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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 29, 2002

"And if you believe this, then there is a bridge in Brooklyn...”

In a rational world, fantasies such as the Protocols of the Elder of Zion, 9-11 being the work of Jews, and the standard Blood Libels would be too absurd to warrant rebuttal. But the world we live in is not rational, and if these libels are left unanswered they may gain credibility, at least with some people.

For this reason, I deem Jared Israel’s articles on the Protocols to be very important (the link given is for Part 1, which, in turn, provides the link to the subsequent parts). Mr Israel has done a commendable rebuttal job, putting the Protocols in the broad context of anti-Semitic, fascist propaganda. An example:

"The Protocols" states that progressive movements - as far back as the 18th century movement for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity - are all secretly the work of Jews. By spreading the ideas of "The Protocols", fascist operatives, often covertly employed by seemingly respectable Establishments, can accuse those who demand change or who expose abuses of being agents of 'The Jews'. Since anti-Jewish prejudice (anti-Semitism) is common anyway, presenting the struggle for social reform as being controlled by 'The Jews' is an attempt to convince people that social reform is bad for them. Thus, the ideas in "The Protocols" are used to poison the very terms of political discourse and to destroy movements for reform, isolating honest reformers, or even transforming such movements into tools of the Establishment.
Mr Israel also undertook the task of scanning and posting on the web a 1921 London Times article that refuted the Protocols libel 80 years ago (which illustrates just how backward the Arab countries are).

Mr Israel’s posts join a large array of articles on the topic; a Google search under “Protocols of the elders of Zion” yields well over 8,000 links. But all this material is hardly enough to convince the Egyptian government or the Egyptian “street”. Characteristic of their intransigence in the matter, and of their pathological denial, is a letter sent by the Egyptian embassy in Ottawa, as published in the Ottawa Citizen on November 27, 2002. The letter reads as follows:
Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Re: A lesson in hate, Nov. 11.

Egyptian media policy ensures equal respect for all religions and beliefs. It also does not allow for any dramatic work or program to contain innuendos aimed at religious institutions.

The drama series Knight without a Horse does not contain, in its dramatization nor its discourse, what could be taken as a "call for anti-Semitism."

Egyptian media policy respects the right to freedom of expression, as that is a human right. Denying individuals this right would not be synonymous with the democracy that Egyptian society has proved to follow, and that allows this society to respect the cultural practices of others, as well as their religious and sacred beliefs.

Stirring up an allegation of anti-Semitism at this time of crisis is an old tactic, and since the allegations have not been proved truthful, I think there is a hidden agenda.

In regards to the allegations that "anti-Semitism" is growing within Egyptian society, there is a big difference between anger toward Israeli politics and "anti-Semitism."

This drama series, like all the rest in Egypt, has passed a rigorous government censorship committee prior to receiving approval for broadcasting. This committee ensures that any material that might be doubted, in terms of religious innuendos, be removed.

It is our position that certain Zionist circles have created this propaganda to divert attention away from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and its daily consequences on the Palestinian people's freedom and right to practice their religious rituals and to earn a living.

Fatma Abdalla,

Ottawa

Director of the press office,

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Our Fatma forgot the punch line: “And if you believe this letter, then there is a bridge in Brooklyn...”

Now, we all realize that Our Fatma’s letter does not even pass the Straight Face Test, but IsraPundit goes to great length to document even the best established facts, so let’s examine some evidence. (The snippets quoted below represent a random collection, rather than a systematic research job, but even the random array is sufficient to document my point.)

Consider the case of Saad Eddin Ibrahim. On September 5, 2001, just one year ago, AP reported:
A court convicted a prominent Egyptian-American human rights campaigner and 27 others Monday on charges of tarnishing Egypt's image, accepting foreign money without government approval and embezzling funds.

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, 61, was sentenced to seven years in prison. The others received sentences ranging from one to seven years. The harsh ruling was immediately condemned by activists and Ibrahim, who all along has said the charges were prompted by his political activities and the decision to set up an independent committee to monitor last year's parliamentary elections.
At this point, James Taranto would probably have added, “Egypt receives from the US $2 billion annually.” But let us continue with the evidence.

Ibrahim is a Christian Copt, a member of one of Egypt’s persecuted minorities. The Copt’s web site is replete with examples of discrimination and harassment of Copts by the Egyptian authorities (to confirm, use the site’s search engine for “egypt”). For example, following an attack on a Copt church, AFP reported on February 5, 2001:
Muslims are now "encouraged to kill Christians" in Egypt after a court on Monday acquitted most of those accused of massacring Christians in January last year, a leading Coptic cleric charged.

"All the murderers were acquitted. That means Muslims are encouraged to kill Christians. They are being told 'Go ahead. Kill Coptic Christians'," Bishop Wissa of Balyana, which includes the town of Kosheh, told AFP.
On September 6, 2002, MEMRI reported:
The editor of the largest Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, Ibrahim Nafi', who is also chairman of the Association of Arab Journalists, was subpoenaed by French legal authorities in Paris for incitement to antisemitism and racist violence. The subpoena came nearly two years after Al-Ahram published an article on October 10, 2000, titled "Jewish Matzah is Made of Arab Blood," by journalist 'Adel Hamooda. The article was based on the 1840 Damascus blood libel in which the Damascus Jewish community was accused of murdering a priest and his assistant to obtain their blood for making
Passover matzos.
On June 18, 2002, IMRA reported:
Cairo Egyptian Satellite Channel 1 Television in Arabic at 1005 GMT on 14 June carries a live relay of the Friday prayer sermons from the al-Rifa'i mosque in Cairo. The sermon is delivered by Dr. Ahmad Umar Hashim, the head of al-Azhar University, supreme head of the world Muslim youth, and member of the Egyptian higher Sufi council. Reception is good.
...
Concluding his sermon, Dr. Hashim prays to God: "... O Lord, make us victorious over your enemies, the enemies of religion. O Lord, defeat the Jews your enemies, the enemies of religion.
On May 3, 2002, MEMRI provided a translation from an article by Fatma Abdallah Mahmoud titled "Accursed Forever and Ever," which appeared in the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar, April 29, 2002:
"With regard to the fraud of the Holocaust… Many French studies have proven that this is no more than a fabrication, a lie, and a fraud!! That is, it is a 'scenario' the plot of which was carefully tailored, using several faked photos completely unconnected to the truth. Yes, it is a film, no more and no less. Hitler himself, whom they accuse of Nazism, is in my eyes no more than a modest 'pupil' in the world of murder and bloodshed. He is completely innocent of the charge of frying them in the hell of his false Holocaust!!"

"The entire matter, as many French and British scientists and researchers have proven, is nothing more than a huge Israeli plot aimed at extorting the German government in particular and the European countries in general. But I, personally and in light of this imaginary tale, complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart, 'If only you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened, so that the world could sigh in relief [without] their evil and sin.'"

"Since their birth, the Jews [have amassed] hatred and hostility towards Islam and the Muslims. They have always laid traps for the Muslims, woven conspiracies and crimes against them, and been biased in favor of their enemies and occupiers…"
Do any of these facts jive with the fantasy land portrayed by Our Fatmah? Do they really think we are entirely stupid?

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland