Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Visa ad was removed from the Egyptian women's magazine that published the most vicious blood libel I've seen in years.

Visa issued a statement (received via email):

We can confirm that the Visa-branded third party advert in El Kebar magazine has been removed. The advert was not directly placed by Visa or any agents acting on its behalf, neither do we have any influence over editorial content. On occasion Visa permits the use of its logo and promotions to third parties so that they may promote their own Visa-branded products. While guidelines for the use of Visa’s logo are stringent, the decision about where the advert is placed lies with the third party. When Visa was made aware of the intolerant nature of the content, we worked to have the advert removed. This took longer than anticipated due to the holiday weekend. We regret that our brand has been associated with this type of content and we condemn intolerance of any kind. We would like to thank the online community and cardholders for alerting us to this issue and for giving us an opportunity to act. We will review our advertising policy to see if there are any changes we can make to improve it.

While Visa successfully distanced itself from the offensive article, no Egyptian has. The article is still online.

On the page of the article itself, a number of people commented about how it was filled with lies. The author, Firnas Hafzi, defended her "research" claiming that she quoted from the Talmud and Torah to prove that Jews drink Christian blood. Of course, she didn't, but instead relied on secondary sources with most questionable provenances, like a 19th century antisemitic essay  called "The Jew, The Gypsy and El Islam" by Richard Burton (who she claims was an expert on Talmud) and which has s strange passage that seems to imply Jews drink gentile blood.

Of course, she must believe that millions of Jews today, from self-haters to the devout, are all jealously guarding the secret conspiracy from the Gentiles so she can only find evidence from obscure works.

On the Facebook page of the head of the Egypt Post, which actually placed the ad, there is no response to inquiries. Similarly, the editor of El Kebar noted on his Facebook page that someone complained to him about the antisemitic article but did not comment besides linking to the article again.

Egyptian antisemitism is simply a fact and there no pushback from Egyptians against it.

Samuel Tadros writes about this phenomenon in an excellent article published this week:
The starting point of the anti-Semitic worldview in Egypt, as elsewhere, is the evil nature of the Jews. Whereas the fact of that evil is a given, its wellspring is a matter of dispute. For those more exposed to European anti-Semitic literature, the source of Jewish evil is racial. The more broadly accepted narrative traces the evil to the Jewish faith. The Jewish people as a collective (and for the anti-Semite, there is no room for individuality for a Jew) has been the premier source of evil for time immemorial. Such evil is often proved through the construction of historical narratives of Jewish evil and betrayal throughout time. Tales of the conflict between Islam’s Prophet and Jewish tribes during the founding period of Islam are thus a favorite subject for Islamists, especially when combined with anecdotes of Jews as murders of prophets and rejecters of God’s message.
Given this evil nature, Jews naturally seek to harm others, according to this belief. Who these “others” are is a matter of debate. For some the other is Islam itself, which Jews view as their natural enemy; for others it is the Arab nation; for Egyptian nationalists it is Egypt that the Jews aim to destroy; for still others it is simply Jewish hatred of mankind in general. Jewish ill will is revealed in various forms. Sometimes anti-Semites invoke European themes, such as the poisoning of wells or blood libel accusations. The Damascus Affair continues to be one of the most frequently believed and used examples in that regard. Fabrications from the Talmud are also common. Some of these themes are given more modern forms, with the blood libel being replaced by Jews stealing body parts, or with well-poisoning being replaced by Israel planting Egypt’s lands with carcinogenic pesticides to kill its people.
Yet I am unaware of any NGOs that fight antisemitism in Egypt or even any that acknowledge it. Of all the organizations that say they support peace between Israel and Arabs, none of them seem to admit that endemic Arab antisemitism is even an issue to be tackled. No, it is Israel that is perceived to be racist, not the wonderful Arabs who tell each other that Jews poison their wells and drink their blood.


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