At around 8pm on Saturday night, Channel Nine’s 60 minutes Australia program posted an announcement on their Facebook page about tomorrow’s program (see it at the bottom of this briefing). The announcement claims “#60Mins brings you both sides from the Israeli Gaza war zone”. Within a few hours of the announcement there had been over 250 comments in reply, many of them deeply antisemitic. 60 minutes opened the flood gates of hate at the end of the day before going home for the night and leaving the page without appropriate moderation.
This briefing examines the kinds of hate that users posted on the 60 minutes Facebook page. The initial post by 60 minutes, which set the tone for what followed, is then briefly examined. OHPI calls on 60 minutes and Channel 9 to ensure the page is properly moderated over the next 3 or 4 days to ensure comments like those below are removed promptly (within minutes). We also call of them not to make inflammatory posts at a time when it could spark conflict spilling over into the Australian community.
Death to the Jews / support of genocide against the Jews
Dehumanization / Demonization
Claiming the Jews killed Jesus
The image above must be repeated here, as well as claiming that the Jews killed Jesus, it also makes allegations of Jewish control of the media.
Another popular conspiracy theory that made an appearance was that of Jews controlling world governments. This is classic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” content.
This was take a broader approach, claiming the Jews simply control everything.
A brand new conspiracy theory was also posted. This one alleges that the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and killed were murdered by Jews.
In another version the children died in a car crash:
Comparing Israel to the Nazis
One user posted all of the following content attacking Muslims:
Another user posted:
In response to anti-Muslim comments one user posted anti-Christian comments:
Returning to the 60 minutes post…
The choice of image emphasizes a sense of bias; the selected image is of the security barrier with colourful graffiti reading “Je Taime Palestine” with a heart, and next it the super imposed text “UNHOLY WAR” over it. The message is plain, we love Palestine, and the forces of evil are attacking her. Demonization can only be presented more clearly if one uses pictures of horned devils. The use of “Israeli Gaza war” in the announcement rather than “Israel / Gaza war” shifts the focus to one part of the conflict, ignoring the impact on Israel and instead it appears to only focus on Gaza and the tragedy of human suffering occurring there. If there was any doubt left the post starts with a quote, “There’s no place for a Palestinian state here”. The quote is no doubt from a far right Israeli, most likely representing no one but the far right. Similar extreme and unrepresentative views from specific Israelis have been used by 60 minutes before. They paint a distorted picture of the situation. Such bias set the tone for the antisemitic comments that followed. This in turn prompted the anti-Muslim comments.
Unless 60 minutes applies strong moderation, the problem is likely to get worse after the show airs.
Comments on this briefing can be made on Facebook on this thread.