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2 Oct, 2014 16:09

#JSIL: Activists come up with new ISIS-inspired name for Israel

#JSIL: Activists come up with new ISIS-inspired name for Israel

The Jewish State of Israel in the Levant – that’s how some pro-Palestine activists are now referring to Israel. With the allusion to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), tweeters are enjoying sharing the joke.

Launched by journalists Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalek on Sunday, the #JSIL hashtag has become extremely popular on Twitter among critics of Israeli policies, reaching more than 5,200 retweets a day at its peak.

The new tag refers to the tactics used by the two states’ military forces, with destroyed homes and thousands of refugees among their consequences.

Journalist and activist Max Blumenthal was first to make an analogy between Israel and the Islamic State during a session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Having no legal status, it calls itself ‘a Tribunal of conscience’, and has been working on finding a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2010.

Here are some of the top #JSIL tweets:

#JSIL clearly hit a nerve and prompted much blathering but no critic has actually challenged the parallels drawn between #ISIL and #JSIL

— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) October 2, 2014

Heartbreaking stories coming out from Jews radicalized by extremist clerics as kids to be recruited into #JSIL

— Nosferyahu (@TerrinaMajnoona) September 30, 2014

Some tongue-in-cheek Twitter users have taken to calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the "caliph of JSIL."

Obama & the Caliph of #JSILpic.twitter.com/77rNMfpTPA

— Jamal Dajani جمال (@JamalDajani) October 1, 2014

The hashtag’s inventors have received an unfavorable reaction from some media. New York Magazine called #JSIL campaign “awful” and accused the Twitter activists of having “leaps of logic.”

The reaction of the Israeli media was even harsher. In an article titled ‘Another obscene Israel analogy’, JNS.org reminded about other “ludicrous and insulting parallels” - between Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, and between Israel and Nazi Germany.

Both claim the God given right to build their state. #JSIL and #ISIS are two sides of the same coin! #ICC4Israelpic.twitter.com/b2Ba4P02yS

— STAND UP 4 PALESTINE (@IsraelWC1) October 2, 2014

#ISIL & #JSIL's hijacking of religion leads Muslims & Jews to protest "not in our name" https://t.co/yiyy2OoeIVhttp://t.co/Fbb3zTx0ig

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) September 29, 2014

Public indignation of the #JSIL hashtag was caused by its likeliness to the former name of the Islamic State - a jihadist militant group notorious for its barbarism. Its militants have beheaded foreign journalists and an aid worker, and thousands of people, such as followers of the ancient Yazidi religion had to flee their homes to save their lives.

READ MORE: 24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

The 50-day Israeli ‘Protective Edge’ military operation in Gaza cost the Palestinians over 2,000 lives, most of them civilians. The target of the Israel Defense Forces was the Hamas military organization, which claimed responsibility for rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza sparked protests all around the globe with thousands of people taking to the streets of world capitals to call for a peaceful handling of the situation.

READ MORE: Israel starts investigating alleged Gaza abuses by its own forces

#ISIL falsely claims to embody the true Islam, inspiring Islamophobia. #JSIL falsely claims to represent all Jews, inspiring anti-Semitism.

— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 29, 2014

ISIS is new hitler simile. see #JSIL@AlanaBowker@memelekox

— Global Revolution (@FibsFreitag) September 30, 2014

"Jewish State" militants carry out overnight home invasions, kidnap 21 Palestinians #JSILhttp://t.co/DRao6UoyQP

— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) October 1, 2014