By: ZOA Staff
March 4, 2016
ZOA: ABC’s Anti-Semitic Terrorism Soap-Opera “Quantico” Defames Jews & Israel, Should Be Cancelled
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Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. issued the following statement:
It is deeply disturbing and frightening that ABC’s muddled terrorism-soap-opera series, “Quantico,” has continued to escalate its blatant, vicious defamation of Jews, Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), promoting ugly lies against the Jewish people and the Jewish State. (See ZOA’s prior article about Quantico’s defamatory Episodes 4 and 5, which discussed, for instance, how Quantico falsely claimed in Episode 4 that Israel bombed the Gaza greenhouses, when, in fact, Israel gave these multi-million dollar greenhouses to Gaza’s Arabs, and Palestinian Arabs looted and destroyed the greenhouses.) ZOA previously contacted ABC to demand corrective action. Instead, “Quantico” intensified its anti-Semitism and its vicious portrayals of the IDF as “war criminals” when in fact, the IDF is the world’s most moral army.
“Quantico” also escalated its practice of mocking and portraying Jews as sniveling, untrustworthy, duplicitous, disloyal, war criminals, violent, unable to see the “greater good,” people who “follow orders” that are wrong; terrorism-plotters and ugly bomb-makers. “Quantico” also makes absurd “Islamaphobia” claims; portrays Muslims as moral and beautiful; glorifies a Muslim Imam who defies the FBI; and glorifies Arab terrorists and Palestinian-Arab “resistance” (a euphemism for Palestinian-Arab attacks on Jews). It’s time for ABC to cancel this horrendous, defamatory series, which reverses reality. Jews are already being subjected to far more religious hate crimes than any other group: Sixty-percent (60%) of U.S. religious hate crimes are against Jews (and only 15% are against Muslims). “Quantico” will inflame more baseless Jew hatred and incite even more anti-Semitic hate crimes.
Following ZOA’s previous complaints to ABC regarding two aspects of Episodes 4 and 5, ZOA received an unhelpful letter from ABC’s Channing Dungey (now President of ABC Entertainment Group), admitting that the Jewish FBI trainee is deceitful. Ms. Dungey’s letter admitted that Simon “is, in fact, a character who just may be creating a web of deceit,” and asked “Could his [Simon’s] tortured persona mask one who is comfortable betraying his nation, his principles, his colleagues and truth itself?” Ms. Dungey’s letter failed to address Quantico’s factual anti-Semitic errors.
ZOA responded, saying:
“Unfortunately, the factual defamation of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces (“IDF”) in Quantico Episodes 4 and 5 remains uncorrected. Further, depicting Quantico’s sole Jewish/IDF character (Simon Asher) as deceitful and disloyal compounds (rather than cures) the factual defamation, and wreaks of anti-Semitism.
Broadcasting defamatory depictions of Jews, Israel and the IDF to 11 million viewers is particularly dangerous in light of the raft of stabbings and other attacks against innocent Jews in Israel, Europe – and even here in the U.S. Last week, in a probable hate crime, a Jewish volunteer ambulance worker was stabbed in Brooklyn, New York.
Radical Islamist anti-Semitic terrorist groups such as Hamas typically defame Jews and Israel in exceedingly painful and outrageous ways: by accusing Israel of the very crimes that Hamas perpetrates against innocent Israelis. The terrorists totally reverse the truth. Quantico’s accusations, via character Simon Asher’s statements, use the same technique. Portraying the IDF as committing atrocities in Gaza, reverses the truth. Saying that Israel bombed the Gaza greenhouses – when in fact Israel gave the greenhouses to the Arabs, and Gazan Arabs destroyed the greenhouses – totally, painfully and outrageously reverses the truth.
Would ABC broadcast a serious World War II drama series in which a character proclaims that he was “rehabbing Pearl Harbor after it was bombed by the Americans” – when in fact Japan bombed Pearl Harbor (killing over 2,500 Americans)? Quantico’s reversals of the truth, with false statements about “rehabbing Gazan greenhouses bombed by the Israelis” and maligning the IDF, are just as bad.
Would ABC broadcast a serious drama that depicts or proclaims that hood-wearing black Americans rode through the South lynching white Americans – when in fact hood-wearing white KKK members lynched black Americans? If not, why is it all right for ABC to defame Jews and Israelis in a way that would be totally unacceptable if another group were the target of a false depiction of the factual background?
And, in the above example, would it really help matters if a black character is deceitful? Of course not.”
ABC never responded to ZOA’s above letter.
