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Pro-Palestinian Athlete Engages with Antisemitic Posts on Social Media

Canadian professional wrestler Rami Sebei, one of the biggest stars in the WWE who performs under the ring name Sami Zayn, has regularly been “liking” antisemitic, anti-Israel, and anti-Zionist posts on social media while following accounts that promote false narratives about the Jewish state, The Algemeiner has learned.

The pro-Palestinian athlete, who is of Syrian descent, will challenge fellow wrestler Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XL on Saturday. Ahead of his appearance in the professional wrestling event, The Algemeiner discovered that Zayn follows an account on X/Twitter that shares daily antisemitic and anti-Zionist content, including comparisons between Zionists and Nazis and false accusations about Israel. The account is run by an “Anti Zionist Hebrew,” according to its bio.

Throughout several posts this week, Israel has been described as a terrorist country and liberal Zionism equated with the murdering of Palestinians. On Monday, the account shared a video of soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) kicking around a ball and wrote in the caption, “Israeli soldiers have some genocide fun time in Gaza playing with a football, most likely looted from displaced/murdered Palestinians.” On Tuesday, the account re-posted a message that said Israel is “like a mafia, launching hits on Palestinians like organized criminals.”

On March 15, another post on the X account said: “Am Yisrael Chai [a Jewish slogan that means ‘the people of Israel live’] will never again be a legitimate phrase, it has become merely an expression of genocidal ideology. Zionists have turned it into their own ‘Seig Hei,’” which is a reference to the Nazi salute.

On March 11, the account shared messages about Zionists having “a lust for blood and destruction.” The account was recently flagged by X as harmful but has not been shut down.

Zayn also liked a video on X that showed comedian and actor Rami Youssef saying on March 30 during his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live: “God, please stop the suffering. Stop the violence. Please free the people of Palestine, please.”

On Instagram, Zayn has “liked” several posts from an account that regularly accuses “Israeli occupation forces” of genocide, and of executing, murdering, and deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday, Zayn “liked” a post on the Instagram account that referred to the six months that have passed since the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel, during which hundreds of civilians were killed and hundreds more were taken by Hamas as hostages back to Gaza. However, rather than reference the Hamas attacks in Israel that sparked the current war, the post instead focused on Gaza and said, “6 months; 180 Day of GENOCIDE #SaveGaza.”

On Monday, Zayn “liked” a post on the same Instagram account that claimed Israel has “destroyed most of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip,” without mentioning that Hamas uses Gaza’s hospitals for its terrorist operations.

On Sunday, the wrestler “liked” a post that stated a false accusation about how “Israeli occupation forces murdered” civilians “in cold blood” and also “destroyed a [sic] residential blocks in the vicinity of Shifa hospital and executed hundreds of Palestinians civilians.” The Israeli military said on Monday that over the last two weeks it had killed more than 200 gunmen at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital — which according to the US and Israel was used by terrorists to run military operations and even hold hostages seized by Hamas — and captured about 900 suspects, of whom more than 500 were confirmed to be terrorist operatives.

Zayn has an extensive history of expressing anti-Israel sentiments on social media. Last year, he “liked” on X an article titled “Israel’s Final Solution for the Palestinians.” The article compared Israel to Nazis for launching a military campaign in the Gaza Strip targeting Hamas terrorists. The article also claimed that Israel killed some of its own citizens during the terrorist strike on Oct. 7 and concluded by saying that “Israelis who cheer on the Palestinian nightmare will soon endure a nightmare of their own.”

Zayn joined many celebrities in signing an open letter addressed to US President Joe Biden that called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

After many supporters of Israel contacted the WWE and its parent company, TKO, about Zayn’s social media activity, he deleted his antisemitic posts without releasing a public statement or apology. He was also not sanctioned by the WWE.

In one now-deleted post from 2021, the wrestler talked about “Israeli military aggression” being wrapped “in a cloak of victimhood” by politicians and commentators who he claimed were “omitting [Israel’s] crimes towards the Palestinians.”

Also in 2021, in response to a post on X by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang expressing his solidarity with Israel and condemning Hamas terrorists, Zayn said, in a now-deleted tweet: “There is no viable moral defense for stealing people’s homes based on their ethnicity. Maybe not the most tasteful statement to make within hours of Israel bombing Gaza and killing 20 Palestinians, 9 of whom were children. But then again I’m not a soulless piece of s**t politician so what do I know?” Pro-Israel groups reportedly contacted the WWE following Zayn’s offensive tweets in 2021.

TKO has a Jewish majority on its board of directors — including Jonathan Kraft, the son of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft — and the WWE has a global partnership with Mattel, which is led by Israeli Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz.

Neither TKO nor the WWE responded to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment about Zayn’s recent social media activity. The WWE also ignored a request to speak with Zayn directly.

WrestleMania 40 will take place on April 6-7 at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Zayn announced on Wednesday that he will be doing a live comedy show in Los Angeles in May as part of the Netflix Is A Joke Festival, which will be hosted by the streaming giant and Live Nation.

https://www.algemeiner.com/2024/04/03/pro-wrestler-upcoming-wrestlemania-40-promotes-false-anti-israel-anti-zionist-narratives-online/