The Jerusalem Post November, 27 2001


By Melissa Radler

Anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American sentiment in the Arab and Muslim press has sharply increased since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, according to an Anti-Defamation League report released yesterday.

The report, titled "September 11 and the Arab Press: The Anti-Jewish and Anti-American Blame Game," tracks articles in which journalists, columnists, and political and religious leaders celebrated the attacks, blamed Israel for the carrying out the hijackings, criticized US policy and its response to the attacks, condemned world leaders for pinning the blame on Muslims and Arabs, and alleged that the world's media are controlled by Jews and Zionists.

Publications cited by the report include newspapers and Web sites - many of them government-controlled - in Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinians Authority, Syria, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Qatar.

Among the publications blaming Israel for the attacks is Jordan's Al-Dustour, which on September 13 stated that, "Israel is the only one to benefit greatly from the bloody, loathsome terror operations. It seeks to benefit still more by accusing the Arabs and Muslims of perpetrating their loathsome attack." In The Syrian Times, the former head of Egypt's intelligence service, Amin Hweidi, blamed the Mossad for the attacks, and the paper cited sources holding Israel responsible for the anthrax scare in the US.

Among the articles conveying joy at the attacks is a September 16 declaration in the Egyptian weekly Al-Arabi: "I am happy about [what happened to] America; I am happy about the great number of American dead." On September 17, a columnist for the Egyptian opposition paper Al-Usbu wrote, "Oh Bush, drink from the bitter cup of the blood of your people, so that you will [come to] know that Allah is just!"

From the PA-controlled Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the US was called "the enemy of the democratic aspirations of the Arab peoples" on October 17. In the same edition, editor Hadez al-Barghouthi accused New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who had just refused a $10 million check from a Saudi prince who was critical of US foreign policy, of being "obsessed by his hatred of Arabs even before the terrorist attacks on New York. He hides his first name, chosen for him by his Italian father, so as not to remind the Jewish voters of the infamous Rudolph Hitler."

On October 25, the Palestinian Journalist Association released a statement, reported by Iran's official wire service IRNA, that the western media, including the Washington Post and CNN, "can't be trusted, it is subservient to big money and Zionist circles." Calling on the US to pay closer attention to Arab and Muslim media, ADL national director Abraham Foxman said, "This kind of anti-Semitic and anti-American rhetoric foments anger and hatred and creates an environment that can embolden terrorists to commit further acts of violence."

2001 The Jerusalem Post

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