The Egyptian Al-Tahrir TV channel has recently begun airing the controversial 2002 antisemitic TV series Horseman Without A Horse. Al-Tahrir TV, which was established on the eve of the resignation of president Hosni Mubarak, claims to represent the youth of the revolution.
The main protagonist of the series, played by series creator Egyptian actor Muhammad Subhi, is the Zorro-like Hafez Naguib, known as "The Fox," who fights against British rule in Egypt. In the story, The Fox has managed to obtain a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion that was smuggled to Egypt from Russia. The Protocols is alleged by the series to be instrumental to efforts by the Jews of Egypt to establish a Jewish state in Palestine; according to the story, these Jews had hoped to keep the document out of the public eye, as its discovery could tarnish their image and have a negative impact on their conspiracy.
During Ramadan (November-December) 2002, Horseman Without A Horse aired in Egypt on Egyptian government TV, and on the privately owned Dream TV channel. It aired also on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV and on Iraq's government-owned TV channel. (For more about the series, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 309, "Ramadan TV Special: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," December 7, 2011, Ramadan TV Special: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion)
At the time, the series was widely criticized, including by the U.S. administration, Congress, and the American press; one result of the criticism was that other channels refrained from broadcasting it. In January 2003, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's political advisor Osama Al-Baz wrote three articles on antisemitism that were published by the English-language Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly Online and also released by the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C. In them, he analyzed the expansion of antisemitism, stated that Europe was responsible for its development, and claimed that it was actually foreign to the Arab world and to Islam. He went on to refute some common antisemitic myths, such as The Protocols and the blood libel, and called on Arabs to recognize the Holocaust and revile Nazism. He concluded with recommendations for both Arabs and Jews for improving relations between them.
· For the articles in full, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 454, "Egypt's Response to Accusations of Arab Media Antisemitism," January 3, 2003, Egypt's Response to Accusations of Arab Media Antisemitism.
· For more about the criticism of the series, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 135, "Harbingers of Change in the Antisemitic Discourse in the Arab World," April 23, 2003, Harbingers of Change in the Antisemitic Discourse in the Arab World.
Al-Tahrir is currently airing episodes of Horseman on a daily basis; each episode is accompanied by a half-hour show about the series hosted by Subhi. The channel is also slated to air a special interview with Subhi, in which he will respond to viewers' questions regarding the series.
Following are excerpts from the series, which aired March 18-23, 2012. To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/3383.
At Conference, Egyptian Jews Plan "National Home In Palestine Itself" To "Foil... Arab and Islamic Unity"
At a conference of Egyptian Jews
Jewish leader A: "Great Britain is helping us. Herzl was right to direct all his efforts towards Britain, which has become the protector of the Zionist movement.
"You did not succeed in persuading Britain to give us Sinai as a national home, which would have made us part of the British Empire."
Jewish leader B: "That's such a shame. We should have been in the Sinai four years by now. It is only a stone's throw away."
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Jewish leader C: "When the Sixth Congress rejected Herzl's proposal to settle us in Uganda – why didn't Britain support this proposal?"
Jewish leader D: "It was because Britain is after its own interests. When Herzl died last year, we found ourselves in disagreement. Some of us believe that we should accept any proposal to establish a Zionist state I whether in Palestine or elsewhere – while others maintain that it is 'Palestine or nothing.'"
Jewish leader E: "I agree with you, but don't forget that in the Seventh Congress, we decided to establish a national home in Palestine itself."
Jewish leader D: "This will surely happen, because it is in England's interest to have us in Palestine. This will serve to foil any aspiration for Arab and Islamic unity, so long as it guarantees the separation of Egypt from the Levant."
Jewish leader F: This is what it tried to accomplish using the same plan, in the 1841 Treaty of London.
Jewish leader A: "We were behind that little game as well, but the English did not manage to tempt Muhammad Ali by offering to annex the Southern Levant to Egypt. They know that they would occupy it."
Jewish leader B: "It would have saved us time. Palestine would have been part of Britain, and it would have been easier for us to take control over it."
Jewish leader D: "This would have guaranteed Britain's interests."
Jewish leader G: "From 1841 until today, 1906, 65 years have gone down the drain."
Jewish leader A: "Time is not an issue for us. It is running against them, but we will learn from each step they make, in order to reach our goal." […]
Naguib: "The Racist Zionist Movement Devised a Plan a Long Time Ago Even Before Christ: A Peaceful Zionist Invasion of All the Countries of the World"
Hafez Naguib: "The racist Zionist movement devised a plan a long time ago, even before Christ: A peaceful Zionist invasion of all the countries of the world, with a malicious serpent as its symbol. They drew up a map for this serpent. According to this map, the serpent moves, coils, and blinds the countries of the world, enslaving them by hellish means. These means include an economic invasion which weakens these countries, and uses all methods of violence and depletion. The Zionist plan is, of course, very carefully devised, so they can spread among the world's youth wantonness, alcohol, abomination and corruption. […]
"The serpent is the Zionist symbol, and its progress is drawn on the map, step by step. The first step was in Europe in 429 BCE, in Greece, in the days of Pericles. The Zionist serpent devoured this country's strength, of course. The second step was in 69 BCE in Rome, in the days of Emperor Augustus. The third step was in 1552, in Madrid in the days of Charles V. The fourth step was in Paris, 1790, in the days of Louis XVI. The fifth step was in London in 1814, after the fall of Napoleon. The sixth step was in Berlin after the Franco-Russian war, and the seventh in St. Petersburg, in 1881."
"All the [Zionist] Serpent's Twisting and Coiling Are Intended So That Ultimately, the Serpent's Head Will Swallow Up Our Countries"
"The Zionist serpent passed through all these countries, shaking their constitutional foundation. Even England and Germany, despite their strength – the Zionist serpent exceeded their economic limits, until it completed the invasion of Russia in 1905. If we follow the serpent's steps on the map, we will find not find trace of its path, except for some arrows pointing to Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa, and another arrow pointing to the United States of America."
Female cohort: "The serpent has not yet brought its evil near our countries, then."
Hafez Naguib: "No. All the serpent's twisting and coiling are intended so that ultimately, the serpent's head will swallow up our countries." […]