Devastating Piece of Psychological Warfare — in Arabic — Goes Viral on the Internet
Israeli journalist Zvi Yehezkeli shifts his tone — and focus — away from the Bohemian set to Hamas and its sympathizers.
Whenever Arab affairs correspondent Zvi Yehezkeli makes an appearance at Channel 13’s studios in Tel Aviv, it’s almost as if he arrives wielding a metaphorical pin to burst utopian bubbles. Over recent weeks, much of his time on-air has been spent doubling down on the brutal truths he’s been uttering for years.
To his progressive fellow TV panelists, Mr. Yehezkeli explains the past century of Palestinian hostility. “You just have to understand that the Arabs don’t want us here.” Since the horror of October 7, Israel’s political landscape has been reshaped by the end of illusions of former peaceniks who’ve been mugged by the realities of the Middle East.
Over the past week, Mr. Yehezkeli has shifted focus from his usual audience of “Tzfonis” — Israeli slang for the bohemians who live amidst the trendy cafés of North Tel Aviv. In two video clips published on the social media site Telegram, he delivers a scathing, sarcasm-laden message to the Palestinians in native-fluent Arabic.
“Arabs of Gaza, today you’re no longer so happy, eh?” says Mr. Yehezkeli. “We saw how you rejoiced on October 7. How you claimed to have vanquished the invincible Israeli army. But today you know the truth. The leaders of Hamas are happily underground, while you’ve become refugees for the second time.”
Mr. Yehezkeli notes how the deputy leader of Hamas, Musa abu-Marzouk, “explained it clearly from the comfort of his home in far-away Qatar. The tunnels are for Hamas fighters and leaders, Marzouk said, while the people of Gaza are the responsibility of the UN.”
Mr. Yehezkeli goes on to berate Hamas for committing war crimes so grotesque that they violated even the Quranic code of warfare. “Have you ever seen an Israeli soldier behead a child?” he asks rhetorically. “No, because it’s forbidden, and if anyone did such a thing they’d be thrown in jail. And why? Because Judaism is an ethical faith.”
The first video clip finishes with Mr. Yehezkeli showing footage of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and his sons flying on a Lear jet. “And where did the money for this private jet come from?” he asks. “From war paid by Iran. Wine, women, and drugs. All in five-star luxury.”
“But where are your sons?” he queries. “On the road to martyrdom, that’s where. Why don’t the sons of Ismail Haniyeh take that same road? Because they’re cowards who brainwash you and trade in your blood.”
In his second video, Mr. Yehezkeli begins by asking why nations of the world are unwilling to accept Palestinian migrants. “Have you ever wondered why those same European countries that received millions of Syrian and Iraqi refugees are now shutting the gates to you? It’s because your leaders have led you to war and disaster.
“That’s what happened in Jordan during the 1970s when King Hussein kicked you out in what’s called the Black September. Then you went to Lebanon, where you caused a bloody civil war. Then you went to Kuwait, where you sided with Saddam Hussein and were expelled to Tunisia. And now the same thing is happening in Gaza where once again you’ve become refugees.”
“I want to tell you one more thing,” says Mr. Yehezkeli. “The Jewish people have existed for 4,000 years. And throughout history, there were nations that tried to destroy us. The Pharaoh, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, and the Nazis, they all failed. The Jews always won without weapons, without a country, and without a single tank. Why? Because we had belief and spirit.
“And if you think the Rambos of Hamas, who are so brave against our women and children, will be able to defeat the Jewish people, you’re wrong.”
He then goes on to quote Qur’anic passages that declare the Land of Israel to be the property of the Jews. “It’s a promise that is written in your own book!”
These two videos have racked up millions of views throughout the Arab world over the space of less than a week. The tangible scope of their impact has yet to be measured, but it’s clear that Mr. Yehezkeli has produced a piece of psychological warfare that will be studied by militaries for years to come.