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August 1, 2012 3

Anti-Semitism Pervasive in Ramadan Television Programs

Dur­ing Ramadan, the Mus­lim holy month observed by fast­ing and prayer, many satel­lite chan­nels in the Arab world broad­cast spe­cial pro­grams for the occa­sion that are rife with anti-Semitism and harsh anti-Israel expres­sions. These series are gen­er­ally very pop­u­lar and receive broader view­er­ship than pro­grams aired through­out the rest of the year.

Here are some exam­ples taken from the more pop­u­lar shows that have aired since the start of Ramadan this year:

Firqat Naji Attalah

The bank rob­bers dis­guise them­selves by dress­ing as Hasidic Jews.

This nightly series is widely aired through­out the Mid­dle East and depicts Israelis in clas­sic anti-Semitic fash­ion. A Mid­dle East broad­cast net­work, MBC, pro­moted the show say­ing it will “sur­prise the audi­ence with the sweet­est jokes about the ‘cheap Jew.’”

The show revolves around the char­ac­ter of Naji Atta­lah, a diplo­mat work­ing in the Egypt­ian embassy in Tel Aviv who decides to take revenge on Israel by rob­bing an Israeli bank. A scene in the first episode por­trayed an Israeli bank man­ager speak­ing Ara­bic with an Iraqi-Jewish accent. He offers Naji Atta­lah a cup of cof­fee that con­tains lit­tle cof­fee and no sugar. He then attempts to cheat Atta­lah while count­ing his money, an attempt to por­tray an image of the fru­gal and cheat­ing Jew.

The staff at the Egypt­ian embassy is por­trayed as unhappy about deal­ing with Jews. While they rec­og­nize that they are required to deal with Israelis as part of their job, they are por­trayed as being hate­ful towards them.  In one scene, a dri­ver for the Egypt­ian embassy exclaims, “When Hamas or Hezbol­lah launch a mis­sile on them [Israelis], one’s heart jumps out of joy.”

The main char­ac­ter is played by famous Egypt­ian actor Adil Imam, whose per­for­mance has been hailed as an amus­ing mock­ery of Jews’ alleged frugality.

Ashab il-Sabt

This bi-weekly show is aired by Ar-Rahma, a Salafist chan­nel based in Egypt that fea­tures an anti-Semitic pro­fes­sor at Tanta Uni­ver­sity in Egypt. The pro­fes­sor, Dr. Mohammed Jalal Idris, allegedly a spe­cial­ist in Hebrew lit­er­a­ture, uses the show as a podium to prop­a­gate the con­spir­acy the­o­ries espoused in the “Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion” and other hate­ful the­o­ries about Judaism.

The pro­gram fea­tures live call-ins from view­ers who ask Idris about Jews and Judaism. In one instance Idris was asked if he knows of a Jew­ish plan to con­trol the Mus­lim holy city of Mad­ina. He responded that Israel has sub­mit­ted a request to Saudi Ara­bia for com­pen­sa­tions worth mil­lions of dol­lars on behalf of the Jews who lived in Mad­ina 1400 years ago. Idris then added, “Egypt should request com­pen­sa­tions from Israel for the gold the Jews stole from Egypt,” refer­ring to the Exo­dus story in the Bible.

Il Hukm Ba’d il Muzawla

This Can­did Camera-style show, which airs on the Egypt-based An–Nahar TV, pro­vokes irra­tional and bla­tantly anti-Semitic reac­tions from its guests. In one episode, for exam­ple, a pop­u­lar Egypt­ian pub­lic fig­ure was informed that he was being inter­viewed by a French chan­nel. The inter­viewer pre­tended that she was an under­cover Israeli, grad­u­ally slip­ping into an Israeli accent and ask­ing polit­i­cal ques­tions related to Israel. The inter­vie­wee became con­vinced that he had been set up and attacked the pro­ducer, shout­ing “son of a dirty Jew­ish mother.” Other guests also have bru­tally beaten the staff when led to believe they were Jews.

