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Anti-Semitism in the Official Egyptian Press — Spring 1998-1999

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Anti-Semitism continues to thrive in the Egyptian media. Derogatory images and harsh accusations against Jews and Judaism have persevered through bad and good times -- wars with Israel, periods of tension and even the 1979 declaration of peace between the two nations.

Anti-Semitic stereotypes continue to be prevalent in cartoons, caricatures, opinion columns, and other media, where Jews are often depicted as dirty, hook-nosed, money-hungry world dominators. Comparisons of Israel (both Likud and Labor governments) with the Nazis, denial of the Holocaust and traditional libels are also common. While some such pieces can be found in opposition newspapers, many are printed in the government-backed press, including the largest Egyptian daily, Al-Ahram, Al-Goumhuriyya and the popular magazine October.

Over the years, much attention has been paid to the trend of anti-Semitism in the Egyptian media. Particularly following the 1996 election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, there was a marked increase in anti-Semitic attacks. It appears that efforts to raise this problem with Egyptian officials and other influentials have made an impact, as more recent research demonstrates that the quantity of anti-Semitic manifestations in the Egyptian press has decreased.

However, the "quality" or severity of such attacks has become even greater. For example, while fewer cartoons depicting Jews as money-hungry may appear, intellectual articles with harder-hitting anti-Semitic accusations seem to be becoming more common. The latest trend has been the publication of articles promoting historical revisionism and Holocaust denial.

This report contains recent examples of such troubling anti-Semitism and Holocaust revisionism in the Egyptian media.

Jews as World Dominators

  • Al-Akhbar, May 9, 1999 — "The Judaization of the American Foreign Ministry"
    "In the framework of the cooperation between the Jewish Lobby and Israel on the one hand and the mechanisms of decision making in Washington, the United States judaized the American Foreign Ministry which has been a balancing factor in leading the American politics."

  • Egyptian Gazette, March 9, 1999 — "Zionist Lobby Serves American Agenda"
    Dr. Abd El-Wahab El-Meseiri, author of the newly published eight volume anti-Semitic encyclopedia "Jews, Judaism, and Zionism" (for which he won first prize at the Egypt book fair) is praised, stating, "...many [Egyptians] are forced to try and learn more about the enemy [Israeli Jews] through careful study, which enhances the ability to deal with their weaknesses and fortes on an equal footing...the encyclopedia entitled, 'Jews, Judaism and Zionism' is of utmost importance." A full-page interview with el-Meseiri is also printed.

  • Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, September 26, 1998 — (A summary of the article also appeared in Al-Ahram International Edition)
    A compilation of the "investigative" work of four reporters on Jewish control of the world states that Jews have become the political decision-makers and control the media in most capitals of the world (Washington, Paris, London, Berlin, Athens, Ankara) and says that the main apparatus for the Jews to control the world is the international Jewish lobby which works for Israel.

  • Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, August 29, 1998 — (article by Amrar Sultan)
    Jews are accused of having bombed the Balkans when the Kosovo crisis threatened to result in a total war in the Balkans. "Reliable sources are quoted" in saying that the Jewish lobby played a central role in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in order to divert attention from Israel's policy against the Palestinians.

  • Al-Ahram, November 14, 1998
    "The Jews have been behind all the wars and their goal was corruption and destruction. This is their means of getting rich quick after wars."

  • Al-Ahram, May 13, 1998 — (article by Salama Ahmed Salama quoting Dr. Abed Wahab Masiri)
    "There is a great Jewish plot to gain control of the world."

Jews as Evildoers

  • Al-Usbu, January 18, 1999 — (opposition paper)
    An article accuses a group of Jews of conspiring against Islam by falsifying verses of the Koran in a translated edition marketed in the U.S. and Europe. A Jewish group is also accused of intending to harm the Egyptian people by finding justifications for the Jews' right to Sinai and returning the Sinai Peninsula to the Jews by the year 2020.

  • Al-Ahram, January 15, 1999 — (article by Anis Mansour)
    An article explains that the re-election of Netanyahu would increase hatred for the Jews all over the world. The author says he finds it strange that on the one hand Jews cry out every time they are persecuted, but on the other hand, they are the ones that force all the nations to this situation.

  • Al-Ahram, December 8, 1998 — (article by Nabil Amar)
    "Has there been any change at all in the personality of the fanatic Jew, as it has come to be known and described in the literature and heritage of most of the nations of the world? That is to say, has there been any development of his character traits after his state has been established and he has obtained international influence? For example, is there any difference between Netanyahu's traits, when he is negotiating with the Palestinians, Lebanese and the Syrians, and those of the money-lender from the play 'The Merchant of Venice'?"

