Friday, March 15, 2013
Coverage of Egyptian film ban shows press bias
When Jews show bigotry towards Arabs, the press goes into overdrive to show Israel as a rotten society riddled with racism. When an Arab state engages in an antisemitic film ban, the story is handled by the newspaper's film critic. Adam Levick points out these painful double standards in Algemeiner:
The ancient Jewish community of Egypt, which totaled nearly 80,000 citizens in 1948, is now practically extinct – the result of state sponsored ethnic cleansing in the late 40s and early 50s which included the seizure of Jews’ assets and property, the revocation of their citizenship, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and pogroms.
Whilst the question of how the mere cinematic depiction of Egypt’s Jewish community could possibly represent a security threat is a staggering one, and what the film’s censorship’s portends for other minorities in the country a serious subject, the first indication that the Guardian will not be taking the broader implications of the ban seriously is that news of the decision was covered, not by their Middle East editor, or another political analyst, but by their film critic Ben Child.
Child is out of his depth on the issue and the report fails to explore the most intuitive questions about what this official act of censorship implies about a nation evidently in complete denial about the fact that, due to state-sanctioned racist politics and official incitement over the course of little more than fifty years, they’ve eradicated a Jewish community which dated back to biblical times.
If Egyptians were held to the same moral standard as Israelis, critical, progressive minds would be demanding that Egyptians come to terms with their antisemitic history, that a national soul-searching is in order to account for racism so endemic that the President of the country can publicly lecture about the importance of passing down antisemitic values to the next generation of children and not the slightest national shame or outrage ensues.
As progressives won’t demand such a moral accounting of the ‘Egyptian soul’, nothing will change and nothing will be learned. The injurious effects of the hard bigotry of no expectations will continue to prevent a ‘Arab Spring’ worth its name from ever taking root.
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More about 'Jews of Egypt' by Amir Ramses