Articles about Israel in the Qatari press, which is known for its anti-Israel bias, also feature antisemitic messages and tropes. These articles, both reports and op-eds, create an identity between Israel and Jews as another dimension of their attacks on Israel. Antisemitic motifs are especially conspicuous in cartoons published in the London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which represent both Israel and Jews using the antisemitic stereotype of the black-robed, bearded and long-nosed Jew.
The antisemitic messages and tropes in the Qatari press are drawn both from Islamic sources like the Quran and the Hadith (sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) and from Western sources. In the Islamic sources the Jews are often described as the enemies of Islam, as cunning and treacherous violators of treaties, and as murderers of prophets, who were cursed and punished by God. Among the antisemitic motifs mentioned in the Qatari press is the story of the Apes and Pigs, found in both the Quran and the Hadith, according to which Allah turned some of the Jews into apes and pigs for disobeying him and fishing on the Sabbath. Another is the hadith of the stones and the trees, which states that, on the Day of Judgement, the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them, and the stones and trees will call the Muslims to come kill Jews hiding behind them.
Western antisemitic texts mentioned in the Qatari press include the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which are presented as authentic. Qatari press articles describe the Jews as seeking to take over the world and the global economy, or as a burden for mankind. Others present them as responsible for all the wars and catastrophes in the world, such as the 9/11 attacks and even the current war in Ukraine.
Alongside antisemitic content, the Qatari press periodically publishes articles that accuse Israel of perpetrating a holocaust against the Palestinians. Others deny the historicity of the Jewish holocaust, of the extermination camps or of specific testimonies, like Anne Frank’s.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani recently objected that the accusations of antisemitism against Qatar are groundless because they refer to criticism against Israel. In a March 26, 2022 speech at the opening of the Doha Forum, he said “that these allegations are wrongfully directed at anyone who criticizes Israel’s policy, and that this undermines the fight against actual racism and antisemitism.”
This report presents examples of antisemitism and Holocaust denial in the Qatari press since the beginning of 2020.
Antisemitic Motifs Drawn From Islamic Sources
As stated, many of the antisemitic motifs that appear in the Qatari press are drawn from Islamic sources like the Quran and Hadith, which describe the Jews as cunning, treacherous instigators of strife who disobeyed and killed the prophets and were punished by God. Qatari columnists mention these tropes and associate them with contemporary Jews and with the state of Israel.
The Jews Are Enemies Of Islam And Must Be Fought, As Stated In The Quran
Many articles in the Qatari press quote Quranic verses that present the Jews as the enemies of Islam and the Muslims who were cursed by God. They stress that there is no difference between Jews, Israelis and Zionists, and that agreements with Israel, like the 2020 Abraham Accords signed by several Arab countries, are a mistake.
For example, on December 10, 2020, against the backdrop of the signing of the Abraham Accords, ‘Abdullah Al-‘Amadi, the former media advisor to the Qatari education minister, wrote in the Qatari daily Al-Sharq that the Jews’ hostility towards Islam is a historic fact that is mentioned in the Quran and will persist until the Day of Judgement: “The Jews hated the honorable Prophet just out of intense feelings of jealousy that emanated from the very depth of their souls. This jealousy developed into a sense of hatred and hostility, and into constant wars and conspiracies against him and his disciples that shall persist as long as Allah wills the world to endure, as evident from events and from the stories about the Jews.
“When some people say we have no [quarrel] with the Jews, we say to them: yes, we do. And when they say there is a difference between Jews and Zionists, we say that there isn’t. In fact, the Jews are most hostile to the believers [i.e., the Muslims], and that is not something we say, it is in the Quran, which we shall recite until Judgement Day. Perhaps today it seems as though there is a difference between the Jews and the Zionists, so much so that sometimes one is almost inclined to be lenient with those who display their Judaism but oppose Zionism. But the fact is… that there is little difference between the two groups. It is no simple thing to ignore the historical truth and claim the opposite of what is stated clearly and explicitly in the Quran. If we understand [the Quran] and internalize its directives and its truth regarding the nations and the kinds of people who surround us, it will not be difficult to understand our current relations with the other nations, such as the hypocrites and the Jews.”
