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Pro-Israel group loses it, makes up lurid claim famous Irish children were kidnapped by Hamas

The woman in question was not attacked by Hamas.

 

Tricia Crimmins

Tech

The non-profit organization StopAntisemitism tweeted today that Hamas raped and kidnapped the daughter of Ireland’s foreign minister during its Oct. 7, 2023 attack on Israel—then hours after posting it said it was “for illustrative purposes only” amidst backlash to the absurd claim.

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The initial tweet about Foreign Minister Michael Martin’s daughter seems to have been in response to Ireland recognizing Palestine as a state and continuing to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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“Meet Ireland’s FM Micheal Martin family – on October 7th, Hamas terrorists raped & kidnapped his daughter Aoibhe Martin into Gaza,” StopAntisemitism tweeted. “Today FM Micheal Martin announced he is rewarding his daughter’s rapists with a state of their own.”

“LUNACY RIGHT?!” it added.

The organization also tweeted a photo of Martin and his family alongside its claim about his daughter.

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Aoibhe Martin was not kidnapped or raped by Hamas on Oct. 7, in which approximately 1,200 people were killed and 240 taken hostage by Hamas. Though Ireland officially recognized Palestine as a state, doing so in conjunction today with Spain and Norway, the move was largely symbolic.

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StopAntisemitism is a watchdog organization committed to combatting prejudice against Jewish people by “publicly exposing antisemites.” However, it’s faced backlash for focusing its efforts not just on antisemites, but anti-Zionists as well.

Since the Oct. 7 attack and throughout the most recent iteration of the Israeli-Hamas war, some have argued that criticizing Israel is antisemitic. But, many pro-Palestinian individuals—some of whom are Jewish—say that opposing Israel and its attacks on Palestinian civilians is not antisemitic.

StopAntisemitism disagrees, using its X account, which has over 300,000 followers, to expose individuals who have expressed solidarity with Palestine and those the organization believes to be antisemites. It has also tweeted at their employers: Last month, the Washington Post reported more than 30 people have been fired from their jobs after being tweeted about by StopAntisemitism.

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The original post was met with shock by users who rushed to verify the claim but could not find any corroborating evidence.

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StopAntisemitism cleared up the factual inaccuracies in its initial tweet by replying to it stating that its claim about Martin’s daughter “did not actually occur.”

“This post is for illustrative purposes only,” Stop Antisemitism tweeted.

Both tweets went viral on X and received an outpouring of responses stating that StopAntisemitism’s “illustrative” tweet was confusing and strange.

“It’s not very illustrative,” an X user responded. “Respectfully, you should really take this post down.”

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“Why are you lying about a woman being raped?” another person said. “This is extremely weird behaviour and does nothing to help stop antisemitism.”

Others tagged X’s content moderation account system, Community Notes, asking the system to fact-check StopAntisemitism’s false claim and add a disclaimer.

Claims that members of Hamas raped Israeli women on Oct, 7 have circulated online since the terror attack but haven’t ever been fully corroborated. In March, Pramila Patten, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said in a report that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that members of the militant group raped Israeli women and sexually tortured them.

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She also said there are “reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing.”

However, some accounts of sexual violence that fueled false narratives have since been debunked.

Many seemed baffled, though, as to what the false claim could actually illustrate.

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“Not a good post, very confusing,” said one.

StopAntisemitism, though, does not seem to be perturbed by the backlash.

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It posted similar claims about the wife of the Prime Minister of Norway and the family of Ireland’s Prime Minster after making up its statement about the Martins.

That, too, left people perplexed.

“Wait Ireland’s prime minister’s daughter was one of the kidnapped?” asked one user.

“No,” replied StopAntisemitism, reiterating its claim that it was just illustrating something that never happened.

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