Pro-Wrestler Slanders Israel and Supports Terror; WWE, NBC, Fox Refuse to Respond
Rami Sebei, an entertainer who performs under the name “Sami Zayn” for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), headquartered in Connecticut, has taken to the Internet to condemn Israel, falsely accusing the Jewish state of ethnically cleansing Arabs living in Jerusalem, and seemingly supporting rocket attacks and violence against innocent Israeli civilians.
In a Tweet posted on Sunday, May 9, 2021, Sebei declared, “There is no viable moral defense for stealing people’s homes based on their ethnicity.” He then invoked the “SaveSheikhJarrah” hashtag to tell his 1.2 million Twitter followers that he was talking about Israel.
The defamatory Tweet has been retweeted more than 1,200 times and has received more than 5,600 likes on the social network, which has become synonymous with anti-Israel incitement and Jew-baiting in recent years.
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) May 10, 2021
By accusing Israel of stealing land based on ethnicity, Sebei is broadcasting a complete and utter falsehood.
Sheikh Jarrah was an Arab village built on land purchased and owned by Jews in the 1870s. Jordan confiscated this land after the 1948 War of Independence, and built a neighborhood on it.
After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel declared that the property belonged to Jewish organizations that had owned the property during the Ottoman Empire, but allowed Arab families to remain as protected tenants.
The Arab residents of Sheikh Jarrah and their lawyers agreed in a 1982 court settlement that two Israeli non-profits, the Sephardic Community Council and the General Council of the Congregation of Israel, owned the properties.
In the face of the tenants’ failure to pay rent, they are now on the verge of being evicted from their property almost 40 years later.
Hamas is using the Sheikh Jarrah libel to justify its efforts to kill innocent civilians with barrages of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, and both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are inciting Israeli Arabs to riot against their Jewish neighbors in mixed cities throughout Israel.
This was not a spontaneous “revolt.” Hamas has been laying the groundwork for this for years, by building up their rocket arsenal, inciting their citizens (and children, via the education system) to murder Israelis, committing terror attacks against Israelis, and by remaining committed to the organization’s founding goal: to destroy Israel, and push its Jewish inhabitants into the sea.
None of this has stopped Sebei from using his WWE-trademarked identity to broadcast misinformation that is helping to incite what some experts are describing as a “Third Intifada” in the Holy Land.
Sebei’s corporate sponsors, WWE, NBCUniversal and Fox, which broadcast his appearances, aren’t responding to queries regarding his anti-Israel propaganda on Twitter. Sebei appears every single week on Fox broadcast television on the show “WWE Smackdown.”
The day after falsely accusing Israel of ethnically cleansing Arabs from Jerusalem, Sebei attacked Andrew Yang, mayoral candidate for New York City, for supporting Israel during its time of trial.
After Yang expressed his solidarity with Israelis dealing with rocket attacks, Sebei declared that the candidate’s Tweet was “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 shit politician so what do I know?”
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 shit politician so what do I know?
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) May 11, 2021
Sebei has not responded to an attempt to reach out to him via his Twitter account. And his corporate employers seemingly have no issue with his behavior, as he continues to Tweet anti-Israel lies (and implicit support for Palestinian violence) on a regular basis.
Dexter Van Zile is Shillman Research Fellow for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis.