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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Arab TV series inciting hate against Jews coming in July. Will anyone do anything to stop it?

Excitement is growing in the Arab world over the upcoming TV series Khaybar.

While the series is ostensibly about the battle between Muslims and Jews in the city in 629 CE, the director and writer make it clear that the point of the film is to expose  Jews and their evil plots. They explicitly say that they are drawing parallels between the Jews of Biblical times, the Jews of the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century and the Jews of Israel today.

It has an all-star cast.

The only other English-language website I can find that finds this alarming is the ADL blog:
An inter­view with Yusri Al-Jindy, the writer of “Khaiber,” an upcom­ing tele­vi­sion series com­mem­o­rat­ing the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia, reveals both the anti-Semitic and polit­i­cal agenda behind the production.

In an inter­view with Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egypt-based daily news­pa­per, on Jan­u­ary 16, Al-Jindy said, “The goal of the series is to expose the naked truth about the Jews and stress that they can­not be trusted.”

Com­ment­ing on the recent changes in the region, Al-Jindy described the impor­tance of rec­og­niz­ing the par­al­lels between “the era of the Khaiber bat­tle” and “con­tem­po­rary times.”

Al-Jindy also seemed to sug­gest that the series will have a global effect. “I think it is time to expose them [the Jews] even in Amer­ica itself. I am con­fi­dent that the United States will real­ize that it paid a high price for sup­port­ing them.”

Pre­dict­ing that he will be accused of anti-Semitism after the series airs, Al-Jindy added, “The charge of anti-Semitism is an out­dated trend, and in fact it is a lie that Jews use against any­one who tries to expose their naked truth and their conspiracies.”

Here is the trailer:



And here is an Arab entertainment TV show segment that interviews the actors and director for "backstage secrets." I don't have a translation but the style of the show mimics that of any highly anticipated Hollywood blockbuster:



There are daily articles in the Arabic press about this TV series, which will be released for Ramadan, this coming July. Hundreds of millions of Arabs will be exposed to antisemitism and incitement.

Broadcasting this TV series would be a violation of international law.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states (20-2):
Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
Egypt is a signatory to this covenant, as is Jordan, Morocco, Iraq, and Tunisia.

Yet there has been silence from human rights groups, and even Jewish groups, except for the ADL.

It is critical that the Arab governments are called to account for broadcasting this incitement before it happens. The time to publicize it is now, and to force the bigots to expose and defend their hate.

Condemning this impending massive hate crime should not be spearheaded by right wing Zionist or Jewish groups. Liberal organizations, those who are most concerned with human rights, should be in the forefront. We should be hearing condemnations from Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, Amnesty International, and even the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and other Arab NGOs who claim to support human rights.

Given that this is a violation of international law, condemnations should also be coming from nation-states as well.

Moreover, even Jewish so-called "pro-peace" organizations such as J-Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, +972 magazine and others should be deploring this attempt to incite hatred against Israel - which would make peace that much further away.

This is not an issue of the Israel-Arab conflict, but a basic issue of human rights and humanitarian law. Every single organization that says it cares about peace, human rights and international law mustbe forced to answer whether they condemn this broadcast of a TV series whose very author brags is meant to stoke the hatred of Jews worldwide.

Now is the time to see if these groups are indeed as concerned about human rights and international law as they claim to be.

UPDATE: I created a Change.org petition.