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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 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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August 21, 2012

“Free Palestine! End ZioNazi Apartheid!”: A Snapshot of Al Quds Day 2012

Al Quds Day is commemorated annually with mass rallies and speeches on the last Friday of Ramadan. It has traditionally been marked by hostile rhetoric towards the state of Israel, including blatant anti-Semitism.

Al Quds Day Protest in LA

This year, for example, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described Israel as an “insult to all of humankind” and called for Israel’s destruction. Secretary-General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah similarly threatened that Hezbollah has the power to “transform the lives of millions of Zionists in Israel to a real hell.”

While the largest Al Quds Day events generally take place in the Middle East, protests are also held in cities across the United States. The protests, which took place last Friday in a dozen U.S. cities, were rife with extreme language, including signs that compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust.

In New York, L.A. and Houston, large banners reading “Stop Palestinian Genocide” were on display, as well as other signs that read, “Israel is a Cancer,” “Down with Zionism,” Holocaust in Palestine” and “Gaza=Auschwitz.” A woman in New York held a sign that said, “Free Palestine! End ZioNazi Apartheid! No $$ to ‘Israel!’ Boycott ‘Israel’.”

Speakers at several rallies also used fanatical rhetoric to denounce Israel. Rabbi Dovid Feldman of Neturei Karta called for the “dismantlement of the entire State of Israel” during an address at the Los Angeles protest. Another Neturei Karta speaker, this one at the New York rally held in Times Square, led the audience in chants of “Judaism, Yes, Zionism, No, the State of Israel must go” and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.” In a media interview, an organizer of the Houston protest pledged to continue to “commemorate” Al Quds Day, saying, “This demand for justice will take place every year until Palestine will be free from Zionist hands!”

NYC Al Quds Day Flyer

A second speaker at the event in New York, ANSWER activist Sara Flounders, expressed implicit support for Hezbollah when she addressed the crowd, saying “We stand with the resistance in Lebanon today.” Flounders, who also declared solidarity with the regimes in Iran and Syria, has previously participated in conferences in Beirut attended by representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah. At one such conference in January 2009, Flounders said, “We need to militantly support Hamas…We need to make it clear that we support the right to resist, the right to fire rockets.”

Many of the protests also featured imagery and messaging designed to further fan the flames of the conflict and paint Israel as a violent oppressor. At the rally in Los Angeles, for example, several children held signs that read, “Israel is killing children like me.”

The Iranian-owned television station Press TV reported on the Al Quds Day protest that took place in Washington, D.C. and interviewed one of the speakers at the event. The speaker, Imam Abdul Alim Musa (an anti-Semitic extremist who founded the Sabiqun movement) called for Israel’s defeat and described Gaza as the “biggest open-air prison.”

Al Quds Day, which refers to the Arabic term for Jerusalem, was initiated in 1979 in Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini.

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