From Inciteful Photos to Death Threats

The bloody events of Toulouse were a graphic illustration of how incitement against Israelis and Jews can eventually lead from inciteful words and images to very real and violent deeds.

That’s why UK Conservative politician John Howell has every reason to fear for his life following death threats received as a result of his support for Israel. According to the Jerusalem Post:

Pro-Palestinian activist Harry Fear, from Watlington in Oxfordshire, sent Howell an email on March 10 asking what he was doing “to see that Israel halts the military actions that are taking place in defiance of international law and basic human decency.”

A photograph of a building exploding accompanied the email with a caption stating: “Only a few hours ago, Israel felt it necessary to inflict this destruction and death on the [Gaza] Strip.” The photo was in circulation back in 2009 and is completely unrelated to recent events in Gaza.

In fact, the aforementioned photograph was one that, like Khulood Badawi‘s now-infamous tweet of a bloodied Palestinian child, was spreading on social media as a million Israelis came under sustained Gazan rocket fire only a few weeks ago and exposed by tweeters, the IDF and HonestReporting.

While Harry Fear may not have been responsible for the death threats against Howell, his misuse of a false photograph to incite against Israel can only have contributed to the poisonous environment that produces such behavior.

We can only hope that in this instance, written threats will not be translated into physical actions.