Here are some of Quantico’s many outrages:
- Quantico Falsely Portrays IDF Soldiers as “War Criminals” and “Just as Wrong” as Hamas: In Quantico Episode 10, Muslim FBI trainee Nimah (who is portrayed as dedicated to “doing good” for America) accuses the sole Jewish FBI trainee, Simon, of being a “war criminal” who should never have been allowed into the FBI Academy – simply because Simon served in the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza. (This occurs before Nimah knows anything specific about Simon’s IDF service.) Nimah also passes around pictures (of IDF soldiers committing supposed atrocities) to their classmates, who look shocked by the pictures.
Nimah: “Simon has given people real scars. He should have never been allowed in this place.” (Passes around pictures of IDF soldiers to the classmates.)
Alex: What are you talking about, Nimah?
Simon: “Nimah, please.”
Nimah: “Simon Asher is a war criminal. . . . He spent time in Gaza. We know that. But did you know that it was in service of the Israeli defense forces?”
After Simon responds that he was proud to serve the Jewish homeland, and never hurt anyone, Nimah then proceeds to falsely accuse the IDF of targeting schools and hospitals and killing civilians:
Nimah: “You didn’t hurt anyone? Really? Then who did? Who killed those unarmed civilians, shot at ambulances, targeted hospitals and schools?”
In fact, the IDF is the world’s most moral army. Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of all the British forces in Afghanistan, praised the IDF’s humanity as follows: “No other army in the world has ever done more than Israel is doing now to save the lives of innocent civilians in a combat zone.” The U.S. sends U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey confirmed that Israel “went to extraordinary lengths” to minimize civilian casualties, and even sent an American team to Israel to learn from the IDF how to avoid civilian casualties. Israel sent hundreds of thousand of texts and distributed hundreds of thousands of flyers and made hundreds of thousands of cell phone calls warning civilians to get out of the way of military targets – and often aborted missions to avoid civilian harm. Civilian casualties were in fact far less than in any other comparable war zone.
In response to Nimah’s false accusations, Simon aptly points out that: “Hamas hides in schools. They use civilians as human shields” (although no one mentions the 19,000 rockets that Hamas launched at innocent Israelis). Nimah then says “even if they [Hamas] did this, what you have done is as wrong.” In other words, the IDF is “just as wrong” as Hamas. No one corrects this equating of the Hamas terrorists dedicated to murdering every Jew and oppressing their own people – to the highly moral Israeli army that tries to stop terrorists, without harming civilians. (Instead, Simon simply says: “war is wrong.”)
Despite the IDF’s extraordinary humanity and care to avoid civilian casualties, the IDF “war criminal” lie is a persistent theme in “Quantico.” In Episode 5, the sole Jewish FBI trainee “confesses” to his roommate that while serving in the IDF, he “did things” in Gaza “that haunt me every single day of my life” and would “understand if you hate me.” (ZOA complained about this to ABC, and discussed this in ZOA’s previous release.)
Episode 10 contains still another of the Jewish FBI trainee’s “confessions” about his (and his platoon commander’s) actions in Gaza. This time, Simon says that he “g[ot] close to women to lure them to interrogations on the whereabouts of their husbands” and that his platoon leader “snapped from what he’s seen over there” and went “rogue” during the interrogation instead of just asking questions like they always did. Simon tearfully says: “
“I was just following orders, okay? I was just doing what I was told. But I knew it was wrong. I wanted to do good. I really wanted to be good. [Crying] I’m so sorry.” Simon is afterwards shown crying again, and Nimah reiterates that she won’t stop taunting Simon because “He’s a war criminal!”
It is outrageous that Quantico defames the extraordinarily humane IDF with such a fictional IDF interrogation, and adds insult to injury by having a Jewish IDF volunteer adopt the Nazi line: “I was just following orders.” The whole scenario about a Jewish man luring married Gazan Arab women to interrogation sites is also ridiculous: Under Hamas’s rule in Gaza (and the Palestinian Authority’s rule in the PA), a woman cannot go to work or even travel outside of her home without her husband’s consent. See WSJ summary and Sept. 2015 World Bank Report, p. 9 regarding the oppressive restrictions on women in Gaza, the PA, and various (mostly Arab) nations.
- Quantico Defames IDF Volunteers: “Quantico” further exacerbates its anti-Semitic false portrayal of the IDF by turning the Hebrew term “Mahal” into a pejorative “dirty” word. (Episode 10) Muslim FBI trainee Nimah practically spits this name at Jewish FBI trainee Simon Asher (“Eh, Mahal?”) while hurling accusations at Simon, and Simon cringes with shame and embarrassment both times he hears the term.
