In response to my PJM article documenting anti-Semitic imagery at the Egyptian protests, I’ve received several comments — both in public and in private — suggesting that, nevertheless, anti-Semitic and/or “anti-Zionist” sentiment among the protestors has played only a marginal role. The assurances to this effect are typically based on the first-hand accounts of Western observers or English-speaking participants with Western contacts. These accounts are supposed somehow to trump the clear pictorial evidence to the contrary.
The appearance of anti-Semitic and/or “anti-Zionist” motifs in the photos and videos of the protests is, however, simply too widespread and systematic for such assurances to reassure. Such images are to be found in video and photographic material from virtually every major Western news organization present in Egypt. This fact is all the more significant when one considers that the reports published or broadcast by these very same news organizations have as a rule outright ignored any anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli sentiment among the protestors. Indeed, as will be seen below, even more outrageous images figure prominently in the flickr streams of amateur local photographers.
Herewith further evidence.
The below image is a rarely seen Reuters photo. According to the Reuters photo description, it shows the effigy of Hosni Mubarak that was famously hanged in Tahrir Square last Tuesday. Most of the photos of the hanging effigy that have appeared in the media consist of long-distance shots from behind. This close-up of the front of the effigy clearly reveals the Star of David painted on its tie. Note too the American dollars sticking out of one of its pockets. As shown in my last article, the effigy of Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, which was also abused by protestors, likewise had a Star of David drawn on its tie.
The above photo and the second photo in the preceding series were both found on an English-language pro-protester/anti-Mubarak discussion forum named the Hashem Studios Board. The thread from which they are taken is titled “The Egyptian Revolution.” The thread is replete with anti-Israeli vitriol.
Such vitriol includes comments like “Israel after we are done with Mubarak, we will come for you!!!” In response to the sarcastic question “Whats a pro mubarak protester?,” another commentator replies, “Yeah good question, does he look like this….,” and posts the following cartoon.
Protestors interviewed by CNN’s Nick Robertson during the first week of demonstrations unleashed a remarkably similar torrent of hatred toward Israel and the United States. “He supporting Israel, Israel is our enemy, we hate him!” one female protestor screamed as regards Mubarak. And then she screamed some more: “Israel and America supported him, we hate them all!”
Whereas his female companion did nothing but spew hatred, a male protestor did at least bring up the aspirations of Egyptians to be free. This is what he said about them: “The United States stand beside Hosni Mubarak one hundred percent, because they know if Hosni Mubarak fell, the whole people in Egypt they gonna be free. And if the people free in Egypt, … they gonna go free the Palestinians! They gonna destroy Israel! The country that controls the United States is Israel!” (The interview can be found here. For the context of the interview, see here.)
Note that the evidence that I have assembled above and in my previous article is based solely upon searches of English- and German-language sources. It presumably represents just a fraction of the evidence that could be found in Arabic sources. To test this hypothesis, I did a flickr search on the name Mubarak in Arabic (مبارك). This led me to the following photos from the Egypt protests.
Ironically, the second-to-last photo above appears to have been taken in front of an office of the European Union. Here is a close-up detail.
It seems that the Western news organizations present in Egypt have been kindly “sparing” their audiences the most blatantly offensive images. The local photographers obviously have no such inhibitions.
The flickr streams make clear that most of the posters displayed at the demonstrations did not in fact contain any pictures or symbols at all. They consist of pure Arabic text. It would undoubtedly by highly revealing to have those posters translated. Translations of the Arabic text present on the above posters would be greatly appreciated.