  • Al-Shaab, November 17, 1998 — "The Talmud, the Jews and Human Sacrifice" (opposition paper)
    Citing a book entitled "The Jews in Egypt in the Modern Era," the article states:
    "...Jews carry out human sacrifices to please their blood-thirsty God...[The Talmud says] 'We have two ways of satisfying our God: the first is on the Feast of Matzah [Passover], using matzah mixed with human blood, and the second is the circumcision ceremony of our children.' This while the Jewish Encyclopedia says, 'The rabbis have given their approval for carrying out human sacrifices of Christians to our God.'" The article goes on to graphically describe alleged Jewish sacrifice of living Christian victims.

  • October, October 11, 1998 — (article by Muhammad al-Takhlawi)
    "Research done regarding the Torah proves that there is no one with whom the Jews have not quarreled, including God...the Torah makes clear that quarreling and strife are among the foundations of the 'Israeli personality,' for immediately upon birth, the Jew imbibes conflict with his mothers's milk and therefore one can not find a Jew who is not involved in some dispute...[the Jew is] a man of quarrel and conflict, who sows enmity with his hidden figures throughout the entire world."

  • October, October 4, 1998 — (article by Mustafa Mahmoud)
    "Any one who studies the Jewish heritage cannot help but feel that all conspiracies against religions and generally all destructive upheavals and the undermining of values and basic principles -- all are the result of this heritage. Jewish guidance directs every axe of destruction . . . Satan worship is part of Judaism and especially its concealed aspects, such as the Kabbalah, as is the goal of destroying monotheistic religions."

  • Roz Al-Yusuf, August 24, 1998 — ("Senior Arab Legue Official Tells US: The Story of the Israeli Blood Tainted with AIDS")
    "A reliable source at the Arab League provided details of the report circulated by the League to its member states warning of imported blood units contaminated with the AIDS virus, hepatitis and bilharzia. They were manufactured by an Austrian company and Israel treated the blood units before they were sent to the Arab and Third World nations."

  • Al-Arab Al-Yom, June 9, 1998 — (article by Al-Sid Ali Al-Sid)
    "As for the Jews today, there is no difference between rigid or flexible. They are all the same, the difference being whether they kill a person with a thick, hard-bladed knife or by placing him on the electric chair . . . it is possible to deter these swindlers and tricksters and foil their schemes . . ."

Holocaust/World War II Revisionism

  • Al-Ahram al-Arabi, May 1, 1999 — "The Jews are Liars"
    The full text of a report by American Holocaust denier Fred Leuchter, which refutes the usage of Nazi gas chambers during World War II as execution chambers, is reprinted. "It's completely clear that this chamber is not an execution chamber, since it contains air inlets, but not air outlets. These chambers, like other facilities, were not designed as gas execution chambers and they can't be used for that purpose." According to Al-Ahram, Leuchter's report "by itself constitutes a death verdict on the false legends told by the State of Israel."

  • Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, April 24, 1999 — "For the First Time: Leuchter Research Concerning Nazi Gas Chambers"
    "According to Fred Leuchter's [a known American Holocaust denier] international report regarding the Nazi extermination camps, even if these camps were operating at maximum capacity, the sum total of their victims would not have surpassed hundreds of thousands. In no way would it have reached even one million...It has become clear that there is no basis for the tremendous significance attached to the crematoriums."

  • Al-Akhbar, September 25, 1998 — "The Holocaust, Netanyahu and Me"
    "The Jews invented the myth of mass extermination and the fabrication that 6 million Jews were put to death in Nazi ovens. This was done with the aim of motivating the Jews to emigrate to Israel and to blackmail the Germans for money as well as to achieve world support for the Jews. Similarly, Zionism based itself on this myth to establish the State of Israel...I continue to believe that the Holocaust is an Israeli myth which was invented to blackmail the world."

  • Al-Ahram and Al-Ahrar, September 6, 1998
    The papers ran an appeal by Roger Garaudy, an infamous Holocaust denier who was convicted by a French court in March 1998 for contesting the truth of proven crimes against humanity, to the Arab and Islamic world urging continued support as he appealed his conviction.

  • Al-Akhbar, July 14, 1998 — (article by Dr. Hassan Rajib) "Zionism has elevated the Holocaust to a sacred level and uses it for the purposes of blackmail...even if the ovens at Buchenwald and Auschwitz were working day and night, it would have taken dozens of years to kill six million people, and not just the three years which the Nazis had..."

Prepared by the Department of Middle Eastern Affairs
and International Analysis, June 1999

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)