In fact, “Mahal” simply refers to American and other non-Israeli IDF volunteers (both Jewish and non-Jewish). The first Mahals included Mickey Marcus and other heroic American pilots who helped save Israel from extinction after seven Arab nations invaded Israel in 1948. The earliest Mahals also flew many of the rescue missions to save Jews trying to escape from the Arab countries that were slaughtering Jews in pogroms. Today’s Mahals likewise serve with honor.
In addition, Simon is immediately tagged as “the controversial candidate” in his FBI class, simply because he had previously volunteered for the IDF. Episode 10 includes the following exchange:
Nimah: “We’re vetting the new class, and I could use some advice. . . . I have this excellent candidate, and I’m worried she’s going to be cut just because she spent some time in Syria. I’ve been asking around and I found that you also had some controversial candidates.”
Danny [a graduate of the prior trainee class]: “Oh Yeah. Like that guy in your class, who volunteered for the IDF?”
- Quantico’s Jews Plot Terror and Make Bombs: The sole two Jews in “Quantico” – FBI trainee Simon Asher and religious Hasidic bomb-maker Oren Shelef (a character that only an anti-Semite could invent) – plot to blow up Emanu-El Synagogue and the huge 96th Street Mosque (the Islamic Cultural Center of New York). Near the end of Episode 9 (which is entitled “Guilty”), Simon meets with Oren and asks, in Hebrew: “Did you bring it with you?” Oren hands Simon a thumb-drive, while saying (in Hebrew): “Just as you asked, the blueprints for every train station in New York.”And to reinforce the Jewish characters’ culpability, this exchange is juxtaposed against a voice asking innocent FBI agent Alex Parrish “how do you plead?” and Alex responding: “Guilty.” Viewers of Episode 9 are left with the conclusion that the Jews are guilty of the Grand Central bombing (the “whodunit?” question running through the series) and additional subway bombing plots.
And, just in case anyone missed Episode 9’s “Jews are guilty” ending, Quantico Episode 10 begins with a “catch up” vignette showing Nimah saying to Simon (in an accusatory voice, as if this is a crime): “You’re a Conservative Jew from a staunch Zionist family” (a scene from Episode 1), and then shows the Hasidic bomb-maker handing the thumb drive to Simon while saying in Hebrew: “Just as you asked. The blueprints for every train station in New York.” (from Episode 9).
Portraying American Jews as plotting terror against subways, a major mosque (and synagogue) is despicable. No Jew has ever been involved in a terror plot to blow up a mosque, synagogue, subway or other target in the U.S.
By contrast, Muslim terrorists have repeatedly plotted against subways and synagogues in New York and other major cities, and other American-Jewish and general American targets. In 2011, police uncovered a terror plot by two Muslim jihadists to attack a Manhattan synagogue with guns and grenades. In 2009, four Muslim men were arrested for their terrorist plot to shoot down military airplanes and blow up two synagogues, the Riverdale Temple and the Riverdale Jewish Center, in the Bronx, New York. (These four Muslim terrorists were convicted in 2011.) Other Islamic terror plots include: radical Islamic prison group Jamiyyat ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS)’s plot to blow up Los Angeles synagogues in 2005; Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s shipment of printer cartridges filled with explosives to Chicago-area synagogues in October 2010 (the Air Cargo Bomb Plot); solicitations to commit terrorism against Jewish schools and other targets carried out by a moderator of Islamic extremist Web forum Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forum (AMEF), resulting in his arrest in 2011; and two Islamists’ plot to bomb a subway station near Madison Square Garden in New York City before the Republican National Convention in August 2004. In addition, the San Bernadino terrorists specifically targeted and murdered a pro-Israel Messianic Jewish co-worker. See also Heritage’s of 60 post-9/11 terrorist plots and attacks by radical Islamists in the United States, through mid-2013; and additional radical Islamist attacks on a WND list.
Part-way through Quantico Episode 10, Simon admits: “I’m the only one that knows the truth. I’m the one who planned Grand Central.” Simon then explains that he “planned a political act, a statement on behalf of a group of people who are sick and tired of us killing each other” and intended his plan to somehow bring about peace. Simon says that his plan was to place bombs on the subway lines under Temple Emanu-El and the 96th Street Mosque, give a warning an hour ahead of time, and trigger the bombs after the subways were evacuated, but he “never wanted [his] bombs to go off.” Simon concludes: “Somebody stole my plans, fixed the flaws, and used them for themselves [to bomb Grand Central]. I am not a murderer.”
Simon’s admission still makes him a terror plotter. Plots to cause mass evacuations of subways, a mosque and a synagogue, and that depend upon the bombs not going off, are illegal, extremely dangerous, risk fatalities and injuries, and are likely to spark more warfare.
