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July 9, 2013

Khaiber: The Anti-Semitism Behind The Scenes

As the date for its premiere approaches, various people associated with “Khaiber,” a multimillion dollar project that dramatizes the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th cen­tury, have made virulently anti-Semitic comments that reflect the show’s deeply hostile themes.khaiber-scene-jews

Ahmed Maher, one of the Egyptian actors in Khaiber, appeared in a recent video clip posted on the ElbaladNews YouTube channel saying, “Through the events of the show, we will discover how this category of humans [the Jews] represents one of the ugliest groups that appeared in history. This is not strange, we see it in Palestine today.”

He added, “They are a people with no morals and cannot be trusted. They are the ones who fought God Almighty, they are the killers of the prophets, they are the ones who falsify and alter [holy texts], they are the ones who antagonized Jesus Christ and tortured him.”

In an interview earlier this month, Mohsin Al-Ali, the show’s producer, claimed that it is merely based on an event in history. In response to a question about anti-Semitism in the show, Ali asked, “Why didn’t Arabs or Muslims question…American movies that defame the image of an Arab and a Muslim? Why didn’t anyone ban them from making films that defame the Messenger Mohammed?”

The show’s writer also made deeply anti-Semitic remarks several months ago, claiming in a media interview that the goal of the show is to “expose the naked truth about the Jews and stress that they can­not be trusted.” The writer, Yusri Al-Jindy, has continued to espouse anti-Semitic views during various Arab media interviews to promote the show.

Numerous television stations in the Arab world plan to air the show during the month of Ramadan, including Dubai TV, Algerian 3, Dream TV, a satellite station based in Egypt, and other TV stations across the Arab world.

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June 19, 2013

Where Calling Someone A Jew Or An Israeli Is The Ultimate Insult

nasrallah-billboard-jew-lebanon-hezbollah

Nasrallah billboard in Tripoli, Lebanon

A billboard in the streets of Tripoli, Lebanon, insulting Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah demonstrates how even an enemy of the Jewish people like Nasrallah is subject to attack by his enemies as being a tool of the Jews.

The billboard, apparently placed last week in response to Hezbollah’s support of the Syrian government’s ongoing fight with Sunni rebels, shows Nasrallah with the Star of David on his turban, blood around his mouth and wearing a black eye patch, an apparent reference to the iconic image of Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan. The script below the image said “Your mask fell off, oh you murderer of children and women.”

The billboard is a reflection of a larger schism within the Muslim world between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. Both sides are invoking accusations of being a Jew or Israeli against the other as the ultimate insult.

Tripoli, a city with a majority of Sunnis, has experienced escalating sectarian tension in response to Hezbollah’s support for Syrian president Bashar Hafez al-Assad and his troops, which have been fighting Sunni rebels in Syria for over a year.

Images of the Nasrallah billboard have been widely shared on social media by those sympathetic with the Syrian rebels as well. Several Twitter users explicitly accuse Nasrallah of being a Jew, some claiming all Shia Muslims are allied with the Jews. It is a classic example of blurring the the line between anti-Israel and anti-Semitism propaganda.

Last February ADL issued a press release denouncing a similar conspiracy theory in the Middle East, which claimed the Muslim Brotherhood was secretly allied with Jews.

This past month, videos posted on YouTube showed demonstrators in Syrian cities chanting “Shia Shia oh you Jews… The army of Muhammad will return.” The slogan is a takeoff on the anti-Semitic slogan evoking the story of slaying thousands of Jews from the tribe of Khaiber in Arabia 1400 years ago.

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June 18, 2013

Leaked “Khaiber” Episodes Confirm ADL Concern Over Anti-Semitic Themes

The first two episodes of “Khaiber,” a multi-million dol­lar tele­vi­sion series com­mem­o­rat­ing the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th century, have been posted on Youtube. The episodes, which series producers reportedly claim have been leaked, reveal the degree to which classical anti-Semitic narratives are being promoted in the program.

Scheduled to air during Ramadan next month, the episodes depict life prior to the rise of Islam in the Arabian city of Yathrib, where the Jewish tribe of Khaiber lived between the two Arab tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj.

Khaiber Rabbis are portrayed as secretly conspiring to fuel war between the Arabs in order to weaken them. The main character, the Grand Rabbi in Yathrib, Hayi Ben Akhtab, seeks to sow conflict between Arabs to promote the weapon industry, which Jews control, according to the episodes. Another character, a Rabbi by the name of Shas, is depicted as a symbol of Jewish hatred to the Prophet Muhammad.

Other Jews who live in the city are depicted as frugal, greedy and immoral merchants who profit from the Arabs. The one Jewish character that is depicted as a good man awaits the appearance of Muhammad to convert to Islam.

Last February, ADL first reported on the Echo Media Qatar production and on Egyptian author, Yusri al-Jindy, who wrote the script for the mini-series. ADL exposed the troubling history of al-Jindy’s previous work, which propagated anti-Semitism and extreme anti-Israel themes.

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