“Jewish Brigade” email threatens BDS activists

A number of Palestine solidarity activists have received a threatening email from a group calling itself “Brigade Juive,” French for “Jewish Brigade.”

Anyone receiving this or a similar email should not click on any links in it and should not open any attachments.

These emails may contain malware – malicious programs that are used to harm computer users and compromise networks.

They should report to local authorities anything they consider a threat.

The email begins in French with the words “Dear boycotter.”

It then says in English, “We have are [sic] a very particular set of skills, skills We [sic] have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make us a nightmare for people like you.”

It concludes in French, “In brief, you boycotters should understand, now we will scalp you one by one, group by group, association by association.”

The email contains a link to a website for the Brigade Juive, an extremist Jewish group that purports to defend Israel and Jewish communities. The website also purports to “expose” activists with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for allegedly nefarious activities.

The group’s name appears to be a reference to the Jewish Brigade that fought with British forces during the Second World War and whose members helped colonize Palestine as part of the Zionist movement.

On its Facebook page, Brigade Juive claims to have sent the email to more than 8,000 addresses.

The group also claims that its violent threat of “scalping” activists is “used in the figurative sense.”

The harassment comes as Israel’s government has ramped up its own threats and intimidation against activists.

Given the history of violence by far right-wing Jewish groups, the apparent threat is being taken seriously.

The Electronic Intifada has been sent independent reports of the email being received by activists in Europe, some of whom are reporting it to authorities on the basis that it constitutes a threat of violence.

Association France Palestine Solidarité, an advocacy group for Palestinian rights, also sent an alert to members urging them to report the threatening email to DILCRA, the French interior ministry’s body to combat racism and anti-Semitism.

Extreme anti-Palestinian groups in France have a history of using online attacks against their targets.

Gregory Chelli, the former Jewish Defense League hacker known as Ulcan, in 2014 reportedly launched a cyber attack against the website of Rue89 after French reporter Benoît Le Corre wrote a critical profile of him.

Ulcan is known to have been involved in several malicious attacks targeting BDS activists in France, one of which possibly precipitated the death of Le Corre’s father.

Practice good security

Activists, journalists and others should make it a priority to always practice good online security.

Here are some resources:

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Comments

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Hey! Just like in "Inglourious Basterds". Is Aldo Raine going to be with them? I want to get his autograph. I already have the villa on Nantucket.

Putz

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I think that is definitely what everyone who receives this should do.-report it to the police wherever you live. At least it will be officially on record.

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This is a clear and obvious death threat to happen anytime (as in "now") in addition to being a threat of violence. Nobody survives scalping! They say they mean "scalping" in a figurative sense? Hardly! This is a blatant, direct, overt, undeniable threat against innocent BDS activists, announcing to the activists in straightforward, unmistakable language that they will be butchered and butchered "now". Authorities need to intervene immediately and arrest anyone involved in this threat from the beginning of it being thought up to it being sent via email. This murderous threat is indisputable terrorism...period!

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I reported both their Facebook Page and their photo of the threatening letter to Facebook but wasn't very surprised to be told they didn't consider it breached their acceptable use policy! But perhaps if a lot of people complain about it Facebook will take action.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.