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
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
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
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 Peress 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 Israels intent for regional economic domination. (cartoon example) The
foreword to the Egyptian edition of Peress 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.
Peress 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
worlds sympathy as a people. while the myth of the Arab threat gained them the
worlds 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