Zakia Belkhiri, a 22-year-old Muslim woman from Belgium whose picture went viral after she posed in front of anti-Islam protesters, is under fire for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic posts she made in 2012 and 2014 on her Facebook and Twitter pages.
Belkhiri took a selfie picture against the backdrop of far-right demonstrators in Antwerp last week and was heralded as a symbol for peace and anti-racism.
However, it has now emerged that Belkhiri posted a series of anti-Semitic messages on social media in the past.
In a tweet posted in November 2012, she wrote: “Hitler didn’t kill all the Jews, he left some. So we know why he was killing them.”
In a Facebook post from March 2014, she used a swear word to describe Jews before adding: “I hate them so much.”
As news of her anti-Semitic rants spread online, Belkhiri deleted all her accounts, but later returned to Twitter to justify her remarks. “My opinion many years ago was meant on the Zionist back then, that spread hate instead of love, so to all the other Jews peace be upon you!” she tweeted.
However, for many of those who responded to her tweet, this attempted justification has, if anything, compounded the original offence.
“You meant the Zionist Jews deserve to die?” one person responded.
Later, Belkhiri published a lengthy statement on Twitter apologizing “to everyone in the Jewish community which I’ve hurt with my comments of several years ago”.
“I am not an anti-Semite. Even if it seems so because I haven’t thought of deleting my angry comments from when I was younger and ignorant,” she claimed.
As the backlash against Belkhiri grew, a meme appeared showing the now-famous picture of her snapping her selfie, but with Jewish concentration camp prisoners and scenes of various terror attacks photoshopped in place of the line of protesters.
By: United with Israel Staff