Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, July 2013
Pro-Israel Media in Egypt Inciting Hatred Against Palestinians
By Khalid Amayreh
in occupied Palestine
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, July 29, 2013
Much of the Egyptian media is having a free season on Palestinians these days. Calls for murdering Palestinians and Syrian refugees in Egypt are heavily permeating through Egyptian TV channels. It is widely believed that many of these outlets are funded by Coptic tycoons, such as billionaire Naguib Sawiris, and Arabian Gulf Sheikhdoms, especially the United Arab Emirates. Israeli and Zionist circles may very well be standing behind anti-Palestinian propaganda in Egypt.
Needless to say these media have been indulging in the most virulent and pornographic lies and hateful and, malicious propaganda against Palestinians as well the Islamists.
Of course, Egyptian government-run and other like-minded media is notoriously virulently mendacious. Unfortunately this has always been the case, at least since Jamal Abdul Nasser's era. We all remember Radio Cairo's infamous commentator Ahmed Said who told his listeners during the 1967 war with Israel that the Egyptian army was about to overrun Tel Aviv and that Israeli warplanes were falling down like flies!
Today, we are witnessing another wave of deliberate lies proliferated by the Egyptian media, aimed at vilifying the Islamists, especially the deposed democratically-elected President Muhammed Mursi. These lies are too many and too virulent to dignify by citing.
Unfortunately, some of these lies readily find acceptance by some mainstream media outlets, such as the BBC. For example, many media outlets sheepishly parroted the never-proven claim that many millions of Egyptians turned out against Mursi on 30 June, which the coup makers used to justify the seizure of power from the legitimate government. The truth of the matter, however is that no more than 800,000 Egyptians, probably including half a million Copts, rallied against Mursi. This is less than 2% of the 90 million people making up the population of Egypt. This was confirmed this week by Professor Bashir Nafi', a scholar of impeccable credentials.
Mursi is Palestinian!
Some of the lies being proliferated by the Egyptian media would have us believe that President Mursi is actually Palestinian and is at Hamas's beck and call.
“Deposed President Mohammed Mursi is originally Palestinian,” one "expert guest" appearing recently on a show aired on the Egyptian Al Kahera Wal Nas channel. In the video, which was disseminated on social media websites, the show’s host reportedly asked the guest to repeat the so called “important statement.” Activists commenting on the video noted that such statements are part of the wave of instigation that aims to punish the Syrians and Palestinians living in Egypt, especially those who support the Muslim Brotherhood.
Well, I don't think the so-called expert guest is ignorant of the facts. He knew he was lying. But this is not the question since lying, even in the most pornographic manner, has become the anti-Islamist Egyptian media's modus operandi, especially since the 25 January, 2011 revolution against the Mubarak regime..
Besides, what is wrong with being a Palestinian? The Palestinian people who have withstood a 100 years of American-European-Zionist holocaust ought to be a badge of honor on the forehead of every Arab and Muslim.
We Palestinians have remained implanted in our land, very much like the old olive trees covering the plains and hilltops of our country. We have survived despite history and despite the evil will of an evil and immoral international community.
Indeed, history showed repeatedly that when the Palestinian people raise their heads, the entire Muslim world raises its head, and vice versa.
Hence, those Egyptian haters who are inciting against the Palestinian people only deserve contempt and nothing but contempt. We congratulate them for groveling at the Mossad's shoes. There are animals and dirty animals. I have no doubt that those media thugs who are bad-mouthing our struggling people squarely belong to the later categories.
Incitement to murder
In another instance, another thug-guest of a show aired on Egyptian ONTV called for executing every Palestinian and Syrian intervening in Egyptian affairs. The well-known host, Youssef Hussein, said that the government was the one embracing the Palestinian and Syrian refugees. Those refugees are not allowed to intervene in Egyptian affairs or support Morsi, or else they will be responsible for what happens.
“If you intervene in Egyptian affairs, you’ll be beaten in public, even if this is outside the law.”
Well, it is amply clear that we are not talking here about professional journalists or even dignified commentators. We are rather talking about thugs and liars who are filled with hate, not only for Palestinians, but also for the truth itself. These thugs must be hating the Palestinians more than loving their own children.
Yes, people may thoughtfully and sincerely hold different ideas. However, when calls are made by TV outlets watched by millions, and incite hatred and murder against a specific ethnic or religious group, then it is clear that we have reached and surpassed the ultimate red line.
Indeed, if incitement to murder is not an ultimate red line, then where would such a line lie?
According to reliable reports from Cairo, examples of how media speech is slipping towards incitement are proliferating day after day, especially in the aftermath of the 4 July coup.
This has led several Egyptian human rights organizations to issue a statement on July 7, 2013, condemning “the false and venomous information some Egyptian journalists are resorting to, to instigate hatred against the Palestinian people,.
Journalists involved in this debauchery include Amro Adib, Lamis Hadidi and Ahmad Moussa on CBC and Tahrir channel, who disseminated on their shows false information that instigates hatred against Palestinians.
The organizations — including the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance — reiterated the need to recognize the thin line between the legal right to freedom of speech, and hate-speech and incendiary rhetoric.
A last word. Palestinians have lived to see many of their enemies find their ultimate and lasting place in the dust bin of history.
I have no doubt that the dust bin of history will be the ultimate and lasting place of Israel's poodles who grovel at Israel's shows for a few dollars or a certificate of good conduct.
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