At the beginning of Episode 11, Quantico again pinpoints Simon as the terror plotter, quoting Simon repeating his statements from Episode 10: “I’m the one who planned Grand Central. Somebody stole my plans and used them for themselves.”
In addition, what seems to be Simon’s voice is heard saying over a black screen: “You ever want to push a button and make it all go away? Everyone you ever loved and lost, everything that ever hurt you… just one button? No more fighting. No more regrets. No more noise. Blow it all up and see what happens.” At the end of this soliloquy, Grand Central blows up.
- Quantico’s Jewish FBI Trainee is the Only FBI Trainee To Ever Fail The FBI’s Good Character Test: In Quantico Episode 3, the head FBI trainer Miranda tells the trainees that they must each vote for 3 fellow trainees who they think should be cut from the FBI training program, or else Miranda will herself select 10 trainees to cut from the program. The trainees decide to stick together and refuse to vote against of their colleagues. Only Simon sneaks off and votes to eliminate three colleagues from the FBI training program. After Simon returns from voting, he initially claims he just “went for a walk” (another supposed example of the “Jew”’s duplicity). After Simon’s classmates demand to know if he voted, Simon finally admits that he did, and tries to encourage other classmates to vote also. FBI trainer Miranda then arrives and explains:
Miranda: “We’ve run this exercise on every class of [trainees], and it always turns out a little different, but no class has decided actually to vote. . . . [T]he whole point of this was to test your character. There will be no cut [from the class]. But . . . [Simon] Asher, you just earned a formal reprimand. That puts you on supervisory probation. Your next mistake… you’re subject to termination from your training at Quantico without review.”
Simon: “For what? Doing what you told us to do?”
Miranda: “For turning on your people when they needed you the most.”
In other words, Quantico portrays the Jew as the only person in FBI training history who is disloyal, lacks character, and who follows rigid rules rather than doing what is right – typical, false anti-Semitic canards.
Interestingly (and one of the many reasons why Quantico’s portrayal is so offensive), the moral concept of sticking together in analogous circumstances comes from Judaism. Under Jewish law, if an enemy approaches a group and says “Give us one of you that we may kill him, or else we will kill you all,” the group is not permitted to chose someone to hand over and instead must stick together, even if it means that all will be killed. (Tosefta, Terumot, 7,23)
- Quantico’s Jews Are Anti-Semitic Caricatures (and Contrasted with the Muslim Recruits, who Are Presented as Beautiful Paragons of Virtue):
“Quantico” character Oren Shelef is a dark, scraggly-bearded Hasidic bomb-maker and IDF veteran, living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is made up to look as ugly as possible – sort of like a Nazi caricature of a Jew. And of course, the whole concept of a religious American Hasidic Jewish bomb-maker and terror plotter has no relation to reality, and may well be an anti-Semitic calumny.
The other Jew in Quantico, FBI trainee and bomb-plotter Simon Asher, is scrawny, meek, average looking, “creepy,” and the only FBI trainee or agent who walks around with stooped shoulders. By contrast, the other FBI trainees stand straight and proudly, and their physical appearances range from fairly attractive to beautiful.
“Quantico” goes to extreme lengths to portray Simon with anti-Semitic stereotypes – even including as a bloodsucker. At the end of a scene in Episode 3 in which Simon inappropriately punches with “body blows” and kicks his sparring partner (FBI Agent Ryan Booth) to the ground during a training fight, background music plays with the lyrics “♪ He’ll suck your blood ♪ ♪ he’ll suck your blood ♪ ♪ he’ll suck your blood ♪ ♪ he’ll suck your, suck your blood ♪.”
Later in Episode 3, FBI Agent Ryan Booth tells Simon why Simon is “creepy” as follows, using another anti-Semitic stereotype of the “cunning” Jew:
Ryan Booth: “You really want to know what’s creepy? . . . Every time you talk, every time you smile, I can see the little wheels spinning in your head. Every gesture, every laugh, every move that you make… it’s like a calculation. It’s a performance. You’re not just a creep. You’re a freak . . .”
Simon has so little self-respect that later in Episode 3, Simon apparently agrees that he is creepy, as follows:
Ryan: “I’d apologize, but…”
Simon: “Deep down, you kind of meant it? Maybe I am creepy. . .”
