Antisemitism in Wake of Palestinian Terror Attacks
The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza is reincarnating the previous practices exhibited by militants and their pro-supporters. Recently, signs displaying the ‘Star of David’ in the trash have become a commonplace experience within the pro-Palestinian protests.
The signs crudely drawn in trash bins are surfacing in pro-Palestinian protests suddenly everywhere. Hamas terrorists and supporters utilized the image a decade ago.
Infamous Star of David in Trash Sign
The ‘keep the world clean’ memes surfaced following the Israel Defense Force (IDF) response to the Hamas militants’ move on Saturday, October 7, attacking and killing innocent individuals. The militants attacked the audience of the large music festival and residents near the Gaza-Israel border. With hundreds of individuals losing their lives, the IDF responded to rescue the residents and help the release of hostages kidnapped by the Hamas militants.
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Efforts by IDF to restore normalcy by flushing the Hamas terrorists from their hideout in Gaza have triggered the ‘Keep the World Clean’ campaign in memes conveyed by the pro-Palestinian protesters. In particular, the phrase portrays resistance in its previous use to advance anti-littering, anti-communism and anti-fascism. Its use alongside the Star of David in trash bins illustrates the anti-Zionist stance.
The pro-Palestinian protesters have reintroduced the ‘Keep the World Clean’ crudely inscribed on signs illustrating the Star of David in trash cans. The rallies are dominated by placards, with the words also appearing on posts and images shared on social media.
The senior research executive at Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, Mark Pitcavage, indicated that the emergence of the ‘Keep the World Clean’ images is not coincidental. The researcher indicated that while the images feature on handmade posters and seem organic, they harbour similar traits as those used by Hamas for ten years.
Pitcavage considers the images took new life since Hamas lodged the horrific terror attacks on October 7. The move forced Israeli leadership to authorize retaliatory strikes on Gaza to eliminate Hamas hideouts.
In Paris on 1st of November, Israeli flag and Star of David spray painted on garbage cans in the garbage room of a residential living area
Norwegian Student Triggers Anti-Semitic Campaign
A quick run of online searches shows multiple instances of pro-Palestinian protests displaying anti-Israel signs. The protestors display disparaging slogans as witnessed in Sarajevo rallies, Madrid, Idaho and recently Missouri.
An infamous incident widely shared recently showcases a Norwegian woman identified as Marie Andersen. The young lady held the trash bin featuring the Star of David sign inscribed. She displayed the derogatory signage during the recent pro-Palestinian protest in Warsaw, where Andersen pursued medical studies.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda denounced the Andersen display as ultimately contravening the anti-hate laws. Deputy Foreign Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, alongside Warsaw’s Rafał Kazimierz Trzaskowski, condemned the Andersen conduct to display the derogatory sign.
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Palestinian Terror Attacks and Massacres on October 7th 2023 (compilation)
Andersen would defend the display when appearing on a Norwegian TV interview, alleging it showed the disguised dirt she perceives of the Israeli government in the ongoing warfare and continually running the apartheid state. The medical student reiterated that the poster hardly targeted propagating an anti-semitic agenda.
Andersen’s conduct sparked spontaneous anti-Israel rallies with protesters replicating the ‘Keep The World Clean’ posters. Such an incident emerged in Manhattan, where a viral image near the New York University (NYU) carried a similar phrase.
A publication by The New York Post regarding the incident identified the sign bearer as a high school student. The protester confessed the teacher took the class to the Manhattan protest. However, NYU distanced the institution from the anti-Israel rally and defamatory signs expressing unawareness of attendees at the protest.
Retracing the History of Putting Ideology in Trash Cans
The Anti-Defamation League’s Pitcavage likened the Norwegian student’s disparaging sign to the 2013 cartoon by a Gaza student. The image featured a stick coloured with a Palestinian flag that appeared to cast the Star of David into the garbage. The image depicted the slogan, though in Arabic, ‘Keep the World Clean’.
Pitcavage linking the Norwegian student incident to the antisemitic campaign gains ground since Hamas has continually utilized the slogan for some time. The research executive at the Centre for Extremism acknowledged that he could not rule out that the display is not borrowed from past incidents and even several decades older.
Pitcavage perspective on placing the ideology you dislike in garbage hardly started with the Hamas. The anti-fascism and anti-communism protesters have in the past rallies utilized stick figures, placing hammers, swastikas and the ideology symbols in trash bins for decades. Such merchandise and clip art ready for download exists to date.
Pitcavage decries Andersen’s display as reigniting the long history of casting symbols in Trash. The present versions replicate the trope that began several decades ago.
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The prohibitive litter signs trace to an ideological version utilized by far-right activists. They replaced the usual no-littering symbol with the left-wing symbol. The activists began to nurture the culture of similar groups to replace the prohibitive littering sign with the hammer.
Pitcavage rules out the Star of David signs urging cleaning the world as mere coincidence. It aligns with multiple variations utilized by creators who disliked brand logos, religious symbols and countries’ flags.
A review of World War 11 reveals the common utilization of Hitler’s cartoon in the trash can exhibited today in Britain’s National Archives. The image featured in campaigns rallying the support for the war by recycling paper and metal items.
The Andersen gesture to belittle the Star of David and subsequent replications in pro-Palestinian rallies are fueling the anti-semitic campaign.