Anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement in the Syrian media accuse Israel, the Zionist movement and the Jewish people of responsibility for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai


1. The Syrian media coverage of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai was informative and without elaboration. Senior regime figures avoided publicly criticizing them. President Bashar Assad found it sufficient to send a condolence message to the Indian president expressing his deep pain at the deaths of the scores of victims and wishing the wounded a speedy recovery.

2. However Syria , which conducts an ongoing campaign of vicious propaganda and incitement against Israel , exploited the terrorist attacks to accuse Israel , the Zionist movement and the Jewish people of responsibility for world terrorism and the attacks in Mumbai (disregarding the indiscriminate killing of the six Jews/Israelis). The Syrian incitement campaign against Israel included the familiar anti-Semitic motif of blaming the Jews for war- and crisis-mongering all over the globe.

3. The following is a short summary of three anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic articles published in the Syrian media (which is under government supervision) after the attacks in Mumbai:

i) Al-Thawra (December 3): Ahmed Hamada , a member of the paper’s editorial board, said that the fingerprints of the Jewish lobby and the Mossad, both of which customarily encouraged civil wars, could be found all over the globe : "From Darfur to Georgia and from Iraq to Mumbai and from one end of the world to the other the destructive hand of the Israelis and the Zionist lobby, which sticks its nose into everything, sow civil and ethnic wars and foment political and diplomatic dissension between nations and governments…What happened in Georgia is the best proof of the negative role of the Mossad in igniting crises… Today the hidden Zionist fingers and their heinous role in the explosions in Mumbai have been made apparent , giving witness to the destructive role of Israel in every corner of the globe.”

ii) Al-Thawra (November 30): According to an editorial, Israel and Zionism are behind the accusations of the Muslim world’s responsibility for global terrorism. It also stated that the strategic considerations and objectives of large international factors (a hint at the United States ) are responsible for global terrorism and its spread. "The real danger,” said the editorial, "is not Islam but political extremism.” The editorial added that anti-Islamic aggression was the best proof that the international community, led by the United States , was not serious about dealing with terrorism despite its claims of waging a war on it. "We say unequivocally that terrorism will remain a problem as long as Zionism can freely stir things up behind the scenes wherever it likes .”

iii) Al-Watan (December 1): A column in the paper noted that Israel customarily profits from terrorist every attack all over the world and exploits them to make the Palestinians suffer. What happened in Mumbai, according to the column, was no different from what happened in New York , and in Arab and other cities all over the world. But the question that has yet to be answered is who gains from such events (such as the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 ) and who exploits them to play the part of the victim. According to the column, those who planned the attacks in Mumbai wanted to achieve several goals: to increase the tension between Pakistan and India, make the Arab and Muslim countries support Israel to strike at Islamic terrorism through close security and intelligence cooperation, and implement the concept of the American-Israeli dream of a new, expanded Middle East.

1 Follow-up of our December 2, 2008 bulletin entitled "Reactions in the Arab and Muslim world to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai (Preliminary report)”