Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Egyptian THE JEWISH QUARTER Sparks Conversation
The New York Times today featured on page A-9 a six column, half page and above the fold story on the new Egyptian television serial HARET EL YAHOOD (THE JEWISH QUARTER), airing its seventh of thirty episodes in the Ramadan season, described as "the Super Bowl of Egyptian television" by the Gray Lady. I have yet to watch the show and would love to see it (if any readers have a lead, please contact me). The series portrays anti-Zionist Arab Jews as sympathetic and the pre-Nasser era as a multi-religious haven. It also goes the extra mile to demonize the Muslim Brotherhood, portraying them as jihadists obsessed with bringing down not just Israel but all Jews in general. The major complaints from the people have been that the government has been involved in the production and is pushing the pro-Israel line as a reflection of the alliance between al-Sisi and Tel Aviv. Another gripe from Communist viewers is that the series unfairly represents them as secret Zionists. That charge does merit some unpacking. The reality is that the USSR did indeed support the foundation of Israel, Gromyko spoke in favor of the effort at the UN and voted for the state while a cache of weapons were sent to the Israeli armed forces via Czechoslovakia's newly formed Communist government.