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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Egyptian paper denies, and then defends, Muslim Brotherhood anti-semitism

Al Mesryoon, a major Egyptian newspaper, has an article saying that the Muslim Brotherhood and its founder, Hassan al-Banna, were not anti-semitic but only anti-Zionist.

The author, Sawfat Hussein, brings proof from testimony that al-Banna gave towards the Anglo American Inquiry on Palestine in 1946, where he said that Islam had no problem with Jews, but only with Jewish immigration to Palestine.

Hussein then goes on to describe why the Brotherhood was against the Jews - of Egypt. The reason?

Well, we need to understand the context. 98% of those in the Egyptian Stock Exchange were Jewish. One third of the major industries in Egypt were owned by Jews.

Jews controlled the newspapers in Egypt at the time, and the newspapers they didn't control they indirectly controlled by how they advertised their Jew-goods.

Jews were also over-represented in the political sphere compared to their actual numbers.

And- get this - Jews in Egypt celebrated the Balfour Declaration!

Putting the facts together, you see that Egyptian Jews were of course a danger to Egypt and had to be fought against, and Hassan al-Banna was merely defending his country by issuing statements that might, on the surface, appear anti-semitic.

For example, Hussein notes, al-Banna published a pamphlet called "The risk of Jews in Egypt," where he warned of the Jewish domination of the economy, gold, major hotels and real estate, and their control of advertising and newspapers.

See? this is all perfectly understandable! No anti-semitism there!

In a 1938 pamphlet, al-Banna wrote that Jews of Egypt who enjoy wealth and prosperity and that while Muslims and Copts have held meetings and conferences supporting Palestinian Arabs the Jews did not. "Show me a Jew who attended a meeting or contributed to an [Arab]Palestine conference. Show me a Jew who marched in a demonstration or protested against the criminal acts in Palestine. Show me a a Jew who collected money or sent a donation to the mujahideen Arabs in Palestine," he wrote.

In 1947, al-Banna wrote a letter to a leading rabbi in Egypt, where he noted that the Egyptian government had pledged to protect Jews from rioters and protesters. Al-Banna said that he would love to believe that all Egyptian citizens were equal, but in fact "now we're in front of an international Zionist conspiracy to uproot Palestine from the body of the Arab nation...." and he threatened the Jewish community if they do not publicly support the Muslims of Palestine with their wealth and media.

Hussein says that it is eminently reasonable that anything less than full-fledged support by all Jews of the people who wanted to throw their co-religionists into the sea would be regarded as treasonous. But this isn't anti-semitism!

Hussein ends off saying that "It could be argued that the Muslim Brotherhood knew very well the difference between Judaism as an religion and the Jewish Zionist belonging to this political movement in theory, but they did not find a difference between the two in practice and the difficulty of finding a clear difference between Jews and Zionists" was the reason for any seeming anti-semitism in Egypt.

There you go!

(Of course, al-Banna in Arabic was far more explicitly anti-semitic than is even noted here, and he was an enthusiastic supporter of Nazism as a partner in his "anti-Zionist" positions. He also welcomed the Nazi collaborator the Mufti of Jerusalem who escaped war-crimes trials in Europe as being someone whose goals of exterminating the Jews outlived Hitler and would continue on. His group also translated Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion into Arabic.)

At the same time that Al Mesryoon was publishing this subconscious Jew-hate in the guise of some sort of liberalism, it also published this article denying the Holocaust, calling it a "myth," "false propaganda," "lies" and "fantasies," saying that no more than a couple hundred thousand Jews were killed by the Nazis. They even say that Israeli Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer agrees that the six million number is very exaggerated - a claim seen on many anti-semitic sites - and one that is manifestly false.

Egyptian anti-semitism is so ingrained that they are completely blind to it. And it is far more public today than it was under the previous regime. (Here's another article from this weekend denying the Holocaust.)