Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media (1997)

Images and Accusations
Conspiracy Theories
The Media As Political Instrument

Related ADL Articles:
Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media: 2001 Update
Anti-Semitism in Egyptian Media (1998-1999)
Demonization of Israel in the Arab Media
Egyptian Anti-Normalization And Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism in the Syrian Media
Anti-Semitism in Palestinian Authority

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Conspiracy Theories

One of the most enduring motifs of Egyptian anti-Semitism is that of a dark and unrelenting Jewish-Zionist conspiracy to infiltrate and destroy its neighbors in the region and take over the world. (cartoon example) Here, Jews are seen as the origin of evil and corruption, spreading AIDS, prostitution and the insidious destruction of Egyptian society. One theory growing in popularity is that of Holocaust denial, accusing Jews and Israel of using the myth of the Holocaust to garner international sympathy and support.

Among the most malicious of these conspiracy canards are accusations against Zionists and Jews of spreading poisons and deadly disease among Arabs. In January 1995, Al-Ahram accused Israel of spreading the AIDS virus among 305 Palestinian youths in Gaza and the West Bank, citing (falsely) the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot as the source. When the Israeli daily denied publishing such a story, Al-Ahram published a rare correction.

AI-Shaab, an opposition newspaper, has long been preoccupied with nefarious Judaic-Israeli conspiracies. It has accused Israel of spreading AIDS and other diseases and Jews of distributing illicit drugs and narcotics and luring Egyptian youth into a Satanic cult.

Several Egyptian newspapers published articles in 1993 claiming Israel was flooding their country with fruits and vegetables laced with poisons. In 1996, rumors surfaced in the press that Israeli-made chewing gum, exported to Egypt, was intended to make Arab women promiscuous.

Another recurring motif is that of Judaism as an evil and immoral religion which aims to corrupt Islam and invoke blood rituals that call for the murder of gentile children. In June 1995, Al-Ahram termed Judaism "inherently aggressive." Al-Wafd recently published an article stating that Jews sacrifice Christian and Moslem children in order to use their blood for various ceremonies. The writer also emphasized that, "Jews have gained great skill in kidnapping children."

Throughout 1995 the pro-government religious weekly, Aqidati, published numerous articles citing the Talmud and other sources to document Israeli "take-over schemes." In June 1995, one writer claimed the Jews established the Rotary clubs "to humiliate Christian and Islamic nations."

In a March 1995 article in Al-Ahram, Mustafa Mahmud claimed "an international conspiracy is being conducted against Islam and is being carried out by industrial countries steered by Jewish money." The following November, Mahmud described Jews as "abnormal." He wrote, "They are like monkeys and other jungle dwellers." Massacre, murder and genocide, Mahmud claimed, are central tenets of the Jewish religion.

Shimon Peres’s concept of a "new Middle East," one based upon regional cooperation and common markets, unleashed a storm of accusations by the Egyptian press declaring his idea proof of Israel’s intent for regional economic domination. (cartoon example) The foreword to the Egyptian edition of Peres’s book, The New Middle East, published by AI-Ahram press, carried the following: "When the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were discovered about 200 years ago by a French woman and disseminated in mans’ languages, including Arabic, the international Zionist establishment tried its best to deny the plot. They even claimed that it was fabricated and sought to acquire all the copies on the market in order to prevent them from being read. And now, it is precisely Shimon Peres who brings the cutting proof of their validity. His book confirms in so clear a way that it cannot be denied that the Protocols were true indeed. Peres’s book is yet another step in the execution of these dangerous plots."

In February 1997, after the Anti-Defamation League complained to the government-owned English-language Egyptian Gazette of an article promoting a "scientific" studs’ with blatant anti-Semitic motivations, the Gazette published a response claiming it was "not against the Jews or Judaism," but that at the same time, "The Zionist Wisemen of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, described by the ADL fax as age-old anti-Semitic writing, is a book acknowledged by many world institutions to be telling the secret motivations of the Zionists’ intentions and plots."

The theme of Judeo-Zionist plots also extended to manufacturing the myth of the Holocaust. In a ten-part series from December 1995 through February 1996, Salah Muntasir published his impressions of a visit to Israel. He concluded that Jews perpetuated myths and stories. The most important myths of the 20th century were those of the Nazi crematoria and the Arab threat. The myth of the crematoria was used to gain the world’s sympathy as a people. while the myth of the Arab threat gained them the world’s support as a nation and a state. Roger Garaudy, the French Holocaust denier who argued that Israel uses "the myth of the six million to build its state and justify attacks on Palestinians," visited Egypt in November 1996, where he was hailed by the Egyptian press and intellectuals as "a great man.

Next: The Media As Political Instrument

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1997 Anti-Defamation League