The claim that the Jews are the enemies of Islam, as stated in the Quran, was also made by Muhammad Saleh Al-Musafir, a lecturer in political science at Qatar University and a columnist for the Al-Sharq daily, in his January 28, 2020 column. Responding to a visit by a delegation of Islamic scholars in Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland, he wrote: “I don’t want to remind you of the words of Quran 5:82, for you are familiar with them [‘You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah’]. Moreover, Quran 2:120 teaches us, ‘And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, ‘Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.’ If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper.'” Similar statements were made by Al-Sharq columnist ‘Aisha ‘Abidan in a May 16, 2020 column, published against the backdrop of the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. She praised the Gazans for fighting Israel, stating that fighting the Jews is a Quranic commandment articulated by Allah and by the Prophet Muhammad, and also noted that Qatari schoolchildren learn that the Jews are the enemies of the Muslims. She wrote: “Allah said [in Quran 8:60], while stressing the importance of power in dealing with the enemies of Allah and His Messenger: ‘And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows.’ Today glimmerings of power appeared, imposed themselves and shattered all the pompous Arab… agreements [with Israel]. Today, after waiting patiently for 60 years of captivity, destruction, murder and humiliation, the murabitoun [front line fighters] in Gaza carried out Allah’s commandment and the directives of the Prophet… [For] are they [the Jews] not the ones whom Allah cursed in his Book [the Quran] after they applied inappropriate descriptions to Him? [According to Quran 5:64,]: ‘The Jews said, “Allah is tight-fisted.” May their fists be tied and they be condemned for what they said. Rather, He is open-handed, giving freely as He pleases.’ May Allah show His strength by destroying the Zionists in their homes and defeating them…”
‘Abidan repeated the claim that the Jews are the enemies of the Muslims in an article from April 10, 2022, in which she attacked the Arab countries that had condemned the April 7 terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in which three Israelis were killed, writing: “How strange [that we are in] an era when the enemy is a friend and the friend is an enemy. Since childhood, we have declaimed ‘Long live free and proud Palestine.’ Since childhood, we have been accustomed to giving what little we have for the sake of Palestine… In our Islamic studies curriculum, [we learn] that the Jews are the enemies of the Muslims… that force must only be answered with force and the sword, and that he [who dies] defending his land, what is holy to him, and his money is a martyr.”
The Jews Were Plotters Who Fought The Prophet Muhammad And His Followers
Al-Sharq columnist Mubarak bin Rashed Al-Shahwani wrote on October 14, 2020 that the Jews were vicious plotters who fought the Prophet and his followers in the early days of Islam: “Jewish tribes that lived in Yathrib [i.e., Al-Madina] tried for decades to sow division between the Aws and the Khazraj tribes. They sacrificed all that was dear to them [to achieve this], concocted every plot and trick they could think of, invested all the money they could – and they sanctify money – and even sacrificed their lives in several wars, all in order to leave Yathrib without a united leadership and so that the Jews’ status as an important social force will remain intact…” In another article, from December 23, 2020, dealing with the Battle of the Trench between the Prophet Muhammad’s army and his opponents in 627 CE, Al-Shahwani wrote: ‘The Jewish [tribes] of Qaynuqa and Nadir had a sense of defeat and an unrestrained desire for revenge, but no matter how much they plotted, Allah humiliated them. Their black hearts were filled with jealousy, fury and resentment against the small [Islamic] state that had defeated them and humiliated them so badly for violating their promise and agreement…”
The Jews Are Killers Of Prophets
Some articles referred to the Jews as killers of prophets. For example, Palestinian writer Adham Sharqawi mentioned a story about the Jews in the Prophet’s era and associated it with the Jews today. In his December 7, 2021 column in the Qatari daily Al-Watan, he recounted a story about the Jews’ renouncement of a fellow Jew who had converted to Islam, and commented: “This is what the Jews have always been like. They do not change. Moses parted the sea for them and led them through it without getting their feet wet. But when they reached the other side and found pagans living there, they said to Moses, ‘Make for us a god just as they have gods’ [Quran 138:7]. They killed the prophets one by one… And [yet] there are still some among us [Arabs] who believe that by means of negotiations and normalization it is possible to get something from them.”
