web analytics
December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



In Egypt, Just Whack the Jewish Piñata to Become a Star

Adel.Imam

Photo Credit: Elijah Zarwan/Wikimedia Commons

Egyptian activists seem to believe that Egyptian actor Adel Imam — possibly the most famous Arab actor — took Mubarak’s side amid the Egyptian revolution that toppled him in 2011. As a result Imam has been blacklisted by Egyptian activists. Nonetheless, Imam has made a comeback with a miniseries that is full of anti-Semitism and demonization of Jews and Israel. Is this just plain hate for Jews or is it a stunt by Imam to win the public? And if so, what does it mean for Egypt and the Arab world?

First, it is worthwhile to examine who Adel Imam is. In 1994, the Los Angeles Times described Imam as a popular actor, noting that: “His expressive and not particularly handsome face has become the mirror of the Egyptian middle class, with its tribulations, celebrations and frustrations.”

In fact, Imam’s popularity earned him the position of a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). On its website, the UNHCR notes that Imam “mobilizes many other celebrities, business community and media for the refugee cause.” Furthermore, the UNHCR’s website edition of Imam’s biography describes him as the “Arab Charlie Chaplin,” and the “most famous actor in the Arab world.”

The above strongly suggests that Imam is, indeed, a heavyweight Arab celebrity. Nonetheless, Adel Imam’s popularity suffered a major blow when he allegedly sided with the Egyptian regime amid the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Shortly after Mubarak was overthrown in February 2011, Dubai-based TV network Al-Arabiya reported that Adel Imam had been blacklisted by Egyptian political activists of the 25 January revolution, along with other Egyptian actors and actresses, because Imam was one of the “Egyptian actors, musicians, and media figures that showed support for the country’s former President Hosni Mubarak.” