Australia/Israel Review


More Australian conspiracy theories

Dec 17, 2021 | Ran Porat

Screenshot from Gumshoe News
Screenshot from Gumshoe News

Below are some more examples from our ongoing coverage of antisemitic, radical anti-Israeli content and conspiracy theories published in media outlets based in Australia.

 

Farah News

Farah News, an Australian portal for news and views in Arabic, has been caught numerous times in the past promoting antisemitism and extremist hate against Israel.

One of Farah News’ regular “stars” is Syrian antisemite Mouaffaq Alsibai. In “Why do they hate the Muslim Brotherhood?” (Oct. 27), Alsibai presented his version of history, in which the Jews conspired with other evil non-Muslim elements to bring about the downfall of the Islamic empires of the past: “the demise, destruction, ruin, and rupture of the last state that ruled Islam, [was] at the hands of the malicious, reprehensible, spiteful Jew, who held a grudge against Islam and its people, in cooperation with the evil Crusader, Zionist, Freemason alliance in Europe and America.” Alsibai made similar conspiratorial claims a month later (Nov. 21), alleging that Muslim Brotherhood founder and ideologue Hassan al-Banna was assassinated in 1949 in Egypt on “British Zionist Masonic orders.”

In “Why the whole world wants to kill the Syrians” (Nov. 13), Alsibai argued that hatred of the Syrian people is the real reason there were so many victims of the civil war in that country. According to Alsibai, this hatred is motivated, among other factors, by fear that success of the anti-Assad forces would endanger Israel, painted as part of a global conspiracy: “[One reason for the killing of Syrians is] if this revolution threatens the security and safety of the Zionist state, which is supported by the forces of the whole world.”

Another antisemitic columnist frequently featured on Farah News is Egyptian Muhammad Saif Al-Dawla, who is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Dawla has been busy “celebrating” his loathing for Israel by noting several dates and events in articles appearing on Farah News over the last few months.

Praising the escape of six Palestinian prisoners from an Israeli jail in September (they were later all re-captured), al-Dawla penned “All this joy” (Sep. 9). The escape, he said, “deserves to be recorded in books and encyclopedias of resistance movements throughout history and in all countries of the world, not only in Palestine.”

Noting the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, al-Dawla rehashed the famous conspiracy that a dark force was behind that event which was merely an excuse to invade Muslim countries. “Many people in the world and not only in my country,” said al-Dawla, “still have doubts about the real perpetrator, his motives and the beneficiary, especially after taking what happened as a pretext for invading the region and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Al-Dawla went on to argue that “Modern colonialism” (which he addressed anthropomorphically as “you”), aspires to establish global control, but “the resistance of the Arab and Islamic peoples to you in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and others, and their refusal to submit before you, unlike many of the world’s regimes and rulers, constitutes a major obstacle to your historical project for world sovereignty and domination.” For that reason, the Arab and Islamic nations are being targeted and placed “at the top of your list of enemies.”

Al-Dawla also commemorated the outbreak of Second Intifada – that five-year-long terror war which led to thousands of casualties on both sides – in “The uprising that saved the nation” (Sep. 29). For Al-Dawla, the “blessed” Al-Aqsa Intifada “injected new blood into the political life. Its heroism, martyrdom operations, and victories inspired the Arab peoples, and restored their confidence that the nation did not die and could not die. It also revived the project of struggle and resistance, and the inevitability of confronting American hegemony and the Zionist occupation.”

The anniversary of the riots which led to a violent invasion of the Israeli embassy in Cairo in 2011 was another reason for Al-Dawla to rejoice (in a piece published in Farah News on Oct. 9). For him, the embassy was “a symbol of the presence of the Zionist enemy in Egypt.”

In November, Al-Dawla reminded Farah News readers (Nov. 12) that it was the anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat – who died on Nov. 11, 2004 due to natural causes. Al-Dawla, on the other hand, said Arafat was eliminated in “a poisoning plot” – a refuted conspiracy theory. Al-Dawla blames “Zionists and Americans”, along with Arab rulers, for humiliating Arafat on several occasions and insists that he was eventually murdered when “they [the US and Israel] decided to get him out of the scene once and for all, killing him.”

 

Australian Muslim Times

In the Australian Muslim Times’ (AMUST) October edition, on Oct. 8, Mohamed Ainullah attacked the appointment of former NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Chief Executive Vic Alhadeff to the board of SBS. Quoting statements against the appointment by Australian organisations known for their rejection of Israel’s right to exist, Ainullah argued that Alhadeff “may politicise SBS” because of his “pro-Israel track record.”

In December, the editors of AMUST chose to publish in the readers comments section a short but vicious attack on Israel by Gary Dargan, who has in the past made allegations published in AMUST that Australian Jews are disloyal to their country. In his comment about the Israeli ban on six Palestinian NGOs for close links to the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Dargan states that “It’s typical of Israel, one of the world’s most murderous terrorist organisations, branding the targets of its crimes against humanity as terrorists.”

Also in AMUST’s December issue was scathing criticism of the US (“The contradictions between two Americas”) by the newspaper’s managing editor Zia Ahmad. His editorial concluded by condemning the US for “its domestic record of inherent racism, long time belligerent but failing foreign policy, war mongering record from the Vietnam war to the so-called war on terror resulting in the destruction of so many countries in the Middle East.” And of course, worst of all, according to Ahmad, was Washington’s “unflinching support for an apartheid settler state of Israel.”

 

Gumshoe News

Gumshoe News, an Australian one-stop-shop for looney conspiracies, fervent anti-Israel attacks, antisemitism and Holocaust denial, was exposed in the AIR in Feb. 2021.

In October, Gumshoe News republished an anti-vaccination and Covid conspiracy article (Oct. 12) titled “The People Are Unaware of the War Being Conducted Against Them.” What was most disturbing is the Holocaust distortion practised by the editors when they chose to accompany the article with the famous Warsaw Ghetto Boy photo of a Jewish child raising his hands in fear while Nazi soldiers point their guns at him. On Gumshoe News, the caption of the picture reads “Child ‘surrenders’ to the Gestapo in Warsaw ghetto” – apparently casting doubt on the authenticity of the whole horrific scene. This picture did not accompany the article in question when it was first published on a different website.

 

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 Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya.

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