Following the May 2020 round of fighting in Gaza, Palestinian journalist Samir Al-Barghouti wrote in his Al-Watan column that the Jews are murderers of prophets who were punished by Allah: “Palestine is currently experiencing a dangerous and sensitive phase as it waits for [the fulfillment of] the divine promise [that appears in] the Torah [sic] and the Quran, [namely] that the last of the Jews who were brought to Palestine after being forced into exile will leave Palestine and resume their wandering, [a fate] that was imposed on them for murdering the prophets and renouncing the word of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad…”
A July 3, 2021 cartoon in Al-Quds Al-Arabi depicted the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Ghadanfar Abu ‘Atwan, who was held in Israel without charge, as Jesus, evoking the antisemitic narrative that the Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.
The Jews Are The Descendants Of Apes And Pigs
The antisemitic story of the Jews whom Allah turned into apes and pigs for violating the Sabbath is mentioned in three Quranic verses: “… They are those whom Allah has cast aside and on whom His wrath has fallen and of whom He has made some as apes and swine…” (5:60); “…You have surely known the end of those from amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath, in consequence of which we condemned them: Be ye like apes, despised” (2:65); and “when, instead of amending, they became more persistent in the pursuit of that which they were forbidden, we condemned them: Be ye as apes, despised” (7:166). In addition, the story is also mentioned in the reliable collections of hadiths Sahih Al-Muslim and Sahih Al-Bukhari.
This story was mentioned in a November 11, 2021 article by ‘Abdullah ‘Amadi, the former media advisor to the Qatari education minister, in Al-Sharq dealing with the importance of preaching good and forbidding evil. He wrote: “It is mentioned in the Quran that some of the Jews of the city of Medina boasted before the Prophet Muhammed, trying to demonstrate their high stature among the nations and their descent from Abraham, Israel, and Moses, and then Allah instructed his Prophet [Muhammad]: ‘Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. Behold! They transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they came not: thus did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression [Quran 7:163]. That is, [Allah said:] Oh Muhammad, ask your Jewish neighbors about the chronicles of their ancient ancestors whom Allah turned into apes and pigs. Did I not punish them for their sins…?”
The Promise Of The Stones And The Trees
The antisemitic hadith about the stones and the trees, likewise included in the collections of Al-Muslim and Al-Bukhari, is occasionally mentioned in the Qatari press as well. As stated, this hadith says that, on the Day of Judgement, the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them, and when the Jews try to hide behind stones and trees, the latter will cry out: “O Muslim, o servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.” In an April 17, 2022 article in Al-Sharq, ‘Aisha ‘Abidan wrote, in the context of Israel’s suppression of Palestinian riots in Al-Aqsa: “The Israeli measures will continue and the resistance will persist until the Muslim will fight the Jew, and the Jew will hide behind a stone or a tree, and the stone will say, ‘O Muslim, Come and kill him’, as stated in the hadith…” This hadith was also alluded to in a cartoon published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on September 21, 2020, about a week after the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain in the White House. The cartoon shows an Arab dropping his sword and rushing to shake the hand of then Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is standing behind a stone. The stone says: “O Muslim, o servant of Allah, what are you doing?!!”
The Jews Are Cunning Violators Of Treaties
Al-Sharq columnist Jaber Muhammad Al-Marri wrote on September 22, 2020 that “the Zionists will never deviate from their description in the Quran as violators of agreements and treaties who constantly strive to [spread] strife, destruction and corruption in the world.” To illustrate the cunning of the Jews, Al-Marri told the story of a rabbi who showed one of the kings of France how the weak Jewish rooster defeated its enemies, the strong roosters: he let them exhaust one another and then subdued the last remaining rooster, who by that time was tired and bleeding.
Western Antisemitic Tropes
In addition to antisemitic motifs taken from the Islamic sources, the Qatari press also makes use of Western antisemitic motifs, such as the claim that the Jews strive for world domination, control the global economy, are responsible for troubles and ills throughout the world, and are a burden afflicting mankind. These claims are often taken from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which are presented as an authentic document.
