Following a call by former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal for global protests on October 13 in solidarity with Palestinians, a video surfaced on social media that showed a woman graffitiing the word “Mossad”, the name of the Israeli intelligence unit, leading to claims that Jewish shops in Moscow are being marked for a potential pogrom.
A Twitter user shared the video and wrote, “In Moscow, Jewish shops are marked, in preparation for a possible pogrom tomorrow, and this, of course, reminds of other times. Hamas called to attack Jews and Jewish businesses all over the world tomorrow.”
India Today found that the viral video is at least four years old and unrelated to the recent Hamas-Israeli conflict.
A reverse search of keyframes from the viral video led us to a four-year-old post on the Russian social media platform VKontakte, with the caption “Israeli intelligence failure”. The same video appeared in another post on the website from July 16, 2019 that suggested that an elderly lady had painted it on the walls in the neighbourhood. Uploads of the video from the past were found across several websites.
We geolocated the video and found that it was shot outside the B&BBurger outlet in Moscow.
Around the same time in July 2019, the same woman on painted at least one more graffiti. We identified the place to be a wall of the State Public Historical Library of Russia in Moscow.
Though the woman’s intentions for the graffiti remain unclear, social media users suggested the proximity of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s office and a synagogue might have influenced her actions.
The fact that the location includes a public infrastructure dismisses viral claims that the woman was marking Jewish businesses for an impending attack. And regardless, this video being four years old makes it clear that it has nothing to do with the present Israel-Hamas conflict.