Egypt's Jew Haters Deserve Ostracism in the West

[Wall Street Journal] Amr Bargisi - The Egyptian media is rife with anti-Semitism. There are few places where Jews are blamed for so many of the world's ills, from carcinogenic pesticides to the war in Iraq. More distressing is that much of the blaming is being done by Egypt's self-described liberals - the pro-democratic and anti-Islamist crowd on which the country's hopes for a more tolerant future supposedly rest. The new, "liberal" Egyptian weekly Al-Youm As-Sabi headlined a recent report: "Jews are the principal suspect in the financial crisis." In October, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt's largest independent newspaper and widely regarded as the country's only serious tribune for liberalism, ran a column baldly titled "The Jewish Conspiracy." These and other examples are especially notable because they have nothing to do with Israel or Zionism. They expose the falsehood - popular with prominent scholars like John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt - that hatred of Jews is not one of the great motivating factors in the Arab world's overall objections to Israel. Over the past eight years, the U.S. has invested huge resources in attempting to bring democracy to the Middle East. But it's not clear whether that project will succeed as long as America's natural allies in the region remain themselves so profoundly irrational and illiberal.

2008-12-05 08:00:00

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