TV smear tacticTV smear tactic

‘I accuse you of being a Jew!’

Egyptian political campaigner shocks TV hosts, who ‘defend’ themselves from accusations

Campaign manager Gamal Saber levels accusations on Egyptian television. (screen capture from Youtube video uploaded by MEMRI)
Campaign manager Gamal Saber levels accusations on Egyptian television. (screen capture from Youtube video uploaded by MEMRI)

Gamal Saber, the campaign manager for disqualified Egyptian presidential candidate Hazem Abu Ismail, accused TV hosts last Tuesday and Wednesday of being Jewish. The incident was captured and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Saber said the accusations were attempts to show how anyone can accuse anyone else of anything and to demonstrate how the media in Egypt “leads people astray.”

AP reported that Abu Ismail was disqualified because his late mother allegedly held dual American-Egyptian citizenship, which would prohibit him from running for president.

The incidents occured on Al-Mehwar TV on April 17, and Sada Al-Balad TV, on April 18. Both networks are Egyptian.

Saber accused the moderator of Al-Mehwar of being Jewish, saying, “Riham here is of Jewish origin… I intend to file charges against you tomorrow and you will have to prove otherwise.” Saber also said he had “documents showing that she received one million dollars from the Israeli government”.

The moderator defended herself by accusing Saber of using smear tactics in calling her a “Jew,” saying, “You want to prove how easily you can smear me [with the accusation of being a Jew and in the pay of Israel],” adding, “You are saying that I am of Jewish origin in order to show the viewers how anyone can easily smear someone’s name.”

A day later, on Sada Al-Balad TV, Saber accused another host of being Jewish, holding up a document with information and a photograph. The moderator responded that the photo was not her, but her co-host. She then made it very clear that the “Jew” smear would not stand, saying, “I do not allow you to accuse me of being Jewish.”

Saber then said he didn’t accuse her of anything, and the host asked him to leave, adding, “Even if you want to demonstrate how anyone can accuse anyone of anything, I’m asking you to leave because you made this comparison and told me I’m Jewish.”

“I was trying to show that the media leads people astay,” he said.

The show’s host then said she may choose to file charges against Saber, and he left shortly thereafter.

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