The Israel Defense Forces have taken on a Hamas propaganda symbol, spinning the group’s three-finger salute used to gloat over the kidnapping of three Israeli teens eight days ago, to now insult the honor of the armed terror group.
On Friday, blogger Elder of Ziyon republished an image released on Twitter by Avichay Adaraee, an Arabic spokesman for the IDF, that became a story published in the Palestine Press on Thursday.
The blogger posted the image, with captions translated from the Arabic. Along the three fingers, it reads, ‘Oppression,’ ‘Terror’ and ‘Autocracy.’ The irony is that ‘Citizen’ is written on the pinky finger and ‘Hamas’ on the thumb that’s holding it down. The caption reads: “Their victories are only in slogans.”
When Adaraee sent the Tweet, he also included Quranic verses with the photo, from Sura 83: “Woe to those who give less [than due], who, when they take a measure from people, take in full, but if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss.”
On the Elder of Ziyon site, commenter IronyDome wrote: “Brilliant! Finally someone shoved that dumb salute back in their faces. Mazel tov!”
The three-finger salute, referred to in Arab social media as the “three-Shalit” salute, to make the connection that the three kidnapped teens are in the same situation as IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas and released after five years in captivity, in exchange for 1,027 prisoners in Israeli jails.
Some of the images used to support the salute include masked men dressed up as TV-quality kidnappers, with three teens, with bags over their heads, and cartoons with a large and powerful terrorist mocking the small and weak Israel.
While many of the photos were taken over the past week to show solidarity with Hamas, there was some element of confusion because some photos referred to in the press had been taken as long as a year before the kidnapping.
According to Daniel Roth at The Forward, the three-finger symbol was popularized last year by amateur singer Mohammed Assaf, who was featured on television’s ‘Arab Idol,’ where he was contestant number three and could win if people remembered his number and called in to vote.
On the eighth day of searching, for the missing teens — Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel – the IDF arrested two dozen more Hamas operatives overnight, and said they have reason to believe the boys are still alive.