In the lead up to the start of the month-long Muslim holiday Ramadan, which is often characterized with high television viewership following the break of the day’s fast, Iran’s broadcasting authority, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), has aired interviews and documentaries promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of Jewish control over Hollywood and a nefarious Jewish-Zionist plan to use sorcery against Iran.
IRIB is the state-run broadcaster in Iran that uses its media platform to promote the regime’s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ideology to the public. In the past, IRIB has used the Ramadan holiday and the high nightly television viewership to broadcast anti-Semitic films and television series.
In an interview with a Tehran University professor and Islamic scholar Valiollah Naghipourfar on June 27, 2014, a series of outlandish anti-Semitic conspiracies were made accusing Jews of using sorcery and witchcraft. When asked by the interviewer on IRIB’s Channel 1 if Iran’s enemies can use jinns, supernatural beings in Islamic theology (known as ‘genies’ in the Western lexicon), to gather intelligence and spy on Iran, Naghipourfar responded that, “Jews have a very strong connection with jinns and sehr [magic].” Naghipourfar added that the majority of Jews are “sorcerers” who can send jinns to gather intelligence and spy on Iran on behalf of the Israeli government.
Three days later, IRIB’s 24-hour news network, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), aired a short documentary, called “Zionist Aspirations to Control the West.” The documentary promoted anti-Semitic canards of alleged Zionist and Jewish control of U.S. politics and policies, Hollywood, and academia.
The documentary employed the terms “Zionist” and “Jewish” interchangeably, claiming that one of President Obama’s biggest supporters is Goldman Sachs, “America’s largest banking network that has no non-Jewish owners and who are all Zionists and supporters of Israel.” The documentary also shows a graphic of the globe with a Star of David superimposed on it followed by the logo of AIPAC, claiming that the most powerful lobby in the U.S. “works for the interests of another country and everyone knows which one.” Pictures of several high-ranking officials in global finance, such as former chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, were depicted as the Jewish hands in control of the global economy.
Interspersed with scenes from Schindler’s List, the documentary also claimed that Jewish and Zionist control of Hollywood have built their stature by exploiting the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, comparing it to when “the Children of Israel built the golden calf during Moses’ absence and began worshipping it.” The narrator added that, “Zionist elites even say that non-Jews are not recognized as human beings and only Jews have importance.”
The month of Ramadan is a time when many Muslims around the world take time to reflect on their faith through prayer and fasting. Ramadan is also prime time television season for many countries in the Arab and Muslim world when multimillion dollar television series are aired nightly after the end of the fast.