New Arabic-language video seeks to dispel anti-Semitic myths

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, long a rallying cry for Jew-haters, has taken root in the Arab world. A new campaign aims to change that

A new Arabic-language video produced by the American Jewish Committee aims to fight anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in the Arab World, the Jewish nonprofit announced last week.

The video focuses on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a 19th-century Russian work that claims to reveal a secret Jewish plot for world domination. While the book is an anti-Semitic hoax, it has had an enormous impact and served as a rallying cry for anti-Semites — including the Nazi Party.

It has also found an audience in the Arab world. Visitors to Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, and Amman are often struck by the abundance of tracts like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — translated into Arabic — in the cities’ street-side bookstores. Shoppers can cheaply purchase the pamphlet and read about the Jewish plans for world domination.

“Though debunked time after time, this preposterous forgery is nevertheless popular reading in many parts of the Arab world. Today, we are shedding light on The Protocols’ history and revealing the absurdity of its claims in order to prevent it from poisoning any more hearts and minds,” said David Harris, who directs AJC.

The new video is part of a series produced by AJC that aims to increase understanding of Jews and Jewish history throughout the Arab world.

“There is increasing recognition that scapegoating the Jews and Israel will not solve the region’s problems, and that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have been a stubbornly big obstacle to regional advancement,” Harris said.

Launched in early 2020, the project’s Arabic-language videos have drawn hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

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