Anti-Semitism and Demonization of Israel
in the Arab Media 

Related ADL Articles:
Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media: 2001 Update
Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media: 1998-1999 Update
Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media: 1997 Report
Anti-Semitism in Palestinian Authority
Anti-Semitism in the Syrian Media
Egyptian Anti-Normalization and Anti-Semitism

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January - February 2000

In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in Holocaust denial and incendiary analogies between Israel and the Nazis in the Arab media. From Syria and Lebanon to the Gulf States, articles and caricatures have denied or diminished the Holocaust and have depicted Israeli leaders as Nazis and Israeli policy as equal to or more brutal than the Third Reich.

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism and demonization of Israel have long been present in the Arab media. Such articles and caricatures appear in newspapers in countries and entities with whom Israel has peaceful relations or who are negotiating partners – Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan – and those countries not engaged in negotiations – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and others. While such manifestations are more prevalent during times of Arab-Israeli crisis, they also appear during periods of calm or progress in the peace process.

The most recent explosion of anti-Jewish anti-Israel depictions have mostly been connected with the escalation of tensions in Lebanon. However, the first salvo was lobbed just before the outbreak of fighting, with the appearance of an article in the official Syrian newspaper Tishreen, that described the Holocaust as a myth propagated by Israel. The article appeared during the breakdown in Israel-Syria negotiations.

Below is a compilation of recent manifestations of anti-Semitism in the Arab media:

  • "Zionism created the Holocaust myth to blackmail and terrorize the world’s intellectuals and politicians. Israel now is dealing with Arabs in occupied Syrian Golan Heights, Palestine and South Lebanon in the same way by burning any chance to realize the just and comprehensive peace that returns rights to their owners . . .Why does Israel insist on bringing up this alleged Holocaust policy? I believe Israel and Zionist organizations have two aims. The first is to receive more money from Germany and other Western establishments on the pretext of compensation for the Holocaust. The second aim is to invest the myth of the Holocaust and accuse anyone opposed to Zionism and its expansionist policies of anti-Semitism."
  • --Tishreen, government-owned Syrian daily, January 31, 2000 (editorial by Editor-in- Chief Mohamed Kheir al-Wadi)

  • "Israel does not want to forget Holocaust stories and all the exaggerations they contain and does not want the whole world to forget."
  • --Al-Madina, Jedda-based, conservative Saudi daily, February 3, 2000

  • "All those who saw Levy on television threatening Lebanon were reminded of the Nazi period."
  • --Al-Baath, government-owned Syrian daily, February 10, 2000

  • "At the same time that Israel is engaged in organizing international conventions to commemorate the Holocaust, the Zionists are trying to gag the world and prevent it from stating the truth on the subject, Israel is itself pursuing a ‘Holocaust Policy’ against Lebanon. I …think there is no greater distortion of facts and history than this."
  • --Tishreen, government-owned Syrian daily, February 21, 2000 (editorial by Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Kheir al-Wadi)

  • A political cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak as Adolph Hitler dressed in a Nazi uniform with a swastika armband. In the background is an Israeli warplane bombing Lebanon, and a caption reading "In Lebanon, Israel is behaving like the Nazis."
  • --Al-Watan, semi-independent Qatari daily, February 21, 2000

  • "Israel has revealed itself as an entity steeped in racism, hate, and state-sponsored terrorism, which has surpassed even the Nazis in its criminal acts of murder, destruction and devastation, and in its disdain for humanity."
  • --Al-Thawra, government-owned Syrian daily, February 22, 2000 (editorial by Editor Muhammed Ali Bouzha)

  • "The same Nazi David Levy, who recently threatened to burn Lebanon, reiterated the same Nazi statements against a country which is only fighting the tyranny of Nero to end the occupation and live in peace . . . This Levy and his Nazi general Ehud Barak will carrying on making threats until the Arabs adopt a practical position to put an end to Zionist arrogance."
  • --Al-Khaleej, Sharjah-based influential United Arab Emirates daily, February 24, 2000

  • "He [Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy] repeated his threats this time from the rostrum of the Knesset, copying Hitler, with the same stance, the same gestures, the same voice, the same manner and the same threats. Levy’s threats to kill children and burn Lebanon reveal the mentality of Israel, which is playing the role of the Nazi executioners who burned the Jews in Auschwitz, according to the Zionists."
  • --State-owned Syrian radio, February 24, 2000 (daily commentary report)

  • Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy’s statements "proved that Zionism was the descendant of Nazism."
  • --Al-Ittihad, United Arab Emirates daily, February 25, 2000

  • A television ad shows footage from Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy’s speech to the Knesset in which he threatened to "burn the soil of Lebanon" alongside black-and-white footage from Hitler’s Nazi rallies. The words "same speech" are written at the bottom of the screen which then shows a Nazi swastika with the word "original" written under it, and Israel’s Star of David symbol above the word "copy." The next images are of footage of casualties from IDF attacks on Lebanon and Nazi concentration camps, followed by the words: "Same hatred. Same racism. Same criminality. Same history." The ad ends with the words: "They are killing the children of Lebanon. They are burning its soil."
  • --State-run Lebanese television, February 28, 2000

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