ADL Outraged Egyptian Festival to Feature Anti-Semitic Syrian Series
New York, NY, June 22, 2004…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is outraged that the Syrian produced anti-Semitic mini-series, Ash-Shatat ("The Diaspora"), will be featured at the Cairo Television and Radio Festival as an official entry by Syria. ADL has urged the Syrian government to withdraw Ash-Shatat as an official entry, and the Egyptian government to make it clear that it finds the showing of this program at the Cairo Television and Radio Festival unacceptable.
"It is reprehensible that the government of Syria wants to showcase Ash-Shatat as a national achievement," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "It is a hateful program filled with vicious anti-Semitic stereotypes, and it is unacceptable that the Egyptians have remained silent on this matter. When anti-Semitic sentiments are at danger levels across the Arab world, national acceptance of Ash-Shatat's brand of vitriolic hate is tantamount to state sponsorship of the ideas that support it."
ADL addressed its concerns about the Ash-Shatat submission to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Imad Moustapha, urging them to take action. "Ash-Shatat is hardly the type of program Syria, Egypt or the Arab world should be highlighting and celebrating," said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair. "While purporting to present the 'true history' of the rise of modern Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel, Ash-Shatat instead demonized the Jewish people through hostile depictions and the propagation of age-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."
Ash-Shatat, a 30-part mini-series that is saturated with horrifying stereotypes of Jews, references to the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the blood libel, aired during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (October and November 2003), on the Lebanon-based satellite television network Al-Manar, which is owned by the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The Cairo Television and Radio Festival, which begins June 23 under the title "The Media and Human Rights," receives entries from around the Arab world. Submission to this year's festival come from Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Kuwait, Morocco, Yemen, Oman and other Arab countries. Its opening and award ceremonies are scheduled to be broadcast on Egyptian television.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.