05-01-08, 08:34 PM #1
Antisemitism in the Arab world
Antisemitism in the Arab world, in the modern meaning of the term, is believed to have developed since the 19th century. Jews, like other minority groups within the Muslim world, were subject to various of restriction and discrimination long before that.
Arab antisemitism has increased throughout the 20th century, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the influence of classical European antisemitism, and the rise of Arab nationalism. In addition, there is resentment of the State of Israel and support for the Palestinian cause.
For most of the past fourteen hundred years, writes Bernard Lewis, Arabs have not been antisemitic as the word is used in the West. In his view this is because, for the most part, Arabs are not Christians brought up in stories of Jewish deicide. In Islam, such stories are rejected by the Qur'an as a blasphemous absurdity. Since Muslims do not consider themselves as the "true Israel", they do not feel threatened by the survival of Jews. Because Islam did not retain the Old Testament, no clash of interpretations between the two faiths can therefore arise. There is no Muslim theological dispute between their religious institutions and the Jews.
Antisemitism in the Arab world increased greatly in modern times, due to many reasons: the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; European influence, brought about by Western imperialism and Christian Arabs; and the rise of Arab nationalism. In addition, there was resentment of disproportionate influence Jews had gained under colonialism, and of the Zionist movement.
While there were antisemitic incidents in the early twentieth century, antisemitism has certainly been heightened by the Arab-Israeli conflict. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Palestinian exodus, the creation of the state of Israel, Israeli victories during the wars of 1956 and 1967 served a severe shock to the Arabs. The readiness of Arab regimes to scapegoat Jews for political purposes deteriorated the situation of the Jews and almost all emigrated (some voluntarily, others under threat). By the 1980s, according to Bernard Lewis, the volume of antisemitic literature published in the Arab world, and the authority of its sponsors, seemed to suggest classical antisemitism to be an essential part of Arab intellectual life, considerably more than in late nineteenth and early twentieth century France, and almost as much in Nazi Germany.
A Saudi government website initially stated that Jews would not be granted tourist visas to enter the country. It has since removed this statement, and apologized for posting "erroneous information". Members of religions other than Islam, including Jews, are not permitted to practice their religion publicly in Saudi Arabia; according to the U.S. State Department, religious freedom "does not exist" in Saudi Arabia. Islam is the official religion of Saudi Arabia, and the tenets of that religion are enforced by law.
Saudi Arabian media often attacks Jews in books, news articles, at their Mosques and with what some describe as antisemitic satire. Saudi Arabian government officials and state religious leaders often promote the idea that "the Jews" are conspiring to take over the entire world; as proof of their claims they publish and frequently cite The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as factual.
One Saudi Arabian government newspaper suggested that hatred of all Jews is justifiable. "Why are they (the Jews) hated by all the people which hosted them, such as Iraq and Egypt thousands years ago, and Germany, Spain, France and the UK, up to the days they gained of power over the capital and the press, in order to rewrite the history?"
Saudi textbooks vilify Jews (and Christians and non-Wahabi Muslims): according to the May 21, 2006 issue of The Washington Post, Saudi textbooks claimed by them to have been sanitized of anti-Semitism still call Jews apes (and Christians swine); demand that students avoid and not befriend Jews; claim that Jews worship the devil; and encourage Muslims to engage in Jihad to vanquish Jews.
Many Arab newspapers, such as Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, the Palestinian Authority's official newspaper, often write that "the Jews" control all the world's governments, and that "the Jews" plan genocide on all the Arabs in the West Bank. Others write less sensational stories, and state that Jews have too much of an influence in the US government. Often the leaders of other nations are said to be controlled by Jews.
Articles in many official Arab government newspapers (notably those of the Palestinian Authority, Libya, and Saudi Arabia) claim that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, reflects actual facts, and thus points to an international Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.
"Netanyahu's Plan completely matches the foundations of the greater Zionist plan which is organized according to specific stages that were determined when the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was composed and when Herzl along with Weizmann traveled around the world in order to determine the appropriate location for the implementation of this conspiracy," (official Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, November 30, 1997)
"The Jews seek to conquer the world...We must expose the Zionist-Colonialist plot and its goals, which destroy not only our people but the entire world" (PA Minister of Agriculture, Abdel Jawad Saleh, quoted in Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, November 6, 1997)
The Egyptian government run newspaper, Al-Akhbar, on 29 April 2002, published an editorial denying the Holocaust as a fraud. The next paragraph decries the failure of the Holocaust to eliminate all of the Jews:
With regard to the fraud of the Holocaust… Many French studies have proven that this is no more than a fabrication, a lie, and a fraud!! That is, it is a 'scenario' the plot of which was carefully tailored, using several faked photos completely unconnected to the truth. Yes, it is a film, no more and no less. Hitler himself, whom they accuse of Nazism, is in my eyes no more than a modest 'pupil' in the world of murder and bloodshed. He is completely innocent of the charge of frying them in the hell of his false Holocaust!! The entire matter, as many French and British scientists and researchers have proven, is nothing more than a huge Israeli plot aimed at extorting the German government in particular and the European countries in general. But I, personally and in light of this imaginary tale, complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart, 'If only you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened, so that the world could sigh in relief [without] their evil and sin.'
Cartoons appearing in the daily Al-Wafd in 2003 depict Jews as Satanic figures and with hooked noses and equates them with Nazis. Mohammed Salmawy, editor of the state-owned Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Hebdo, "defended the use of old European myths like the blood libel" in his newspapers.
Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV channel
Jewish groups and European observers allege that Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV channel frequently airs antisemitic broadcasts, blaming the Jews for a Zionist conspiracy against the Arab world, and often airing excerpts from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which the Encyclopædia Britannica describes as a "fraudulent document that served as a pretext and rationale for anti-Semitism in the early 20th century."
Al-Manar recently aired a drama series, called The Diaspora, which observers allege is based on historical anti-Semitic allegations. BBC reporters who watched the series said that:
Correspondents who have viewed The Diaspora note that it quotes extensively from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious 19th century publication used by the Nazis among others to fuel race hatred.
In another incident, an Al-Manar commentator recently referred to "Zionist attempts to transmit AIDS to Arab countries". Al-Manar officials deny broadcasting anti-Semitic incitement and state that their position is anti-Israeli, not anti-Semitic.
Due to protests by the CRIF umbrella group of French Jews regarding allegations of anti-Semitic content, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin called for a ban on Al-Manar broadcasting in France on December 2, 2004; just two weeks after al-Manar was authorised to continue broadcasting in Europe by France's media watchdog agency.
On December 13, 2004, France's highest administrative court banned Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV station on the grounds that it consistently incites racial hatred and antisemitism.
"Horseman Without a Horse"
In 2001-2002, Arab Radio and Television produced a 30-part television miniseries entitled "Horseman Without a Horse", a which contains dramatizations of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The United States and Israel criticized Egypt for airing the program, which includes racist falsehoods that have a history of being used "as a pretext for persecuting Jews." The program was broadcasted during Ramadan.
05-01-08, 10:48 PM #2
In other news, Scientists have just discovered that the Sky is Blue!
05-01-08, 10:50 PM #3
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