear weapons from all countries in the region except (Israel), instead of starting to build Arab nuclear projects to modify the balance of power and deterrence in the face of Israeli nuclear weapons?”

In “The mother of defeats” (July 4 in Farah News), al-Dawla warns that joining these ventures with Israel to counter Iran is “adoption of the enemy’s narrative – the Zionist [one].” Moreover, it would mean “handing over the leadership of the region to this enemy, and employing Arab military capabilities to protect its security, whose basic philosophy is based on eliminating the Arab presence.”

 

Jerusalem “raped” by the Jews

Tensions between Palestinians and Israel in Jerusalem during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan also provoked Farah News to openly spread lies and conspiracies about Israel.

Al-Dawla’s “Palestine has waited for us for a long time” (May 19, also published on an Iraqi website) criticises what he describes as Arab impotence in assisting the Palestinians. The article finishes with the infamous fabrication about Israel’s evil plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al-Dawla is angry because “when the hands of [Israel] began to extend to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic and Christian holy sites,” the Palestinians were not aided by the Arabs and Muslims, who did not heed the call to “save Jerusalem and the holy sites from the clutches of occupation and Judaisation.” Instead, the Arabs were either silent or even normalised relations with Israel, which, he insists, is “at the height of its implementation of the temporal division scheme of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Al-Dawla’s Farah News article “Jerusalem is our flag” (April 18), published a month earlier, was an exercise in historical distortion, rejecting all historical connection between Jerusalem and Judaism.

“Jerusalem is the gate through which the aggressors throughout history,” says al-Dawla, “whether the Crusaders, the Franks or the Zionists, were trying to enter through it to our homelands, under false religious pretexts.” The Jewish “false religious pretext”, says al-Dawla, includes the existence of the Jewish Temple there “according to the fatwas of rabbis and contemporary Zionist leaders.”

This is all fake history, according to al-Dawla. Jerusalem “has always been a symbol … of our Arab and Islamic identity,” and it is also “a false, fabricated and alleged symbol of the Zionists and the Crusaders before them.” Protecting it from the Jews “represents a wall of resistance against immunising Zionist usurpation with a false religious legitimacy,” he argues.

Jerusalem nowadays, cries al-Dawla, is being attacked by Israel: “the enemy today is escalating and intensifying the aggression against it, to digest it and swallow it up as soon as possible.” This organised Jewish campaign of “raping and Judaising Jerusalem is ancient” but continues today, he says.

Al-Dawla praises the “heroic steadfastness and resistance against the occupation’s wars on Gaza, against the Zionist policies of uprooting everything that is Palestinian, and in the face of the daily incursions into the Haram al-Sharif [Temple Mount] in the protection of the occupation forces, and the plans for the temporal division of the mosque as a prelude to seizing and demolishing it.”

Following the same line in denying the Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem, Farah News’ editors selected for publication an article by Dr Ibrahim Hammami, the manager of “The Centre for Palestinian Issues” in London (taken from his blog). In “Correcting and directing the media discourse” (May 9), Hammami claims that the Western Wall (Kotel), a remnant of the second Jewish Temple compound, is “the Al-Buraq Wall [according to Islamic tradition, al-Buraq was Muhammad’s mythical horse that took him in a single night from Mecca to Jerusalem and back] and it is an absolute Islamic endowment.” Jerusalem, states Hammami, is “purely Arab and Islamic [and] no one can share it.”

Hammami’s article finishes with a justification for kidnapping Israeli soldiers: “The Israeli soldier is neither on a picnic nor on vacation, he is a heavily armed soldier who practises aggression and criminality, and if he is caught, this is a capture and not a kidnapping.”

 

Abu Akleh killed by Zionist “executioner”

Following the tragic killing of Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin on May 11, Farah News immediately joined the chorus of media outlets repeating the Palestinian narrative pinning the blame for the journalist’s death on a deliberate attack by Israel designed to silence her reporting, without presenting any credible proof to support this accusation (and despite the independent US investigation that concluded in early July that even if it may have been an Israeli bullet that killed the reporter, there is no evidence to suggest it was anything but an accident).

Just two days after the incident (May 13), Farah News editors republished the original Al-Jazeera article “Why did Israel target Shireen Abu Akleh?”, which claims that the journalist was killed “with a bullet to the head fired by an Israeli sniper.” The text insists, “A lot of evidence confirms that the targeting of Shireen Abu Akleh was deliberate, because of her activity and daring” criticism of Israel.

The article then rehashes the conspiracy that “Israel [is] heading to complete the Judaisation of Jerusalem and the seizure or demolition of Islamic and Christian holy sites in the Holy City” and for that reason, “human rights centres have reported an increase in Tel Aviv targeting media crews.”

A week later, another regular Farah News contributor, Brussels-based Mostafa Meneg (who ironically presents himself as a “world peace ambassador”), jumped into the fray, spreading unfounded claims about Abu Akleh’s death.

In “The blood of two evils and the rulers of the Palestinians” (May 23), Meneg poetically deplores how Israel had supposedly deliberately assassinated the reporter to silence her.

“A single bullet was enough to silence the voice of Palestine, launched from the barrel of an unusual gun filled with hidden hatred, behind it a Zionist equipped with certainty, to put an end to the media thorn” that has exposed “the criminals, the leaders of the unjustified occupation” and “the rapists”.

“The executioner was chosen, as the mission would not be repeated twice. His number and military rank were known and he hated Palestinian rights with the advantage of fanatics,” Meneg adds.

 

Dr. Ran Porat is an AIJAC Research Associate. He is also a Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University and a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Reichman University in Herzliya.

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