To start our review of how the world’s conspiracy theories crazy crowd is lumping together Israel with every evil, real and imagined, let’s begin with the following headline, in a website called Veterans Today: “BREAKING! Same Israeli photo-propagandist pre-positioned in Nice AND NOW MUNICH.” And the story (one line, really) goes: “Mossad photographer Richard Gutjahr was pre-positioned in both Nice AND Munich! Talk about chutzpah.”
Richard Gutjahr, 43, is a German TV moderator, journalist and blogger. On July 14, 2016, Gutjahr was present at the truck ramming attack in Nice, which he reported on Twitter and on German media.
Gutjahr is married to former Israeli MK Einat Wilf. They have two children. That explains the “Israeli photo-propagandist” part. Gutjahr is not himself Israeli, but his wife is. Wilf is equally connected to the Labor party (served as consultant to Shimon Peres) and Likud (writes columns for Yisrael Hayom).
Now it gets complicated: after shooting the truck massacre in Nice more than two weeks ago, journalist Richard Gutjahr was also present during the police operation at the Olmypia shopping center in Munich and tweeted pictures from the incident. Gutjahr shared one picture of a group of armed police at the mall entrance, and another of armed officers crouching behind a wall.
Then he tweeted: “I made mistakes today. Could not believe that I once again ended up in such a situation. The images are now gone. #OEZ” The hashtag stands for Olympia-Einkaufszentrum, the mall where the attack took place.
What are the chances that the same journalist, who lives and works in Europe, would be present during two separate terrorist attacks within two weeks? Gutjahr himself appears stunned by this coincidence, as his tweet attests. He lost the images he had shot, admittedly that’s suspicious, but could also be explained so many reasonable different ways.
Enter former Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, whose Saturday night Tweet linked Israel to the two acts of terrorism: “Same Israeli photographer captures Nice and Munich tragedies,” McKinney tweeted, pointing to the Veterans Today page, and asking, “How likely is that? Remember the Dancing Israelis?”
The “dancing Israelis” is a reference to a real rabbit hall drop, a September 11, 2001 story about a moving van with five young Israeli tourists which was stopped by NJ police in a Jersey City parking lot for what could best described as inappropriate behavior. The men were eventually detained and interrogated by the FBI. The FBI report about the incident remains classified until 2035. In the conspiracy theory universe, those five Israelis constitute the proof that Mossad was behind the 9/11 attack. Because, as we know, Mossad agents always dance in open parking lots after taking down major US targets.
Cynthia McKinney is no stranger to Planet Crazy. McKinney was defeated by Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary. Her loss was a rejection by the voters of her support for Arab causes and her suggestion that President Bush knew in advance of the Sept. 11 attacks. Her father, State Rep. Billy McKinney, said on Atlanta TV that his daughter was fighting for her political life because the “Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-e-w-s.”
On March 29, 2006, Cynthia McKinney struck a Capitol Hill Police officer for stopping her to ask for identification. In 2007 she left the Democratic Party. She ran for President as the Green Party candidate in 2008 and received 0.12% of the vote.
As to Richard Gutjahr, the video McKinney linked to claims: “The fact that this guy happened to be at both [terrorist attacks], there’s no way it’s a coincidence.” Add to that Gutjahr’s Israeli wife, who served in the IDF Intelligence unit, and the video concludes that “it’s 100 percent clear that Israel’s fingerprints are all over these events.”
The sad fact is that in many communities and many countries, you don’t need more than the above conspiracy silliness to convict, and attempts to explain that while it’s unusual for a German journalist to be present in two terror attacks, it’s far from impossible, or that being married to an Israeli does not make one a Mossad agent—immediately dub the explainer an agent of the same conspiracy. Because when one denies there is a conspiracy, isn’t that exactly what someone behind the conspiracy would say?