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Israeli Embassy in China faces backlash over appeals against Hamas

The Israeli embassy in China took a precautionary measure by freezing the comments section of its social media posts after facing mixed reactions from Chinese netizens regarding its appeals against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. As large-scale attacks unfolded against Israel over the weekend, Hamas unleashed a torrent of rockets into Israel and conducted border raids, resulting in the loss of more than 100 lives and the capture of numerous hostages. Tragically, included among the casualties were nine Americans. The Tribe of Nova music festival, where young adults were enjoying themselves, was unexpectedly targeted, leading to the death of over 260 attendees and the capture of many others.

Amidst the ongoing attacks and Israel’s counteroffensive, the Israeli Embassy in China made a show of solidarity with the victims through its postings on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Specifically, the embassy shared a video featuring Argamani, a person of mixed Chinese and Israeli heritage. However, certain comments from Chinese netizens appeared in response to the post, which were now hidden from view. While some individuals expressed sympathy for the victims, others responded with indifference or outright hostility. Among the comments, one netizen even referenced an incident from 2006 involving a Chinese peacekeeper mistakenly bombed during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, implying that Israel deserved the attacks.

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Due to the nature of the comments received, the Israeli embassy decided to disable the comments section on its Weibo posts as of Monday. This action left only a limited number of supportive comments visible, whereas numerous others were previously posted. The prevalence of racism, xenophobia, and toxic nationalism in Chinese media has been denounced by Tuva Gering, a researcher from the Institute for National Security Studies affiliated with Tel Aviv University. Although Chinese authorities actively monitor and censor their citizens through advanced surveillance technology, they seem to tolerate racist and xenophobic remarks as long as they align with the Chinese Communist Party’s official stance.

‘Antisemitism with Chinese characteristics’ is an apt term coined by Gerling to describe the rising trend of age-old antisemitic tropes on the Chinese internet amidst increasing Chinese nationalism and Beijing’s geopolitical competition with the U.S. These tropes, such as the notion of a Jewish conspiracy manipulating Western governments, have attracted a new audience in China. Chinese media’s freedom of speech concerning racist and xenophobic perspectives contrasts with their strict control over other aspects of public discourse. China has urged both sides of the conflict to de-escalate and minimize civilian casualties, while also advising Chinese citizens against traveling to Israel during the ongoing hostilities.

During his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday afternoon, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed disappointment at what he perceived as a restrained response from China. Schumer called on Xi to unequivocally condemn the ‘cowardly and vicious acts’ committed during the attacks. Maintaining international support and condemnation is crucial in times of conflict to prevent such acts from being repeated. Conservative readers will appreciate the gravity of the situation, as it reflects the clear need for solidarity against acts of violence and terrorism, regardless of political affiliations.

In recent times, the Israeli embassy in China has found itself facing unexpected challenges on social media platforms. During the weekend, as Hamas launched large-scale attacks against Israel by bombarding the country with thousands of rockets and carrying out raids, the embassy’s appeals against the Palestinian Islamist group fell on indifferent and even malicious ears among Chinese netizens. The consequences have been devastating, with more than 1,300 lives lost and many others taken hostage. Among the victims, nine were American citizens who tragically fell victim to this senseless violence.

One particular incident stands out during this period of attacks. The Tribe of Nova music festival became the target of the assailants, catching the young partygoers off guard. In a brutal act, the attackers killed over 260 attendees and took numerous individuals captive. As the weekend went on, Israel responded with retaliatory strikes, and the Israeli Embassy in China saw an opportunity to show solidarity with the victims through its presence on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. They shared a video featuring Argamani, a person of mixed Chinese and Israeli heritage.

Unfortunately, instead of a united response, the comments section became a breeding ground for negativity and hostility. While some Chinese netizens expressed sympathy for the innocent victims of the attack, others displayed indifference or even hatred towards Israel. In a surprising twist, a netizen made a connection to a past incident involving a Chinese peacekeeping post that was mistakenly bombed by Israel during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in 2006. This netizen argued that Israel’s actions were a result of their failure to apologize for the event.

