In Arab World, Fundamentalists and State-Owned Media Use Same Anti-Semitic Rhetoric

[Jerusalem Post] Aladdin Elaasar - It is hard for those in the Arab and Muslim world to speak out against suicide bombers, Jihadists, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism in their countries. What happened to the old days when Jews in Arab countries were the elite - movie stars, singers, writers, cabinet ministers? Why was it replaced by so much hatred, intolerance and bigotry against the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and anger directed towards America? Since the establishment of the State of Israel, many Arab regimes have taken a hard line against it, conveniently recycling crude anti-Semitic images for their public. The Palestinian issue has been effectively used by failing, dictatorial and oppressive Arab regimes to point the finger at an outside enemy to deflect their public's attention from nagging domestic issues. Conspiracy theories are rampant in the Middle East. Many people are made to believe that America and Israel are running the whole world and are behind every problem in their countries. The late President Nasser of Egypt imported former Nazi propaganda experts from the Third Reich and spread anti-Semitism through the whole region. Half the Arab countries are under brutal military dictatorships and the other half are under absolute monarchies. Whether secularist or seemingly religious, they both champion the Palestinian cause and exploit religion for political objectives. Fundamentalist groups find themselves using similar rhetoric to that of state-owned media across the Arab world. The writer, an Arab American journalist, is the author of The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Obama Age, which has been banned by the Egyptian government.

2009-10-09 06:00:00

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