Simon adopts a phony gay persona, wears fake glasses, repeatedly lies, snivels and breaks down in tears. Simon is also portrayed as duplicitous and dangerous beneath his weak gay façade, and deserving of the constant mocking and antagonism of his fellow trainees. For instance, Simon’s roommate Elias confronts Simon in Episode 4, as follows:
Elias Harper: “Shocker. The organization you claimed to have work for in Gaza has never heard of Simon Asher. . . . I know you exist. That’s not what scares me. It’s who you are that does. Are you a patriot? Are you Jewish? Are you even gay? . . . Because if you weren’t gay, it’d be a great way to win your spot here. You know, the first openly gay NAT [New Agent Trainee]. The Bureau couldn’t say no to that. Or it’s just another piece of the facade of Simon Asher. Just like the glasses, just like the coffee I always see you make but never drink. The only thing real about you is the way you look at Nimah Amin when you think no one’s looking.”
Simon: “Even if all of that is true, why do you care?”
Elias Harper: “The most dangerous enemy that America faces is the enemy within. The traitors that play the long game, and they inflict the deepest wounds because people miss the warning signs. And that’s what you are, Simon Asher, one big, flashing, warning sign.”
In Episode 5, after Simon attempts to keep up his gay façade by convincing a gay stranger to trek from far away to meet Simon for a phony “gay” date, Elias again angrily confronts Simon, saying:
Elias: The thing that bugs me is the lengths you’re willing to go to maintain this facade. You manipulated a complete stranger to come here, an innocent person. Who does that? You want to know the truth, Simon? The truth is… you’re dangerous. So when we get back tomorrow, I’m making sure you never step foot in Quantico again.”
Simon also loses his temper and starts to choke a colleague – which gets Simon thrown out of the FBI training academy.
When asked in Episode 2 why he wants to attend the FBI Academy, Simon says: “cause I learned from an early age that things aren’t as they seem.”
By contrast, Muslim FBI recruit Nimah gives the following reason: “’Cause I’m grateful . . . for the peace, safety, and stability this country offered to my family.” By contrast to the “dangerous enemy within” Jew, the twin Muslim recruits are also presented as pure, loyal and altruistic in this exchange:
[Muslim twin] Raina: “. . . I came [to the FBI Academy] for you because you’re my sister and I would do anything for you. . . .”
[Muslim twin] Nimah: “. . . I know we make a great team. Do you have any idea how lucky we are to have each other? We will do important things together, Raina. We will save lives. . . “
Simon’s “staunch Conservative Jewish Zionist family” is also portrayed as dysfunctional – a family where no one really speaks to one another. By contrast, the Muslim FBI recruits are presented as coming from a warm family where people gather around in the kitchen to speak. Episode 3 contains this gem:
Simon: “I noticed you put your bug [electronic listening device] under the sink. That was smart.”
Muslim FBI trainee Raina [Nimah’s twin sister]: “I tried to think of where in my home I have real conversations.”
Simon: “Never had real conversations in my home.”
Simon is also attracted to the twin Muslim FBI recruits, and repeatedly slavishly tries to woo them, despite one of the twins’ frequent rudeness and open disdain for him.
Simon does have moments of altruistic bravery in Quantico – including trying to save his classmates by trying to dismantle what appears to be a bomb planted in their classroom – but this is overwhelmed by the negative incidents and portrayals. As Simon notes in Episode 3: “Ultimately, it didn’t matter, did it? Everybody got to see the real me… and didn’t really like what they saw, did they?”
- Quantico Portrays Palestinian Arab Terror in Judea/Samaria as “Resistance,” and Falsely Portrays Israel as Crossing a “Border” Into the “West Bank”:
At the beginning of Episode 8, “Quantico” uses the “TV show within a TV show” gimmick of having a newscaster report (faux) Middle East “news” that glorifies Palestinian Arab terrorism as “needed” “resistance” – and invents a “West Bank” “border” that Israel “crosses.” The “TV show within a TV show” announcer’s voice fades in and out, reporting:
TV announcer: “Fighting in the West Bank, across the border . . . only to be met with resistance and violence. There has been increased bombings and shootings. . . . surrounding neighborhoods. . . . violence. . . . This is BBC news in Lancaster. This is Zachary Halpert. . . . needs to be met with resistance. . . . increased bombings and shootings. . . .”
“Resistance” is Hamas’s and the PLO/PA’s standard euphemism for offensive, barbaric attacks to murder innocent Jews. Thus, the “Quantico” newscaster’s line “needs to be met with resistance” is a call for the murder of Jews. In addition, there is no internationally-recognized West Bank “border” to “cross.”
- Israeli “War Crimes” in Gaza, and Intimations of Shameful Activities in Gaza Is a Persistent Theme in “Quantico”:
The outrageous smear that Israel acted violently and shamefully in Gaza is a persistent theme in “Quantico.” Israel is falsely maligned or impugned regarding “Gaza” in a remarkable 8 out of 11 episodes (Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10) and the remaining episodes found other ways to malign Jews or the IDF (for instance, Israel is maligned regarding the West Bank in Episode 8). Moreover, Quantico never mentions Hamas’ and Islamic Jihad’s 19,000 rocket attacks from Gaza on innocent Israeli civilians.
