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Anti-Semitic Developments in the Arab World: Egypt-Tunisia-Jordan-Lebanon

February 18, 2011

Los Angeles — Muslim pro-democracy advocates joined with officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to denounce last week’s riot in front of Tunis’ main synagogue. Rabbi Hier called on Egyptian leaders and other pro-democracy leaders in the region to repudiate anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence that has accompanied some of the demonstrations calling for greater freedom in the Arab world.

 Watch video of press conference here...


Egypt:

..."Oh Allah, ... kill them, down to the very last one.”












Today as two million Egyptians participated in a “Victory March”, the long-exiled spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, addressed those gathered for noon prayers in Tahrir Square. Qaradawi, a virulent Jew-hater and advocate of suicide bombings, has often called for the death of all Jews:, “...oh Allah, take this oppressive, tyrannical band of people…take this oppressive, Jewish Zionist band of people…do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one.”

“Jew! Jew!”, was screamed by a mob during the sexual assault and brutal attack of veteran CBS correspondent Lara Logan during the celebration in Tahrir Square of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. Just one day earlier, Logan told Esquire.com that Egyptian soldiers accused her and her crew of "being Israeli spies". Logan, the mother of two, is not Jewish.

Action: A SWC op/ed published in today’s Huffington Post warns that “Egypt’s future will not be secured only through free and open elections but…[must] begin to de-construct the culture of anti-Jewish hate.”

 

Tunisia:

 "Jews wait, the army of Mohammed is coming back!"

 
"Jews wait, the army of Mohammed is coming back!"
Last Friday, a mob outside Tunis’ main synagogue called for the murder of all Jews in the world raising fears for the security of the Jewish community.

Action: Center officials reached out to leaders from www.freetunisia.org, the organization that played a key role in Tunisia’s democratic transformation. The group denounced the incident online and a press conference with SWC officials.

 

Jordan:

Israel is a “Terrorist state that will be destroyed” – Jordan’s newly-appointed Justice Minister Hussein Mjali



Jordan's new Justice Minister continued to inflame tensions with Israel, when he told Jordan’s Al-Arab Al-Yom newspaper that Israel is a “Terrorist state that will be destroyed”. He was condemned in Israel after he joined protesters calling for the release of a terrorist serving time in Jordan for killing seven Israeli school children in 1997.

Action: Rabbi Marvin Hier spoke at length with a senior Jordanian personality to express the Jewish world’s deepening concern over developments in the country that has the longest border with the State of Israel

 

Lebanon:

Hezbollah chief tells IDF: “Watch your heads”

 

Lebanon’s head, Hassan Nasrallah called on 'Islamic resistance fighters' to 'be ready for the day when war is forced on Lebanon'; Hezbollah leader who escaped Egyptian prison appears at rally where Nasrallah spoke.

Action: SWC urges the US and European Union to make a commitment to work towards the reversal of anti-Jewish hate a requirement for future financial aid and diplomatic support for NGOs in the Arab world.

The unanticipated historic upheaval in the Middle East comes at a time where in the words of Rabbi Hier, there is also “a bold new kind of anti-Semitism [that] is emerging around the world”.  Read Rabbi Hier op/ed in today’s Los Angeles Times

Please help the Wiesenthal Center continue its frontline activism fighting against anti-Semitism and its work to help secure the safety of Jews around the world.