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Understandably, due to the nature of the comments received, the Israeli embassy in China made the decision to disable the comments section on its Weibo posts. This action rendered only a few positive comments visible, while the majority of previous comments were hidden. The prevalence of racism, xenophobia, and toxic nationalism in Chinese media has raised concerns among experts. Chinese authorities employ advanced surveillance technology to monitor and censor their citizens, yet they appear to allow freedom of speech when it comes to racist and xenophobic remarks that align with the official stance of the Chinese Communist Party.

The rise of what Gerling calls ‘antisemitism with Chinese characteristics’ has become a prevalent issue on the Chinese internet. Against the backdrop of increasing Chinese nationalism and Beijing’s intense geopolitical rivalry with the United States, age-old antisemitic tropes have found a new audience in China. Such tropes include the idea of a Jewish conspiracy manipulating Western governments. This alarming trend has prompted concern and condemnation from experts like Gerling and others. China has called for de-escalation and the prevention of civilian casualties, cautioning Chinese nationals against traveling to Israel at this time.

During his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his disappointment with what he perceived as a muted response from China. Schumer appealed to Xi to publicly condemn the ‘cowardly and vicious acts’ witnessed during the attacks. This is a critical time for international leaders to stand together against acts of violence and terrorism, irrespective of political affiliations. Conservative readers will undoubtedly recognize the significance of solidarity to counter these unprompted acts of aggression and to foster a safer world for all.

In the face of recent attacks, the Israeli embassy in China has encountered unforeseen challenges on social media. The embassy’s appeals to condemn Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group, have triggered apathy and derision among Chinese netizens. Subsequently, large-scale attacks initiated by Hamas targeted Israel, involving an onslaught of rockets and border raids that claimed over 100 lives and took numerous individuals hostage. Regrettably, this included the tragic loss of nine American lives.

Among the various attacks that took place over the weekend, one incident stands out prominently. The Tribe of Nova music festival was abruptly disrupted by the assailants, resulting in the deaths of over 260 attendees and the capture of many others. In response to these attacks, Israel launched retaliatory strikes, prompting the Israeli Embassy in China to express solidarity with the victims through its presence on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform. They highlighted the mixed Chinese and Israeli heritage of Argamani in a shared video as a testament to the importance of unity.

However, the comments section of the embassy’s Weibo posts did not receive the positive and empathetic response they had hoped for. Instead, Chinese netizens demonstrated either indifference or outright animosity towards Israel. Shockingly, a netizen drew a connection to a past incident involving a mistaken bombing of a Chinese peacekeeping post during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, insinuating that Israel deserved the ongoing attacks as an act of retribution.

Responding to the negative comments received, the Israeli embassy in China took the step of disabling the comments section on its Weibo posts. Consequently, only a few supportive comments remained visible, while the majority were concealed. The prevalence of racism, xenophobia, and toxic nationalism in Chinese media has been acknowledged by experts, who criticize the Chinese authorities for their leniency towards racist and xenophobic viewpoints that align with the Chinese Communist Party’s official stance.

‘Antisemitism with Chinese characteristics’ is a concerning phenomenon that has emerged on the Chinese internet in recent times. Under the rising tide of Chinese nationalism and Beijing’s geopolitical competition with the United States, age-old antisemitic tropes have found a receptive audience in China. These tropes often revolve around the idea of a Jewish conspiracy controlling Western governments. Experts such as Gerling warn of the implications of this trend and its contribution to the growth of racism and xenophobia in Chinese society. Moreover, China has called for de-escalation in the ongoing conflict and urged Chinese citizens to avoid travel to Israel to ensure their safety.

During his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his disappointment with China’s perceived subdued response. Schumer called on Xi to publicly condemn the ‘cowardly and vicious acts’ perpetrated during the attacks. It is paramount for international leaders, irrespective of political ideologies, to unequivocally denounce acts of violence and terrorism. Conservative readers will appreciate the need for global solidarity in these testing times to combat violence and create a secure environment for all.

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