What do the Islamic State and the Jewish state have in common? A lot, apparently, according to Max Blumenthal a Jewish-American progressive activist who started the trending #JSIL hashtag on Twitter.
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 29, 2014
JSIL is an acronym for Jewish state in the Levant, a play on the ISIL acronym (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) commonly used to define the Islamic State.
Blumenthal and a colleague, Electronic Intifada contributor Rania Khalek, began promoting the #JSIL hashtag in a series of tweets made earlier this week, later expanding upon the comparisons between Israel and rogue jihadist group.
The pair also drew a comparison between the two in regards to their use of “foreign fighters.”
.@RaniaKhalek ISIL and the Jewish State in Israel and the Levant (JSIL) both behead innocents. ISIL with daggers, JSIL with drones.
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 28, 2014
Israel is home to an estimated 1.7 million non-native born Jewish immigrants, many of whom serve in the IDF with native born Israelis.
The #JSIL and #JSILisISIL hashtags are currently being used on Twitter and a variety of other social media websites by wide range of individuals and groups eager to criticize the Jewish and highlight the perceived similarities between the two sworn enemies.
Growing up Jewish in America, #JSIL infiltrated my synagogue and actively recruits from my community to kill for its expansionist aims.
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) September 29, 2014
The analogy bares noticeable similarities to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Hamas=ISIS catchphrase that was used in the immediate aftermath of Operation Protective Edge.
The catchphrase, which was invoked during Netanyahu’s speech at the UN on Monday, asserts that the Palestinian group and the Islamic State are “branches of the same poisonous tree” — “militant” Islam.
New York Magazine, a weekly centered around life in the Big Apple, slammed the comparison in an opinion piece published Tuesday. “Regardless of your opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and, in particular, whether the extent of force used during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge was justified – it’s not a rogue terror group, slaying everyone who’s different and forcing everyone else to live under a narrow moral code.”
Despite the negativity, some activists have found a more positive meaning to the hashtag’s implications.