In Episode 1, a Jew traveling to Gaza is depicted as something shameful, and the only “legitimate” reason to travel there is presented as trying to become “better informed” about the “real” Arab perspective. (“Zionism” – which is the right of the Jewish people to their homeland – is also treated with disdain.)
Nimah: “Simon Asher, you are a Conservative Jew from a staunch Zionist family, yet four years ago, you traveled to Gaza to live with the Palestinians, and to this day, you never told anyone. Sorry. I forgot… yes or no?”
Simon: (looks upset, embarrassed) “Yes.”
Alex (present day): “He only went to Gaza because he wanted to be better informed.”
FBI present-day interrogator/agent: “Well, that’s what he told you. We know the real reason.”
Episode 2 again presents a Jew going to Gaza as something shameful – something to “squirm” about, with this exchange:
Nimah: “I like making him [Simon] squirm. Like with Gaza.”
Nimah: “His time there.”
Episode 2 also contains this exchange, presenting a Jew going into Gaza as suspicious:
Elias: “How did you get into Gaza? Nimah said you spent time in Gaza in 2011, but the travel restrictions in that period were so strict, the only way you’d have gotten through is with a Palestinian entry permit, which doesn’t exist in your name. That database they let me play on down there is pretty amazing.”
Simon: “Are you accusing me of something?”
Elias: “God, no. I’m just an attorney. You know, I like… poking holes in stuff.”
Simon: “Yeah, you can get into Gaza without a permit.”
Elias: “Yeah, but how do you get out? [sighs] I was intrigued before. You were right. I was hitting on you. But now I’m… actually interested. Are you gonna tell me the story, or… do I get to figure it out for myself?”
Episode 3 presents Gaza as a place where people [impliedly Israelis] are capable of doing horrible things, in this exchange:
Ryan: “Just ’cause you follow orders doesn’t make you a drone. You have no idea what it’s like over there, what it does to you.”
Simon: “I know more than you know.”
Ryan: “Yeah? Why’s that? ‘Cause you handed out blankets on the Gaza strip? You saw a mortar or two?”
Simon: “It’s because I saw what people are really capable of.”
Episode 4 contains the outrageous lie that Israelis bombed the Gaza greenhouses:
Simon Asher: “I spent months with the UAWC rehabbing greenhouses bombed by the Israelis in the Gaza strip.”
As detailed in ZOA’s prior article, Israel gave these greenhouses (which were producing millions of dollars of flowers and vegetables) to the Gazan Arabs, and the Arabs looted and destroyed the greenhouses.
Episode 4 also presents time spent in Gaza as suspicious, as follows:
Elias Harper: “Shocker. The organization you claimed to have work for in Gaza has never heard of Simon Asher.”
Elias’s above statement also morphs into a speech about how dangerous people like the Simon are. See the anti-Semitic Jewish caricature section of this article, above.
In Episode 5, one of the FBI agents says that an incriminating wire used to explode Grand Central Staton, could have come from anyone, including “the friends that Simon made in Gaza.”
Episode 5 also contains the outrageous false “confession” by Simon that he “did” terrible things while serving with the IDF in Gaza:
Simon: I was in the Israeli Defense Forces. They sent me into Gaza. I didn’t just see things. I did things. Things that haunt me every single day of my life. . . . After I got back, living undercover was the only way that I could cope… with what I did… with myself. So I made myself a lie. . . I’d understand if you hate me.”
In Episode 7, there is another reference to Simon being involved in something wrong in Gaza, at the very moment that Simon’s roommate praises Simon for attempting to save the class by disarming a bomb:
Elias Harper: “Whatever hangups you have about what happened in Gaza, you’re a man, who saves everyone. . .”
In Episode 9, the Hasidic bomb-maker Oren, falsely equates Israel to Gaza, treating the terrorists in Gaza that cause the entire conflict by constantly lobbing rockets at innocent Israelis – as equal to their Israeli victims, as follows:
Oren, the Hasidic Bomb maker: (in Hebrew): “The world turns its back on Israel and Gaza.”
Episode 10 contains the vicious Israeli “war criminal” in Gaza accusations; Simon’s tearful (absurd) “confession” about luring married Gazan women to Israeli interrogations that harmed the women; and Nimah’s uncontradicted statement that what Simon did in Gaza was “just as wrong” as what Hamas does – all detailed in part 1 of this article (above).
