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ADL: Anti-Semitism pervasive in TV programming during Ramadan

Egyptian TV drama about diplomats in Tel Aviv uses pernicious caricatures of Jews

Arabs dressed as Jewish bank robbers in the Egyptian TV show, 'Firqat Naji Attalah' (Youtube screen capture)
Arabs dressed as Jewish bank robbers in the Egyptian TV show, 'Firqat Naji Attalah' (Youtube screen capture)

Arab television during Ramadan, enjoying a largely captive audience, is rife with anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli themes and images, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL cited several popular shows including Egypt’s “Firqat Naji Attalah,” which airs daily and chronicles the fictional adventures of Egyptian diplomats in Tel Aviv. In one episode, dealing with cheating Jewish bankers, one of the main Egyptian characters decides to rob a bank while dressed in Hassidic garb, and in another a character express delight whenever Hamas sends missiles into Israel.

Mahmoud Abd Al-Ghaffar makes a declaration. (photo credit: MEMRI screenshot)
Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abd Al-Ghaffar makes a declaration. (photo credit: MEMRI screenshot)

Another Egyptian show, “Il Hukm Ba’d il Muzawla,” provokes anti-Semitic outbursts from famous figures in a candid-camera type format. In one well-documented episode, famous actors came on the show expecting to be interviewed by German TV, only to understand during the interview that they were on “Israeli TV,” prompting violent reactions including an assault on a female host.

“Al-Ghalibun” is a successful show on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, which depicts the Israeli invasion of south Lebanon from the perspective of Hezbollah. The ADL called the program “extremely anti-Israel.”

“While this year is perhaps no different from what we have seen in previous years, it is deeply disturbing to see how anti-Semitism is so casually treated on some of these programs, where conspiracy theories such as those espoused in the notorious forgery, ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ are repeated as if they were fact, and where Israelis are portrayed using the grossest caricatures,“ said ADL director Abraham H. Foxman.

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