The former director-general of Al Jazeera on Friday shared and then deleted an image that said “the same killer” — inferring Jews — was responsible for the deaths of Jesus Christ and slain Palestinians.
The image shared by Yasser Abu Hilala was a composite of art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling a dead Jesus, and a Palestinian woman in a similar pose by the body of a young Palestinian, presumably her son.
Text emblazoned on the image declared: “After 2000 years & it’s the same killer…”
After deleting the tweet, Abu Hilala wrote on his account: “Based on the advice of those whose opinion I trust, I deleted the tweet to prevent confusion, while emphasizing that the design is not mine and I do not adopt it and everyone understands it in their own way.”
It was not immediately clear where the image originated, or whether the people depicted in it were indeed tied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sharing the original tweet, Joshua L. Zarka, deputy director-general and Head of Strategic Affairs at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, blasted its “pathetic, vile and pure antisemitism,” and asked whether Abu Hilala also wanted to add the Protocols of the Elders of Zion into the mix.
— Joshua L. Zarka (@yzarka) August 13, 2022
Abu Hilala led the Qatari state-owned Arabic-language news network between 2014 and 2018.
Antisemitic views are prevalent in much of the Arab world. Arabic media often incorporates messaging that is antisemitic.
The Arab world has often blamed Zionism and Judaism for various woes — from Islamic State and financial crises to pornography, AIDS and more.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas once claimed that the Holocaust was the result of Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”