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June 23, 2015 0

Egyptian TV Series “Jewish Quarter” Defines A Good Jew

The first episodes of “Haret El Yahood” [The Jew­ish Quar­ter], a new Egypt­ian TV series that started air­ing last week on many satel­lite chan­nels in the Arab world, rein­force com­mon anti-Semitic nar­ra­tives despite some expec­ta­tions that it would depart from the usual anti-Semitic canards typ­i­cally found in Arab media.haret-el-yahood

The show, which presents the Jew­ish com­mu­nity in Egypt in the 40s through a love story between a Jew­ish girl and a Mus­lim Egypt­ian army offi­cer, attempts to present the dif­fer­ence between “good” Jews and “bad” Jews; the good Jews are the ones who are loyal to Egypt and sup­port its war against Israel while Zion­ist Jews, who are loyal to Israel, are depicted as wicked, liars, evil and try­ing to betray Egypt. Mid­hat Al-adl, who wrote the script for the show, told Al Jazeera that the show “con­demns Israeli Zion­ism and racism.”

The first scene of the first episode fea­tures an Egypt­ian fam­ily run­ning to seek shel­ter inside the Jew­ish syn­a­gogue in Cairo dur­ing an Israeli air strike. A con­ver­sa­tion between the father of the fam­ily and a young neigh­bor­hood girl sets the tone for the rest of the show. The Jew­ish man by the name of Aaron says, “More airstrikes and more of turn off the lights, we were relieved Hitler was gone and his days were over.” The girl then responds, “The prob­lem is, uncle Aaron, the same ones whom Hitler killed and expelled are the ones killing and uproot­ing the Palestinians.”

The show’s main char­ac­ter, a Jew­ish girl by the name of Layla, falls in love with a Mus­lim Egypt­ian army offi­cer who is fight­ing in the war against Israel. Layla is fea­tured as an exam­ple of a good Jew who stands against Israel unlike her brother, Moses, who is depicted as an ardent Zion­ist con­spir­ing against his coun­try and family.

The show also appears to prop­a­gate the con­spir­acy the­ory that Zion­ist Jews were allied with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Move­ment in Egypt since 1948. A scene in the first episode shows a Jew­ish man instruct­ing a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader at one of their camps. Sub­se­quent episodes sug­gest that events lead­ing to the mas­sive immi­gra­tion of Jews from Egypt to Israel were part of a Zionist-Muslim Broth­er­hood con­spir­acy. For exam­ple, an explo­sion planned by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood at the Jew­ish quar­ter is por­trayed as ben­e­fit­ing Zion­ist Jews because it trig­gered fear among Egypt­ian Jews and com­pelled them to con­sider immi­grat­ing to Israel.

Haret El Yahood, which received huge pub­lic­ity across the Arab world, is cur­rently aired on sev­eral satel­lite TV sta­tions across the Arab World includ­ing CBC, Dubai TV, Dream and MBC. Ramadan with Google, a page ded­i­cated by Google for the holy Mus­lim month of Ramadan, fea­tured the show on its land­ing page.

In the past, ADL exposed attempts to exploit the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadan, a prime time TV sea­son in the Arab world, to air anti-Semitic TV shows.

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May 22, 2014 2

Palestinians Welcome Pope Francis To Bethlehem With Anti-Semitism

On Sun­day, when Pope Fran­cis cel­e­brates mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, he may be con­fronted with bill­boards depict­ing Jesus being attacked by Israeli soldiers.jesus-palestinian-pope-israel

This not-so-subtle mod­ern day ver­sion of the dei­cide is trans­par­ent clas­si­cal anti-Semitism in the guise of crit­i­cism of Israel.  The posters are a prod­uct of The Pales­tin­ian Museum, which announced that at the request of the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity (PA)’s Supreme Pres­i­den­tial Com­mit­tee for Church Affairs, it had pre­pared spe­cial bill­boards to dec­o­rate Manger Square which “com­bine recent media pho­tographs of the Pales­tin­ian land­scape and its peo­ple with West­ern baroque paint­ings of bib­li­cal scenes.”

The posters, some of which depict Jesus suf­fer­ing at the hands of Israeli sol­diers, will high­light “the ten­sion between the pop­u­lar image of the Holy Land and Palestine’s ongo­ing his­tory of suf­fer­ing under occu­pa­tion and oppres­sion,”  accord­ing to the Museum.

Pales­tin­ian efforts to present them­selves as the direct descen­dants of Jesus are noth­ing new.  Nor is the manip­u­la­tive and anti-Semitic com­par­i­son of Pales­tin­ian suf­fer­ing at the hands of Jews just as they claim Jews were respon­si­ble for suf­fer­ing and death of Jesus.

