The growth of anti-Semitism in the Muslim and wider Arab world in recent years is now being met with growing criticism, particularly in the Arab media, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
An April 23 MEMRI report notes that in the past anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial had become increasingly common in much of the Arab world. But in the past two years, the “Arab media has reflected significant criticism of, and reservations regarding, manifestations of anti-Semitism.” The report cites criticism by Arab intellectuals and the press of a conference on Holocaust revisionism to be held in Beirut, Lebanon, which was eventually canceled.
An Egyptian TV series on the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion was likewise targeted with criticism (first by the U.S. government). In March, Egypt’s Al-Azar University’s Institute for Islamic Research issued a recommendation for Muslims not todescribe Jews as “apes and pigs,” which has been fairly common in Islamist discourse. The report concludes that this change may reflect the increasing tendency (influenced by MEMRI itself) to translate and make public material from the Arab press.
Also, the increase in anti-Semitic statements since the Intifada has led some Arab and Muslim intellectuals to rethink or go public in rejecting such statements. But it adds that the “number of those criticizing anti-Semitism in the Arab world is still relatively small, and most are unwilling to rethink and reject Arab anti-Semitism.”