The recording of political events taking place in the Middle East directly affects anti-Semitic publications in the Arab press. The continuation of the 'Al-Aqsa Intifada' and the deadlock in the political process have led to an intensification of anti-Semitic publications in all Arab countries. In Egypt, Jordan and Syria, the Arab press is constantly engaged in anti-Semitic attacks on Israel and comparing Israelis to Nazis, in reference to the Palestinians in the Territories.
We have so far been witness to attacks by the Arab press - the establishment, as well as the opposition to the regime and the Peace Process. But it is the first time that we see the head of state of a leading country in the Arab world, Bashar Al-Assad, making anti-Semitic declarations against Israel on two important occasions for the Arab world and the international arena - at the Arab summit in Amman in late March and during the Pope's visit to Syria in May:
- In his speech at the Arab summit in Amman, Bashar Al-Assad, in referring to Israel, said: 'We must therefore speak about the street and not get bogged down in analyzing people. We say the Prime Minister is racist, the government is racist and the army is racist, but when we come to Israeli society, we are speechless. What is the sense of this? Everything that has already transpired is a result of Israeli society. It is a society more racist than the Nazis. Everyone says this in closed meetings. Every Arab citizen says these things. We represent the Arab world and it is therefore natural that we say what they want us to say and in a manner that will express the conscience of the Arab citizen'.
- During the Pope's visit to Syria, the President delivered a speech in which he referred to Israel thus: 'We hear them destroy the principle of equality while they speak of Allah who singled out their nation from other nations and we see them damaging the holy places to Islam and Christianity in Palestine … They are trying to destroy all the religions' monotheistic principles, according to the same mentality with which they betrayed Jesus and tortured him, and according to the same mentality with which they tried to kill the prophet Muhammad'.
- During the coverage of the Pope's visit to Kuneitra, slogans were interspersed, such as 'Israel's crimes prove its Nazism' and 'evidence of Nazi-Zionist crime'.
- In an LBC television interview during the visit, Syrian Defence Minister Mustafa Talas made such remarks as: 'I want to stand in one place and kill the Jew standing before me. If every Arab kills a Jew, there won't be any Jews left at all. We will fight like the Hezbollah fights against them in South Lebanon. From the Golan Front, of course - from any front where they (the Jews) are situated'.
- The Syrian press referred extensively to the Pope's visit and continued the attacks against Israel. In referring to the Pope's visit to Kuneitra, 'Al-Thawra' wrote: 'His Holiness will see from the church which was destroyed by the thieving occupier in Kuneitra, the land of the Golan Heights. Winds will blow from Palestine, in which it is possible to see Jesus the Messiah, with his mother Mary, of blessed memory, smuggling him out of fear of his being murdered by the enemies of God and the faith. He will see the deeds of collective killing and the murder of children by the machine of Zionist aggression. He will hear the cry of Palestine, captive in the barbarian Zionist-Nazi rule'.
- On 21 March, the director-general of the Syrian News Agency wrote in 'Tishrin-Internet' that the world understands that the Holocaust against the Jews is composed mostly of lies and exaggerated descriptions, in order to conceal the truth regarding Israel's criminal acts against the Arabs. 'These crimes of Israel exceed our imagination. We must not wait for the bearers of truth, since our land, our right and our honor are the responsibility of the existing generations and the coming generations and the responsibility of the intellectuals, philosophers, journalists and leaders who must reach a general agreement on their right and stop the disputes among them. One of the goals of the propaganda machine is to use the Holocaust to attack all the opponents of the Zionist policy'.
- In another article in the 'Syria Times-Internet' of 8 April, the newspaper used a quotation from Jorg Haider, the leader of the Freedom party in Austria. Intending to sully the name of the head of the Jewish community in Austria, Ariel Muzicant, Haider claimed he did not know how someone by the name of 'Ariel' got so much dirt on his hands ('Ariel' is the name of a popular detergent). The newspaper added that even if the reference had been to the head of the Jewish community in Vienna, unintentionally this description could also be appropriate for another 'Ariel' - the 'butcher in the Middle East'.
- In a commentary broadcast over 'Radio Damascus' on 7 May, a personal attack was made on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: 'It is apparent that all signs point to the fact that Sharon has stepped into Hitler's shoes and has begun to commit the ugliest crimes. He has announced his expansionist intentions and has even begun to implement them before the eyes of the entire world, insolently provoking the entire international community in general and the Arabs in particular, without anyone deterring him'.
- On 7 May, the editor of the 'Tishrin' newspaper dedicated a long detailed editorial to theological support for the hatred of Israel. According to him, from a survey of the laws and the religious laws in Jewish history, he learned that racism in itself became a sacred religious belief and the central component of the Jews' daily, moral and political behavior. The commentator maintains that the aim of the Jews, even from the time of Judah, was to cause bloodshed. This is exactly what the Zionist occupation forces have been implementing against the Palestinian Arab nation, even before the establishment of the thieving entity in 1948, in the form of: unceasing massacres, killing, shedding of innocent blood, burning and destroying homes, mass expulsion of Arab residents accompanied by bombing and destruction, uprooting trees and slaughtering infants, who are the purest of creation, showing no mercy, no compassion nor any moral or human scruples.