Al-Ghalibun

The Hezbol­lah TV chan­nel, al Manar, is broad­cast­ing a new sea­son of last year’s suc­cess­ful series – “The Vic­to­ri­ous.” The series tells the story of the Israeli inva­sion of South Lebanon and the suf­fer­ing of the Lebanese peo­ple. The nar­ra­tive is extremely anti-Israel and reg­u­larly por­trays Israeli com­man­ders as con­spir­ing against the Lebanese lead­er­ship and peo­ple. In one of the scenes, an Israeli com­man­der says to his col­league: “This is the hap­pi­est day — as we ‘fin­ished’ with our ene­mies in Sabra and Shatila.”

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July 27, 2012 1

Hezbollah on Your iPhone: There’s An App for That

Update: The Alma­nartv appli­ca­tion was removed from Apple’s iTunes over the week­end. It was later removed from Google Play for Android.

In the lat­est exam­ple of ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions exploit­ing cur­rent tech­nol­ogy to spread their vio­lent mes­sages, an appli­ca­tion was made avail­able on Wednes­day through Apple’s iTunes ser­vice pro­vid­ing mobile access to con­tent from Hezbollah’s satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, al-Manar.

The new free appli­ca­tion, adver­tised on air by al Manar, directs users to var­i­ous sta­tion con­tent, includ­ing speeches by Hezbol­lah leader, Has­san Nas­ral­lah. Al-Manar broad­casts the ter­ror­ist group’s mes­sages of hate and vio­lence, dis­sem­i­nates anti-Semitic and anti-American pro­pa­ganda and glo­ri­fies sui­cide bomb­ings to mil­lions of view­ers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hezbol­lah is a U.S. des­ig­nated For­eign Ter­ror­ist Orga­ni­za­tion, and al-Manar was listed as a “Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist” by the Depart­ment of the Trea­sury in 2006.Al-Manar has a pres­ence on other inter­net plat­forms as well, includ­ing a Twit­ter account with over 17,000 fol­low­ers and 51,000 messages.

Other ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions use the microblog­ging ser­vice, includ­ing Al Shabaab, a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion in Soma­lia which for­mally merged with Al Qaeda ear­lier this year. There are also numer­ous ter­ror­ist sup­port pages on Face­book and other social media platforms.

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March 28, 2012 1

American “Global March to Jerusalem” Activist Interviewed by Hezbollah

Dur­ing an inter­view last week with Hezbollah’s satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion Al-Manar, Sarah Ann Marusek, an Amer­i­can orga­nizer of the upcom­ing “Global March to Jerusalem” (GMJ), dis­cussed the goals of the campaign.    
Marusek told Al-Manar that her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the GMJ is intended to “not only to pro­voke the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment, but to pro­voke those Amer­i­cans who claim to sup­port the Pales­tini­ans while at the same time sup­port a solu­tion that elim­i­nates the right of refugees to return.”
Marusek added, “Deci­sion mak­ers in the U.S. are liv­ing in fear because of the Zion­ist lobby; if they made a deci­sion that sup­ports the Pales­tini­ans, they will be con­demned and lose their jobs and the sup­port they have.”
The inter­view with Al-Manar fol­lowed a press con­fer­ence at the Jour­nal­ists Union in Beirut, Lebanon, which was attended by var­i­ous Pales­tin­ian mil­i­tant fac­tions in Lebanon. Has­san Zaidan, head of the Com­mit­tee to Sup­port the Resis­tance in Pales­tine, a group closely asso­ci­ated with Hezbol­lah, spoke before Marusek, stat­ing that “to count on West­ern and Amer­i­can inten­tions in order to free Jerusalem and achieve the return of refugees is pathetic.”  
Marusek is cur­rently a PhD can­di­date Syra­cuse Uni­ver­sity and a polit­i­cal ana­lyst for Iran’s English-language pro­pa­ganda tele­vi­sion sta­tion Press TV. She main­tains a web­site that offers Eng­lish trans­la­tion of Has­san Nas­ral­lah speeches.
Marusek also works with the Right to Return Com­mit­tee in Lebanon, which co-organized a July 2011 rally with Hezbol­lah in Mar Ilias refugee camp in Lebanon to honor wounded Pales­tini­ans who par­tic­i­pated in the May 2011 “Nakba day” march. The march was orga­nized in part on social net­work­ing sites call­ing for a “Third Pales­tin­ian Intifada,” or vio­lent upris­ing against the State of Israel.

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