Updated: January 9, 2004
Image from Hezbollah's TV station Al-Manar in Beirut, Lebanon, showing a scene from the ''Al-Shatat'' or Diaspora, on Wednesday Oct. 29, 2003. In this scene, a council of the "Jewish World Government" plots to take control of the world.
Al-Manar's logo is on the top right.
For the second consecutive year, Arab television featured a vicious anti-Semitic series that depicts stereotypical Jews hatching a plot for Jewish world control and domination. The program, Ash-Shatat ("The Diaspora") is a Syrian production and was aired in October and November 2003 by the Lebanon-based satellite television network Al-Manar, which is owned by the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Al-Manar is widely available to viewers across the Muslim and Arab world and around the world. The closing credits of the programs gives "special thanks" to various government ministries in Syria, including the security ministry, the culture ministry, the Damascus Police Command and the Department of Antiquities and Museums.
Timed to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the 30-part series purports to dramatize the "true history" of the rise of modern Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel, and depicts historical figures, such as Theodor Herzl, Alfred Dreyfus and others.
In October - November 2002, Egyptian TV featured a similar 41-part series based on the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Horseman Without a Horse, which also aired during Ramadan. At the time, the series was widely denounced by the United States, world leaders, ADL and others for its potential to incite and rationalize anti-Semitism across the Muslim and Arab world.
Each episode of Ash Shatat opens with the following text scrolled on the screen:
"Two thousand years ago the Jewish Rabbis established an international government aiming at maintaining the world under its control and suppressing it under the Talmudic commands, and totally isolating them from all of the people.
Then the Jews started to incite wars and conflicts, while those countries disclaimed them. They falsely pretended to be persecuted, awaiting their savior, the Messiah, who will terminate the revenge against the Goyim that their God, Jehovah, started.
In the beginning of the 19th century, the international government decided to increase the conspiracies and the Jewish international secret government was established, headed by Amschel Rothschild."
The series is saturated with horrifying stereotypes of Jews, anti-Semitic stereotypes, references to the infamous anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and includes a heinous dramatization of the killing of a Christian child and the use of his blood to make matzah. Jews are presented as conspiring people, violent, evil and manipulative, who will easily betray their community members for their own interest. As the program develops, the characters work through an "international Jewish government" to "rule the world," using "money, science, politics, murder, sex and any other means", and attempting to incite wars between nations.
The extremely hostile depiction of Jews and the propagation of age-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in Ash Shatat is a frightening demonstration of the deeply entrenched anti-Semitism in much of the Arab and Muslim world.