Inside the Iran regime's recent anti-Israel teachings, propaganda and slogans
During the pilgrimage of Arba'een Iranian regime members put out new statements claiming that the goal of the pilgrimage was to "unify Muslims" against "global tyrants" and "global arrogance." The latter is often a code for the US and Israel. This comes amid a growing number of cases of the regime saying it is "seeking revenge for the martyr's blood," during the holiday.
Media and website in Iran are replete with coverage of Israel, including explanations on "why we say 'death to Israel.'" In one such explanation the author claims it is because Israel "kills children." Indoctrination begins for young children as school. One source notes: "Every morning before noon in Iranian schools kids line up and, after singing the national song, kids should repeat slogans including 'death to Israel.' Every school has a teacher to talk about how Israel kills innocent children and how Iranian kids should be a voice for those dead children. They force kids to paint about it and explain the teacher how they will fight with Israel. they give the kids candy, and other toys such as small plastic guns to boys."
The use of children and the claim that Israel "kills children" is widespread in regime settings. An official website of a youth correspondent association claims that between 2000 and 2014 Israel used US-supplied war planes to "kill children."
Through an examination of social media and also posters put up throughout Iran, we were able to shed light on some of the component of the regime's campaign to incite the public against Israel. This generally comes in several forms. One of the most unique is the use of billboards that seek to determine precisely when Israel will be destroyed. For instance we located one billboard that uses lights at night and claims that Israel has 8,305 days left before it will be destroyed.
In another case in Najaf, where many Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims go for holy days and events, another banner was put up that claimed Israel has only 7,981 days and 22 hours left and 24 minutes left. It even counts down the seconds.
The contradictory banners shows that even those putting them up are not unified in trying to explain when Israel's "destruction" will take place. The Najaf banner was tweeted on October 27, 2018 (link) by Mersad News, a pro-regime news agency that also focuses on Israel and alleges Arab states work with Israel.
The concept of counting down Israel's destruction is common in many official forums. The Student News Network for instance has an article where a Quranic expert is consulted as to when Israel will be defeated. It describes the "Israelites" as a "bloodthirsty manifestation in history," and seeks to link modern day Israel, with ancient "Israelites" or Jews of the Bible and Quran. In another case a pro-regime twitter account posts a joke about the desruction of Israel with one man saying he wants to buy land in Tel Aviv and build IRGC villages for youth members. Another user wrote that, "after I am a martyr write this on my tomb: Here is the tomb of the martyr who reached his dream which was destroying Israel." He tweets a photo of a bullet that says "I love fighting Israel."
The pro-regime social media users also argue with those who oppose the regime. One tweets, for instance, that Israel will be destroyed in 25 years. Another responds mocking the Iranian air force as being powered by flatulence.
Pro-regime social media users were particularly outraged by the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman. "UAE and Oman shaked [sic] hands of people who have bloods of 1000s innocent children on their hands! Shame," writes one. Another writes "Time for the revenge of the blood of our martyrs is core only to understanding...Israel's destruction [will come with] blood vengeance and to understand the severity [is due to the killing of] the woman and children." This twitter account associated with the IRGC uses the term "raping, killing and torture" in his incitement.
In another campaign pro-regime activists seek to identity which accounts online of Iranian actors, writers, activists and journalists are followed by Israelis or follow Israelis. One twitter user shows how a well known Iranian actress named Mahnaz Afshar has been followed by an Israeli Persian language account (@IsraelPersian).
The anti-Israel rhetoric which the regime pushes is not always welcomed by parents and the public. One mother said that her 7 and 10 year old boys had come home with anti-Israel slogans and she was concerned about their future. She said the boys had become aggressive and hate Israel and US without having "any understanding of it." She sought to enroll them in a private school and not a state school so they were be free from the incitement. But at the private school also state-mandated lessons sought to portray Israel and US as the "biggest enemies of Iran."