The Jews Are Trying To Take Over The World, As Evident From The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion
The Qatari press, like other Arab media, occasionally presents the Protocols as an authentic document revealing a Jewish plan to corrupt mankind and take over the world. In an April 2020 article in Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Palestinian journalist Faez Rashid quoted from the Protocols and warned about “the Zionist-Messianic danger to the world.” He wrote: “The motto of the Messianic Zionists is what one of the Elders of Zion, Oscar Levy, said: ‘We Jews are the masters of the world and its corrupters. We instigate civil war and we are its executioners.’ [Levy] added: ‘We will not rest until we establish the great state of Israel and until the motto of the land promised to the Chosen People is realized. What we have achieved is the first stage of the Israeli state.'”
In a September 20, 2021 column in Al-Quds Al-Arabi against extravagant lifestyles, Jordanian journalist Ihsan Al-Faqih wrote: “It is enough that our enemies harm us by painting our lives in the colors of luxury. The Sixth Protocol of the Elders of Zion stated: ‘In order to destroy the gentiles’ industry, we shall encourage an absolute love of luxuries, which we have spread in the past.'”
The Jews Control Global Economy
June 3, 2020 the Qatari daily Al-Raya published an antisemitic article by journalist Khalifa Aal Mahmoud, titled “The Rothschild Family or Rothschild State,” which was later removed from the daily’s website. In the article Aal Mahmoud claimed that, over the course of history, the Jews developed manipulative financial abilities by means of which they gained power and took over the world. This began, he says, when Medieval Jewish traders traveling between countries created the banking system to keep their wealth safe from highway robbers. This enabled them to infiltrate the main power centers in various countries for generations, and to shape the decision-making in accordance with their own interests; they were also involved in numerous regime overthrows.
Aal Mahmoud presents the Rothschild family as an example of this. He explains that the members of this family initially spread throughout Europe’s strongest countries, took over their economies and profited from the wars among them, for example by spreading false rumors to destabilize their stock markets and profiting from this instability. The Rothschilds also took advantage of various countries that needed their loans, using this to increase their grip on these countries. This power, he claims, also enabled the family – which he says controls the price of gold, the media and the important banks to this day – to play a key role in realizing the Jews’ dream to establish their state.
The Jews Are Behind Catastrophes Worldwide, Such As Assassinations Of Lincoln And Kennedy, 9/11 Attacks, Ukraine War
In a March 13, 2022 article in Al-Watan, Palestinian journalist Samir Al-Barghouti blamed the Jews for a series of historic events, including the assassination of American presidents Lincoln and Kennedy and of Russian Czar Nicholas II, financing the Soviet leaders Stalin and Lenin, planning the attack on the World Trade Center, stealing the gold of Chinese emperors, toppling the Ottoman caliphate and “selling the Middle East to the West for the lowest possible price,” among other things.
Al-Barghouti also wrote that the real reason for the current Russian invasion of Ukraine is President Putin’s desire to prevent the Jews from establishing a presence on Russia’s border. The column states that Jews have begun migrating to Ukraine with the intention of turning it into a place sacred to them, and that Putin, who is aware of the “danger” represented by the Jewish nation, went to war in order to prevent the Jews from harming Russia.
The Jews Are A Burden For Humanity
Another antisemitic claim presents the state of Israel as a result of a Western attempt to get rid of the Jews, which were a burden for them. Former Jordanian MP Toujan Al-Faisal wrote on December 21, 2021 in her column in the Qatari daily Al-Raya: “What the Zionists did for the Allies [in the first half of the 20th century], with the help of Britain and later France, included the service of moving Jews from those countries to ‘a land where they could shelter and settle,’ and where they could safeguard the imperialist profits of those two countries. What was not said explicitly but was implicitly understood is that those [countries] that sponsored the Zionist enterprise were rid of the burden of the Jewish presence on their soil. If we describe [this presence] in terms of a ghetto where an unwanted ethno-religious minority lived throughout history, that will not be far [from the truth].”
Anti-Israel Cartoons In Al-Quds Al-Arabi Feature Antisemitic Stereotypes
Cartoons in the London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi often use the antisemitic stereotyped figure of the leering black-robed, long-nosed jew to represent Israel. The following are some examples.
A cartoon published after the May 2021 round of fighting in Gaza shows a knife slashing though Israel’s flag, with a stereotyped figure of a Jew behind it.
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