image Je fais un don

"While we can hardly expect retraction, condemnation or apology from publications or the Cairo authorities, Egypt's Observer to OSCE must understand the negative consequences for his country's image and status."

Paris, 6 May 2013

In a letter to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary-General, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, called for "current antisemitism in the Egyptian media to be raised with Egypt's Observer, especially at a time when the OSCE 57 member-states were marking World Press Freedom Day."

"As a case of egregious media abuse in defiance of OSCE's World Press Freedom principles", Samuels expressed "outrage that a weekly online magazine, El Misr el Gdida (The New Egypt), persists in fomenting the antisemitic lies of the old regime. Last month, Miftah, another Egyptian publication, refused to apologize for similar incitement, nor are the government authorities responsive to appeals for condemnation of incendiary calls for violence in the Egyptian media, targeting Christians and Jews." 

The letter continued, "El Misr el Gdida consistently denies the Holocaust and demonizes the State of Israel or, in their jargon, the Zionist entity, but on 30 April, the journal's hatred for the Jewish religion reached a new and perverse low in the article, 'When the Jews Drink the Blood of the Egyptians' by Amr Abdel Rahman... 

The article states, "these rituals are still practised secretly in Egypt by some members of the Jewish community.' The author recounts his supposed visit to the Jewish Quarter and interviews with so-called 'witnesses: 

- Uncle Hussein: 'Despite being their neighbours over the years, many of the rituals were carried out in secrecy and out of sight. On Purim and Passover, they required human blood. Rumours in many countries talked of children and girls abducted... Their false Torah considers the victims as second-class and thus the Jews use their blood, just as Muslims slaughter animals on Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice).' 

- Hanafi Mohammed heard from his father of 'a Jew in Port Said at the end of the 19th century. Just before Passover, he forced his Greek neighbour's 8 year old daughter to drink wine. The girl was found the next day with her throat cut and her body mutilated.' 

- Professor Umaymah Ahmed: 'Jews are required on Passover to provide human blood to prepare pancakes... This was the reason for persecution and expulsion of the Jews in Europe and Asia... The blood of Christian or Muslim adults is dried as a powder and served for future festivals... Blood of those under 10 years old must be used fresh. It is extracted slowly with sharp needles to ensure the victim's agony and to please the vampire Jews. The Rabbi then creates pancakes of human blood.'" 

Samuels pointed to a second article on the website, "on the history of the Passover blood ritual, by Mennat al-Sayed, a Palestinian,who claims that 'Jews would hunt for Christian babies who never tasted wine, stab them to death in the synagogue and distribute the blood to drink four cups of wine in the Passover feast',explaining that 'the tradition continues with Jews eating food made from Palestinian blood today...'" 

The letter emphasized that Misr El Gdida describes its mission statement as "striving to symbolize the new Egypt through credibility and transparency... truth, humanity and compassion...", adding, "not only are such noble values nullified by the above such articles based on lies, inhumanity and bigotry, they belie the hopes of the Arab Spring in continuing to cover up the true abuses that paralyse Egyptian development, by invoking the perennial Jewish scapegoat." 

Samuels advised the Secretary-General that "we can hardly expect a retraction from such publications, nor a condemnation of the blood libel or an apology for these offences against the Jewish people from the Cairo authorities." 

The Centre "therefore urged the OSCE to bring this situation to the attention of the Egyptian State Party's Observer, highlighting the negative consequences for his country's image and status." 

"If this campaign of incitement to hate and violence is allowed to continue unbridled, the more than three decades of peace between Egypt and Israel - a policy concern of the OSCE and a platform of hope for the entire Middle East - may be gravely endangered", concluded Samuels. 

See for Arabic original