Thus, Quantico’s episodes repeatedly, outrageously, falsely portray the Israeli Defense Forces as engaged in wrongdoing. This is outrageous – when the fact is that the American military goes to Israel to learn from the IDF the IDF’s extraordinary methods of avoiding civilian casualties while defending Israel from Hamas’s terror attacks.
- “Quantico” Falsely Downplays Islamist Threats; “Humanizes” Islamist Terrorists; Glorifies an Imam who Defies the FBI; Portrays Muslims as “Victims” of Unfair Discrimination and Violence; and Falsely Blames Allegedly Poor Treatment of Muslims for Muslims Turning to Terrorism:
In the opening sequence of Episode 1, a gas station store attendant refuses to give Muslim FBI recruit Nimah a rest room key, apparently because she is a Muslim, after another (white) patron returns the key. The store attendant tells Nimah: “no key without a purchase.” Nimah then slams down money to buy an American flag keychain (a not-subtle message: “I’m a real American and you discriminate against me because I’m Muslim), grabs the key and proceeds to the rest room.
“Quantico” repeatedly ignores and downplays threat by radical Islamic terrorist groups. The overwhelming majority of the “terrorists” and suspected terrorists in Quantico are Jewish and Christian; there is only one Islamist terrorist cell (which hasn’t done anything yet). This theme starts at the beginning of the entire series. In her introductory remarks to the FBI recruits, the lead FBI trainer states (near the beginning of Episode 1):
Miranda: “The state of this country is the most precarious it has ever been. Not only are there more threats than ever before, but the majority of those threats don’t come from known organizations or extremist groups, but our own backyard… a neighbor you grew up next to, a one-night stand you had, perhaps even a family member.”
In real life, (in addition to the slew of other terrorist attacks perpetrated in the U.S. by radical Islamists – San Bernadino, Chatanooga, the Boston Marathon – to name just a few), Islamic terrorists are right in Quantico’s own backyard. In 2009, an Islamist terrorist cell conspired to attack the real Marine base at Quantico, Virginia; the FBI then stopped a plot by family members of one of the cell’s jihadis to murder witnesses of the plot to attack the Quantico base; and in 2014, Islamic State propaganda material was found right in the town of Quantico, Va.
In Episode 5, the innocent heroine, FBI recruit Alex Parrish, is given refuge in a mosque, and the Imam helps her escape, and is then shown smiling beatifically. When the FBI arrives at the mosque, the Imam refuses to let the FBI enter, and lectures the FBI about violence and racial profiling of our community, as follows:
FBI Agent Liam O’Connor: “It’s a matter of national security.”
Imam Darr: “Then you should have no trouble obtaining a warrant.”
FBI Agent Liam: “Imam Darr, you’ve always been a friend of the Bureau.”
Imam Darr: “And the rash of violence and racial profiling against our community in the past 24 hours has made me rethink my position.”
Quantico sends a dangerous message when it portrays an imam who thwarts and refuses to assist the FBI as a hero protecting the innocent. In real life, Americans are endangered when imams fail to cooperate with law enforcement (a significant problem) or even actively assist terrorists. Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterintelligence & Terrorism, explained that although the majority of Muslims are hardworking Americans, Muslim leaders have closed their eyes to the recruitment of home-grown terrorists; some imams instruct members not to cooperate with law enforcement; and a Queens imam even jeopardized law enforcement efforts by tipping off al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist Najibullah Zazi that the FBI was watching Zazi. Zazi was plotting to attack the New York City subway system with liquid explosives. The FBI’s former executive assistant director in charge of counterterrorism and national security investigations, Arthur Cummings II, also recently spoke about the widespread problem of imams refusing to provide information about Muslim extremists in their midst.
Quantico Episode 5 also claims that it is easy for the FBI to “frame” and “blame” people who are “brown” and spent time in India and Pakistan and Iran – categories that of course include Muslims, as follows:
Alex: “. . . I spent a decade in India. I traveled to Pakistan. I traveled to Iran. I wanted to find out more about the world, form my own opinions. And along the way, I met people. You can label them as you want, but my experience was my own. 10 of the people I met have since been killed. Three, including Amir, in drone strikes. I’m sure you’re not saying that just because I knew them, I was a terrorist. Hell, I don’t even think they were terrorists. It’s just easy to blame them, like it’s easy to blame me.
Alex: “They framed the brown girl. I’d spent time in India and Pakistan. In this country, I’m an easy person to blame.”
In Episode 10, Hamza, the head of the sole Islamic cell in Quantico, is partially humanized as an “oppressed victim” (even if one of the female Muslim FBI twins disagrees about whether Hamza wants to hurt anyone). Female Muslim FBI trainee (now agent) Raina visits Hamza in the hospital and kisses him. Afterwards, Nimah questions her twin sister Raina as follows:
Nimah: “. . . Are you in love with him [Hamza]?”