The mes­sage care­fully cho­sen by an offi­cial Pales­tin­ian body to pub­licly wel­come Pope Fran­cis demon­strates how deeply inter­min­gled anti-Jewish and anti-Israel atti­tudes are in the Pales­tin­ian pub­lic sphere.

At the weekly meet­ing of Israel’s cab­i­net, Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu decried Pales­tin­ian incite­ment, cit­ing the ADL Global 100 Sur­vey find­ings about the high level of anti-Semitic atti­tudes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

While the PA reg­u­larly com­plains that incite­ment is an Israeli-manufactured excuse, there is no deny­ing that extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic mes­sag­ing appears rou­tinely in offi­cial Pales­tin­ian pub­li­ca­tions and institutions.

Ear­lier this week, the May 21st edi­tion of the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, fea­tured an op-ed by one of its fre­quent writ­ers, Yahya Rabah, enti­tled “No One Believes Shy­lock,” fea­tur­ing the denial of the Jew­ish con­nec­tion to the Land of Israel, com­par­isons of Israel to the Nazis and other out­rages.   Rabah writes:

“… Israel lives on a broad and exten­sive sys­tem of laws from the British Man­date, on illu­sion­ary Torah maps, as well as on hal­lu­ci­na­tions from the Baby­lon­ian cap­tiv­ity or from the Roman, the exis­tence of nei­ther has no sin­gle evi­dence. (It also lives) on prac­tices bor­rowed from the Nazis, cur­rently imi­tated by the Israelis against the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple, as clearly estab­lished by a num­ber of intel­lec­tu­als, authors and his­to­ri­ans in Israel these days.”

The issue of Pales­tin­ian incite­ment, and the PA’s chronic fail­ure to pre­pare the Pales­tin­ian pub­lic for peace with Israel was on ongo­ing con­cern cited by Israeli offi­cials dur­ing the recent cycle of US-brokered peace nego­ti­a­tions.

And with these egre­gious exam­ples appear­ing almost-daily, it is cer­tain to con­tinue to alarm all those com­mit­ted to true Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.

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May 22, 2014 0

Coverage Of The ADL Global 100 Poll In The Arab Media

The newly released ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism yielded a large amount of data regard­ing dis­turbingly high lev­els of anti-Semitic atti­tudes across the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA). The high­est num­bers in MENA were found in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at 93%, while Iran ranked low­est, with 56% of the pop­u­la­tion hold­ing anti-Semitic attitudes.adl-global100

The ADL sur­vey gen­er­ated wide­spread cov­er­age in local and regional Ara­bic lan­guage press, both in print and online news items and opin­ion pieces. The focus was almost entirely on the poll’s MENA results, and while most arti­cles only reported the fac­tual data, a small num­ber did include crit­i­cism of the poll’s findings. 

The fol­low­ing are exam­ples of the Arab media’s cov­er­age of the poll:

Con­flat­ing Israelis with Jews:

Refer­ring to the poll as indica­tive of atti­tudes towards “Israelis” rather than “Jews,” the fol­low­ing head­line appeared on the Egypt­ian news web­site Veto­gate: “Pub­lic Opin­ion Poll: 26% of the World’s Pop­u­la­tion Hate Israel.”

Arab schol­ars present their own analyses:

  1. Pro­fes­sor Ali S. Asani of Har­vard Uni­ver­sity was quoted in the Jor­dan­ian Al-Arab al-Yawm say­ing that the results demon­strat­ing high lev­els of anti-Semitism among Arabs and low lev­els among West­ern Euro­peans rep­re­sent a his­toric role rever­sal. Europe was tra­di­tion­ally a hos­tile place for Jews, while Arab and Mus­lim coun­tries were gen­er­ally con­sid­ered secure.
  2. Hus­sein Ibish, a Senior Fel­low at the Amer­i­can Task Force on Pales­tine based in Wash­ing­ton, DC, argued that the West Bank and Gaza results were skewed due to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict. He was quoted in an arti­cle pub­lished the Dubai–based Al-Arabiyaweb­site: “The worst results are among the Pales­tini­ans. They answered the ques­tions related to the Jew­ish power and con­trol through (the prism of) their expe­ri­ence of occu­pa­tion. This is, for exam­ple, dif­fer­ent from ask­ing the Amer­i­can pub­lic such ques­tions. The Pales­tini­ans don’t see the Jews only as an eth­nic or reli­gious group, but see them through their expe­ri­ence with the occu­pa­tion army.”

Iden­ti­fy­ing ADL as an Israeli organization:

Instead of refer­ring to ADL as a Jewish-American orga­ni­za­tion, a small num­ber of Ara­bic news out­lets, includ­ing the Yemenite Nash­wan news­pa­per, stated that the poll was con­ducted by an Israeli orga­ni­za­tion.

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