New York, NY, August 2, 2012 … Some of the more popular television specials airing across the Muslim and Arab world during the holy month of Ramadan – at a time when television viewership peaks across the Middle East – are "rife with anti-Semitic themes and expressions of hatred for Israel," according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The League, which monitors media in the region for anti-Semitic content, said anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and anti-Israel plot lines have dominated various shows appearing this month on satellite stations with wide viewership across the Middle East.
While anti-Semitism is a common theme in the Muslim and Arab media, there is an upsurge of anti-Semitic programming during Ramadan, when satellite television viewership increases and more people are paying attention to what is being broadcast across the airwaves.
"Ramadan is where the television networks enjoy high viewership numbers and a captive audience, and several networks in the Arab world are once again peddling anti-Semitic content," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While this year is perhaps no different from what we have seen in previous years, it is deeply disturbing to see how anti-Semitism is so casually treated on some of these programs, where conspiracy theories such as those espoused in the notorious forgery, 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' are repeated as if they were fact, and where Israelis are portrayed using the grossest caricatures. "
In a blog published today, ADL pointed to several shows that have included blatantly anti-Semitic content and are appearing throughout the Ramadan fasting period:
Previously, Ramadan television specials have featured serial dramas in which anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are main element of the plot. The most infamous of these dramas include the 2002 Horseman Without a Horse, which appeared on Egyptian TV in 2002 and Ash-Shatat ("The Diaspora") which was broadcast on Hezbollah's Al-Manar satellite network. Both featured numerous references of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and the blood libel.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.