Raina: [Sighs] “He’s a lost human being, Nimah. He’s been oppressed all his life, and he’s trying to fight for what he thinks freedom is in the only way he’s ever known. He doesn’t really want to hurt anyone.”
Nimah: “That’s not what I heard him say when I slept with him for our mission. How can you still be so naive?”
Raina: “You wouldn’t understand. You never had faith in anyone.”
Nimah: “You need to come up with a better story for when they interrogate us, okay?”
In Episode 11, Nimah tells the head FBI trainer that “every Arab” was “targeted” after 9/11, and that America’s “unjust treatment” of Muslims was what caused Muslim “acting out” and “made the monster,” as follows:
Nimah: “She [my aunt] just couldn’t get out of this frame of mind [that she was being hunted]. Just like what happened to my people after 9/11. Every Arab man was targeted, questioned, followed, surveilled. They saw us not as humans, but as this hand of a monster that hated America. I saw people in my community act out in ways they never would have if they hadn’t been treated so unjustly. Whatever you imagine people might have done, just don’t lose faith in their humanity, because when you do, that’s when you make the monster.”
At the end of Episode 11, it appears that the white Christian son of an FBI official was ultimately behind the Grand Central plot. In other words, the terrorists are anyone but the Islamists!
- Research: People Accept Lies Seen on TV as Fact
A study by a University of Utah team led by Professor Jakob Jensen, published in the journal Human Communication Research, showed that nuggets of misinformation embedded in a fictional television program seep into our brains and lodge there as perceived facts. Moreover, our belief in these false perceived facts increases over time – long after seeing the television show.
Interestingly, Prof. Jensen’s study concerned another ABC television show that embedded false factual information into the fictional narrative. And a third fictional ABC show is believed to be responsible for the persistent false belief that vaccines caused autism. ABC seems to be expert at this propaganda technique.
Prof. Jensen’s findings are consistent with a 2007 study, which likewise found that the persuasive effects of fictional narratives increase over time. Studies dating back to the 1940s described the “sleeper effect”: we remember information while forgetting that it came from an unreliable source. The article on Prof. Jensen’s study explained: “we may be particularly susceptible to believing falsehoods originally conveyed to us through fiction, perhaps because the context — the TV episode or short story in question — is more likely to fall from our minds.”
Perhaps the tendency to believe information embedded in fiction is why anti-Semitic works of fiction – Marlowe’s play “The Jew of Malta” in the 1590s– which falsely depicted Jews poisoning wells; Shakespeare’s Shylock; the Nazis’ anti-Semitic films – fomented so many tragic attacks on innocent Jews.
Millions of people are seeing Quantico’s defamatory embedded falsehoods. Episode 1 had over 7 million immediate viewers, and 11 million total viewers including the first several days of video on demand (“VOD”). More recent episodes had over 4 million viewers and over 7 million viewers including the first several days of VOD. New Quantico episodes are scheduled to begin in early March.
Another problem with falsehoods embedded in a TV series is that people usually “tune in” only for some of the episodes – and thus a correction in a later episode may never be seen by someone who saw the earlier false information. Nonetheless, ZOA again urges ABC and Quantico’s produces to make serious changes to correct the false information purveyed about Israel, the IDF and Jews in Quantico.
- What Readers Can Do:
We urge readers to contact the following to complain about Quantico. (Please send email@example.com copies of your communications.):
Ms. Channing Dungey
President, ABC Entertainment Group
(818) 560-1000; direct: 818 460-7030
Ms. Hope Hartman
Senior VP, Communications, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment
Direct: 818 460-6360
Mr. Mark Mazie, Esq.
Chief Counsel, Disney-ABC Media Networks
500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521
tel: (818) 460-5767
Karl T. Nilsson
Executive Publicity Director – Disney/ABC Television Group
Tel: (212) 456-7955
ABC Audience comments line:
Creator and Executive Producer: Joshua Safran: Twitter: @Anthologist
Other Executive Producers:
Mark Gordon, The Mark Gordon Company
12200 W. Olympic Blvd., Ste 250, Los Angeles, CA 90064
tel: 310-943-6401; fax: 310-943-6402
- Mac Brown
Merrill H. Karpf
Robert D. Simon
Yair Ben-Dor (plays the Jewish bomb, maker, Oren) – Twitter: @yairbendor
Tate Ellington (plays Simon Asher) – Twitter: @tate_ellington
If anyone is attacked by someone incited by “Quantico,” please contact ZOA’s attorneys (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss potential legal remedies against ABC and Quantico’s producers.