Other Anti-Semitic Publications in the Syrian Press
In the past two months, the Egyptian press has published dozens of anti-Semitic articles, including Holocaust denial, comparing Zionism with Nazism and an unprecedented attack on leaders in Israel, especially Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
A relatively new phenomenon are publications in children's newspapers of strong anti-Semitic messages which had hitherto appeared in the regular newspapers. In late February, in the children's supplement to the establishment newspaper 'Akbar Al-Yom', an anti-Semitic illustration appeared showing a Jew in traditional garb, with a long nose, a Jewish hat and a swastika on his arm, choking a small boy on the back of a dead Palestinian.
Following is a typical collection of articles from the Egyptian press:
- On 6 March, 'Al-Gomhouriya' published the following in Kamel Zuheiri's column: 'Like Nazism, Zionism adopted the racist theories that there are both chosen and inferior races in the world. So it happened, that just as Nazism presented the theory of the superiority of the Aryan race, racist Zionism presented the same false racist theory and invented the idea of the 'Chosen People'. These illusions were mixed with other lies which they present and which no one believes, such as the claim that the Jews built pyramids'.
- On 14 March, the philosopher Mahmud Amin Al-Aalem granted an interview to the 'Al-Ahali' newspaper in which he said that 'we confront a new Nazism which seriously threatens humanity. It is therefore our task at this critical moment to destroy the Zionist plan and the Zionist attitude based on legend, since this is the mentality that rejects the other person, accuses the other person of heresy and has disdain for all humane and cultural values'. The whole world must unite against this Nazi orientation and all over the world groups must rise against the Zionist movement and new Nazism. He added that philosophers throughout the world must expose the Zionist myth in its disgrace, as did the French philosopher Roger Garaudy. (Roger Garaudy is a well-known French Holocaust denier who converted to Islam).
- In an article in the 'Al-Midan' newspaper of late March, the writer Abu Bakr deals with the children's game 'Pokemon', claiming that the game cards containing Pokemon figures encourage Western thought, animal worship and the theory of evolution. In an article dealing with the same subject which was published afterwards, the author claimed that the Pokemon figures appearing on bags of Israeli-Jewish produced potato chips prove his claims. In the Egyptian press claims were even made that the source of the name Pikachu derives from the phrase 'Be a Jew' in the 'Jewish' language or ancient 'Hebrew-Japanese'. On 12 April, the English language 'Egyptian Gazette' stated that the Pokemons are a tool in the hands of the Jews to incite Egyptian youth to licentious behavior.
- 'Al-Akbar Internet' published a Holocaust denial article on 13 April in which the author denounced the 'insane ceremonies' held in Israel to mark what it called 'Holocaust Day'. The author emphasized that 'in preparation for the ceremonies held to celebrate this day, the Israeli teacher tells his pupils fictitious stories about the murder of Jews in crematoria and the Israeli media gives detailed descriptions of these crematoria'. According to the author, 'the Zionists invented the matter of the crematoria in order to extort the world, especially Germany'… 'even though the Holocaust is only a myth and historians throughout the world have refuted Israeli claims in this regard and have proven that it is a fabricated story and that the Nazi crematoria were actually used to burn the bodies of soldiers'.
- On 27 April, 'Akbar Asaa' published an article entitled, 'The New Nazism and Sharon's Concept of Absolute Power'. It maintained that there were no essential differences between Sharon and Hitler, that 'there were also no essential differences between Nazism and the great harm it caused and the massacres perpetrated by Zionism. Since the feet of those who adopted the principles of Zionism trod on the land of Palestine for the first time - starting with Ben Gurion and ending with Sharon there has been disaster. The events of recent months indicate Sharon's Nazi tendencies, tendencies which are not very different from those of Hitler and are even worse. The theory of supremacy based on race, deriving from Nazism is essentially identical to the Zionism's theory of supremacy based on race and religion.
- The opposition newspaper 'Al-Arabi', which opposes the Peace Process, gave a disgusting reception for Foreign Minister Peres when he visited Cairo in late April when it published a huge picture of him in Nazi uniform with a swastika armband on the front page. The headline read in large red letters, 'The Nazi - the Butcher from Kafr Kana, the Emissary of the Great Criminal Sharon, Arrives in Cairo' and 'The Nazi Zionists Used Uranium and Radioactive Weapons Against Intifada Youths'.
- On 5 May, after Peres' visit, 'Al-Akbar Internet' stated that 'lies and deceit are not foreign to Jews. The best evidence that Jews go back on their word is their denial of the principles on which they signed in the Oslo Accords and the Madrid and Sharon agreements. For this reason, Allah changed their shape and made them into monkeys and pigs'.
