Egyptian politician revives Passover blood libel

Egyptian politician revives Passover blood libel

TV clip about Jews killing children for matza, and vicious Syrian ‘historical drama,’ underline ongoing anti-Semitism in Arab media

Anti-Semitic speech is alive and well in the Arab world, as recent televised examples highlighted and translated this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

In one instance, Egyptian politician Khaled Zaafrani, during a May 12 interview on al-Hafez TV, a Salafist Egyptian station, makes a series of anti-Semitic statements seemingly culled directly from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

“It is the Jews who have instigated wars in the world,” said Zaafrani, who founded a obscure political party that broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood in the years before the 2011 revolution. He blamed “the Jews” for World War I and World War II and added that they “cannot live without wars, conspiracies, deceit and deception” and will “not seek or uphold peace.”

Zaafrani, smiling eagerly, then said that “it is well-known that during Passover they make matzos called the ‘Blood of Zion.’ They take a Christian child, slit his throat, and slaughter him…they never forgo this rite.”

When asked by the show’s host if the Jews still do this, Zaafrani responded “absolutely” and then repeated a story, based on the infamous Damascus blood libel of 1840, of how a group of Jews killed a kindly Christian priest in order to use his blood for Passover matzos because “they didn’t have any children available.”

“When this subject is raised,” he noted in closing, “the Jews consider it to be a problem, just like the problem of Hitler and the Holocaust.”

The Zaafrani interview was one of several clips showing televised anti-Semitic statements by Egyptian public figures uploaded this week by MEMRI.

Another recent example from elsewhere in the Arab world comes from the Syrian TV show “Khaybar,” a historical drama which aims to show the struggles of the early Muslims with the Jews of Arabia. Yusri al-Jindy, the writer of “Khaybar,” told Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm earlier this year that “the goal of the series is to expose the naked truth about the Jews and stress that they cannot be trusted.”

In the excerpts, a group of Jewish elders are shown plotting to instigate discord among the Muslim Arab tribes of the region. In several scenes, it is shown how the Jews profit from warfare and strife and plan to hire mercenaries to carry out their schemes.

Later, when a noble Arab prisoner refuses to murder women and children and burn down a village in order to be set free, the Jews end up doing the deed themselves, while wearing masks.

“Khaybar” is scheduled to be broadcast throughout the Muslim world during the month of Ramadan celebrations, which began June 9.

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