Egyptians in ‘Uproar’ over Film Documenting History and Persecution of the Nation’s Jews
A documentary film about a bygone era screened at a film festival seems like an innocent enough proposition. Throw in the subject of the Jews, the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s relations with Israel and a controversy is bound to ensue. That’s what happened in Cairo this week after the film “Jews of Egypt” was screened, which Al Arabiya reports led to an “uproar.”
The film examines – in the words of Variety – “one of the darkest chapters in modern Egyptian history,” that is, the persecution and eventual migration of the Jews from Egypt. Of the 75,000 who lived there before 1948, fewer than 100 reside in Egypt today.
Al Arabiya reports on the backlash after the film was screened:
Amir Ramsis, director of the film, was accused of promoting normalization of ties with Israel through attempting to gain the audience’s sympathy for Jewish Egyptians, currently seen as Zionists by many Egyptians.
“Those accusations are absolutely groundless,” Ramsis told Al Arabiya. “Those who think the film promotes normalization either did not watch it or analyzed it very superficially.”
It is very obvious, Ramsis explained, that the documentary is against Israel and against normalization.
“The film showed how Jewish Egyptians were against the creation of Israel before the July 23, 1952 Revolution and that many Egyptian anti-Israeli institutions were actually led by Egyptian Jews.”
The film’s director said he aimed to erase negative stereotypes many Egyptians hold regarding Jews. He said, “Many people do not distinguish between being Jewish and being Israeli or Zionist. Many Egyptians automatically consider Jews enemies.”
Though the film is historical, its theme of how minorities are treated in Egypt is playing out again today. Muslim Brotherhood leaders have at times trumpeted anti-Semitic pronouncements, including vowing “one day we shall kill all the Jews.” Another minority is even more worried today. Since the “Arab Spring,” Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been living in fear. Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population, and those who can afford to have steadily been emigrating since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power.
Variety Arabia’s Joseph Fahim writes:
The xenophobia that both the media and political leaders instilled into Egyptian society echoes with the same wave of chauvinism spread during and after Egypt’s January25  Revolution by the same agents. History repeats itself, and the viewer gets the impression that the fate of Jews could strike any minority group surviving in a non-democratic country.
Even though Fahim wrote his review before the film was screened at the festival and the “uproar” occurred, he may as well have been writing about those reacting to the film: “What we’re left with is a shameful history and a cautionary tale of a country ravaged by fascism, a self-righteous nation that continues to drown in the bottomless oceans of intolerance.”
Watch the trailer for Jews of Egypt with English subtitles here:
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 431 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 397 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 315 Comments
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 303 Comments
- More Than $1 Million Raised Through Mercury One for Oklahoma Tornado Relief 266 Comments
- ‘Unbelievable’: Apparent Thief Leaves $140 & Apology Note on Family’s Doorstep — Find Out Why Read More
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor Read More
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ 121 Comments
- Teacher Admits She ‘Prayed Out Loud’ During Violent Tornado: ‘I Did the Teacher Thing that We’re Probably Not Supposed to Do’ 117 Comments
- Farrakhan Talks of ‘Satanic Jews’ and ‘Synagogue of Satan’ at Detroit Church Speech — but Wait Until You Hear Who Was in Attendance 227 Comments
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 227 Comments
- Report: No IRS Workers Have Been Disciplined & Union Says It Hasn’t Been Contacted on Personnel Read More
- Ex-Cincinnati IRS Manager: This Was Not the Work of ‘Low-Level’ Employees Read More
- China Sets off What Could Be the World’s Longest Demolition Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 114 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Carney: Criticism of IRS response 'legitimate'
- Senate rejects bid to let states run food stamps
- Congo fighting persists as UN chief arrives
- Pentagon: New record plan won't help vet backlog
- Kerry: US, allies ready to step up aid to rebels
- Man shot to death while questioned in Boston probe
- House takes up GOP bill to speed pipeline approval
- LA mayor-elect says he'll focus on economy