- In another article published on the same website, the author deals with the cancellation of the Holocaust denial conference which was to have been held in Beirut. The writer complains about 'Israel' forcing Beirut and the Arab intellectuals to cancel conferences which it believes to be detrimental to its (Israel's) image, as seen in the cancellation of the Holocaust Denial Conference that was to have taken place in Beirut'. According to him, 'the Israeli government succeeded in bringing about the cancellation of this conference, despite the fact that the claim that the Gestapo killed six million Jews in crematoria is no more than a fairy tale. Actually, Hitler didn't even burn one Jew'.
- In the 5 May edition of 'Al-Gomhouriya Internet', Kamel Zuheiri complains that 'Zionist propaganda denies the connection between Hitler and the Zionist movement. It even hides the connection between Hitler and the emigration of Jews from Germany to Palestine', and that 'historical facts prove the existence of ties between Nazism and Zionism. Israel denies these facts, however, because it understandably prefers to forget them'.
The Writers' Union in Jordan held a conference on 13 May entitled 'What Happened to the Conference on Holocaust Denial and Zionism in Beirut'. Holocaust denial speeches were delivered at the conference in which it was said that Israel exaggerates the facts on the Holocaust in order to gain world sympathy. Statements were quoted from the French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson who maintains that the murder of Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War is a 'lie' and that the Jews exaggerate the numbers that perished in the Holocaust. It was also maintained at the conference that Revisionism is not a Holocaust denial concept, but a scientific method of researching the Holocaust. The date of the conference was fixed close to 15 May which was declared 'Nakba (disaster) Day', the day the State of Israel was established.
Following is a collection of articles from the Jordanian press:
- 'Al-Arab Al-Yom' published a harsh anti-Semitic article on 25 April which said: 'On Holocaust Day, which was celebrated a few days ago in the Zionist state, we saw crocodile tears in the eyes of the criminal of war and peace Ariel Sharon. Israel itself implements precisely the concept of the Third Reich. 'Reich' in German means 'state' and the number three is based on the legend of the empires of Rome, Karol the Great and Hitler. Israel is also based on a legend: the current state is the Third Israel after the Kingdoms of Israel of the past. Hitler built the empire on the basis of radical nationalist ideas, similar to the ideas of Israeli Zionism. Parallel to the purification of the German race, you have Zionist propaganda that the Jews are a superior nation. Parallel to the burning of books to purge German culture, is the denial by Israel of the existence of another religion or the right of another element to sanctify Jerusalem. Hitler's crimes were not directed against the Jews, but against anything not German. He executed thousands of handicapped children, political prisoners, Communists and members of other races, such as the gypsies. Israel is repeating the same policy as it wants Palestine empty of the Palestinians. Hitler denied the citizenship of the Jews in Germany and expelled them. The end of the Israeli Third Reich will be the same as that of the German Third Reich, which was utterly defeated, after it thought that it had won and after it occupied most of Europe - because states and empires based on myths cannot survive.
- On 28 April, 'Al-Arab Al-Yom' published an article which said that 'in the Holocaust Museum in Washington pictures are displayed that repeat themselves in order to give the impression that the number of victims was great. The Memorial Wall displays 3000 drawings by American children devoted to the million and a half children that they say were murdered in the Holocaust. This is art that makes something out of nothing. In any case, what concerns us is that Europe and the U.S. will not atone for their guilt feeling towards the Jews at the expense of the Arabs, in order for them to do to them what they say Hitler did to the Jews'.
The Palestinian newspapers also publish statements denying the Holocaust and the existence of the State of Israel. For example, crossword puzzles are consistently published whose definitions deny the existence of Israel and include anti-Semitic references.
- A crossword puzzle was published in March in which a Jewish characteristic was defined as treachery and the Yad Vashem institute as a place perpetuating the Holocaust and lies.
- The PA journal, 'Al-Hayyat Al-Jedida' published the claim in early May that 'Israel intentionally releases pigs near the Palestinian farms in the Ramallah and Salafit areas in order to cause damage to agriculture. Palestinian residents have said that they saw Israeli officials releasing a large number of pigs to damage their farms. According to them, the number of wild pigs has recently increased conspicuously and unnaturally'.
On 19 April, the London-based Lebanese newspaper 'Al-Hayyat' printed a poem on the front page describing Prime Minister Sharon as having learned the methods of Hitler, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as the Son of the Devil and a lowly sorcerer.
The 7 May edition of 'Al-Watan' called for trying President Moshe Katsav in a court for war criminals for Israel's crimes because of his reaction to Bashar Al-Assad's statements claming that the Jews torture the Palestinian people as they tortured Jesus. The newspaper writes that Katsav ignored the historical facts and spoke on what he called anti-Semitism, the same dubious fable that the world is sick of. Katsav and the rest of the Israeli statesmen falsify history to justify the most terrible acts of theft in history. He also overstepped his authority as President when he threatened Syria. The newspaper adds that 'the Israeli people carried out atrocities that the Nazis could not even imagine. The comparison of Zionism to Nazism by Assad does an injustice to the Nazis, who are just schoolboys compared to the Zionists'.
Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry