#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:
— 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."
— 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.
— STAND UP 4 PALESTINE (@IsraelWC1) October 2, 2014
— 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.
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.
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 29, 2014
— Global Revolution (@FibsFreitag) September 30, 2014
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) October 1, 2014