Sami Zayn’s recent social media activity is coming under scrutiny and criticism from an Israeli media outlet.
In an article titled “Wrestling star’s ‘likes’ of antisemitic posts causes firestorm – but no sanctions from WWE,” Israel Hayom claims that fans have contacted WWE and the TKO group over Zayn’s activity. The publication is also critical of the WWE for not sanctioning Zayn and states they contacted WWE but received but received no response from the company.
“It should be noted that TKO’s board of directors includes several prominent Jewish figures. The TKO Group also owns the UFC, some of whose fighters have spoken out in an antisemitic manner since the October massacre without the company publicly condemning their conduct,” stated the editorial written by “ILH Staff”.
Israel Hayom is an Israeli national Hebrew-language free daily newspaper.
There is speculation that this issue could be why Zayn is temporarily stepping away from the WWE. On Raw this week, Zayn was written off television with a “knee injury” after an attack by Drew McIntyre. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer wrote in the latest issue, “Zayn had asked for time off recently and was granted it.”
In their piece, Israel Hayom accuses Zayn of ‘liking’ various pro-Palestinian posts including a controversial article entitled: “Israel’s final solution for the Palestinians”.
In the controversial blog post on Substack journalist Chris Hedges accuses Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu of “nurturing Jewish extremists”, the Herut Party of being “closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to Nazi and Fascist parties” and that “Jewish fascism” has taken over Israel.
Hedges concludes his opinion piece by stating: “Israelis who cheer on the Palestinian nightmare will soon endure a nightmare of their own.”
Substack is an open blogging and subscription newsletter platform catering to various beliefs across the political spectrum.
This is not the first time Zayn has been criticized for his posts. In 2021, Dexter Van Zile in his editorial “Wrestler Slanders Israel and Supports Terror; WWE, NBC, Fox Refuse to Respond” accused Zayn of “taking to the Internet to condemn Israel, falsely accusing the Jewish state of ethnically cleansing Arabs living in Jerusalem, and seemingly supporting rocket attacks and violence against innocent Israeli civilians.”
This comment was in response to Zayn posting: “There is no viable moral defense for stealing people’s homes based on their ethnicity” followed by the #SaveSheikhJarrah hashtag.
The editorial also highlighted a comment Zayn made about American politician Andrew Yang’s support for Israel.
At the time, Yang wrote: “I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists. The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.”
Zayn wrote in response: “Not the most tasteful statement to make within hours of Israel bombing Gaza and killing 20 Palestinians, 9 of whom were children. But then again I’m not a soulless piece of s–t politician so what do I know?”
Zayn also stated: “Watching politicians & commentators rush to wrap Israeli military aggression in a cloak of victimhood, while omitting the crimes towards the Palestinians is beyond shameful. The hypocrisy in the discourse & the callous indifference towards the Palestinian people is appalling.”
At the time, Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer wrote that pro-Israeli groups and media had contacted WWE, FOX and NBCU about Zayn’s comments and those posts were deleted soon after.
SlamWrestling.net reviewed Zayn’s current social media and during our cursory search we could not find or locate the instances claimed by Israel Hayom.
Zayn, whose real name is Rami Sebei, is Canadian but has always been proud of his Syrian roots. In the past he has supported many humanitarian projects including teaming up with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) Foundation to provide life-saving medical care to conflict-affected populations in northwest Syria. AEW superstar Adam Copeland, formerly Edge in WWE, also supported the cause donating the ring gear he wore in his final WWE match to the charity.
In 2022 #SamiForSyria will be operating not one, but TWO mobile clinics in Syria!!!
This means 2x operating costs, but also 2x the amount of people we are able to help & 2x the medical services provided!
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) December 24, 2021
Earlier this year, Zayn and WWE posted a personal blog by Zayn of his visit to Mecca.
It’s been one week and it’s still hard to believe this happened. Here’s a little vlog commemorating one of the most surreal experiences of my life. pic.twitter.com/jBNGOfDTg3
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) June 1, 2023
The current crisis in the Middle East has shone a spotlight on the social media activity of many high profile personalities. In November, Melissa Barrera was fired from the Scream movie franchise for her social media posts. She has accused Israel of “genocide and ethnic cleansing.”
“Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech,” wrote the Scream franchise production company.
In response, Barrera stated in an Instagram story: “First and foremost I condemn antisemitism and Islamophobia. I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people. As a Latina, a proud Mexicana, I feel the responsibility of having a platform that allows me the privilege of being heard, and therefore I have tried to use it to raise awareness about issues I care about and to lend my voice to those in need. Every person on this earth … deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom. I believe a group of people are NOT their leadership, and that no governing body should be above criticism. I pray day and night for no more deaths, for no more violence, and for peaceful co-existence,” she concluded her statement. “I will continue to speak out for those that need it most and continue to advocate for peace and safety, for human rights and freedom. Silence is not an option for me.”
Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon was also dropped by her talent agency when she attended and spoke at a pro-Palestinian rally.
SlamWrestling.net reached out to the WWE for comment on this story but the company did not respond.
TOP PHOTO: Sami Zayn on WWE television in January 2022. WWE photo