Vandals tearing down posters of Israeli hostages face swift justice

Israel supporters take to social media to out and publicly shame individuals who remove posters, drawing attention to their actions until their employers take notice and feel obligated to respond

Dr. Zena Al-Adeeb, an endodontist and ISIS (Hamas) supporter

From Boston to New York to Miami, people who remove posters showing the faces of captives in Gaza face repercussions after a campaign to expose them.
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These posters become a phenomenon not due to institutional backing but because they are easy to print, embodying a grassroots movement of people who want to show support for Israel. Individuals and communities have taken it upon themselves to print and distribute these posters, leading to their widespread presence in various public spaces.
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Dr. Zena Al-Adeeb, an endodontist and ISIS (Hamas) supporter
Dr. Zena Al-Adeeb, an endodontist and ISIS (Hamas) supporter
Dr. Zena Al-Adeeb, an endodontist and ISIS (Hamas) supporter
However, the posters have also sparked controversies after some chose to remove them from the public space. Some faced backlash from the same grassroots movement and supporters who have taken to social media to report and effectively shame them publicly until their employers become aware and are compelled to take a stance.
On Monday, a dental specialist at the Nevins Dental Institute in Boston, faced swift action after being captured on video tearing down the “kidnapped" posters of people held hostage by Hamas. Dr. Zena Al-Adeeb, who appeared in the video, was promptly identified and subsequently terminated from her position. Nevins Dental Institute released a statement, with Dr. Marc Nevins emphasizing their commitment to not employing anyone who promotes hate or discrimination.
In South Florida, another dentist, Dr. Ahmed ElKoussa, faced a similar backlash after being caught on video tearing down posters in Miami supporting missing Israeli hostages. His actions, which were recorded alongside another individual, Xave Ramoul, led to his dismissal from CG Smile, a cosmetic dental group. Juan Carlos Izquierdo, the owner of CG Smile, cited the severe backlash they faced as a reason for ElKoussa's immediate termination.
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הפגנה של מטה החטופים והנעדרים בקפלן תל אביב
הפגנה של מטה החטופים והנעדרים בקפלן תל אביב
(Photo: Nimrod Glickman)
Dr. ElKoussa later explained that his actions were taken out of context and intended to promote peace and de-escalation in the community. He expressed concerns that the posters may incite conflict and reached out to law enforcement, who advised him to remove them. Attorney Hassan Shibly supported Dr. ElKoussa's actions and pointed out that he had received hateful death threats and messages, which he believes do not align with the values of the country.
In New York, a worker at the investment management company VanEck faced job termination after social media footage showed him taking down the Israeli hostage posters. Meanwhile, at NYU’s campus, students who were caught tearing down posters of Israeli hostages may face disciplinary action from the university.
Photos and videos of the incident quickly circulated on social media, revealing the students' names and information to millions. NYU spokesperson stated that the university takes the matter seriously and that actions like these could subject students to conduct proceedings. The incident has prompted a petition with over 9,000 signatures calling for NYU to condemn the students' actions and seek disciplinary measures.
Naama and Noa, a determined pair of friends, have made a collective decision to print and distribute these signs across New York. However, their efforts have often faced opposition from individuals determined to remove the posters shortly after installation. Naama reflects on this persistent challenge, stating, ״The motives behind those who take down these posters remain a mystery. How does it inconvenience them? Is it an eyesore?
Certainly not more so than any other advertisement or job listing. It's likely a matter of individuals with an agenda lacking empathy, and they need to recognize that their actions won't deter us. We've produced thousands more posters and are committed to displaying them wherever possible, ensuring that as many people as possible understand the gravity of the situation”.
In another instance, a Brooklyn man employed as an executive strategist at his father's company was placed on a four-month unpaid leave after a video posted to social media platform X showed him and his wife being confronted by a Jewish woman for ripping hostage posters in Brooklyn Bridge Park, according to the Daily Mail.
Brooklyn couple confronted for tearing down posters of Israeli hostages held in Gaza
(Video: X)
Dr. Eric Schaffer, the man's father and employer, who is Jewish, clarified in an email to staff at his UX company Human Factors that his son Noah does not harbor antisemitic sentiments and does not support Hamas. He also expressed regret over his son's actions.
“He now understands that his actions were reprehensible, he is deeply sorry and regretful. HFI’s senior management team and I personally, in no way condone his actions today. We are placing Noah on unpaid leave for the next four months,” he wrote, according to the email cited by the Daily Mail.
"This will give him time to learn more about his Jewish family history, reflect deeply, and make amends. And after this time we will review if he can rejoin the company."
First published: 09:47, 10.26.23
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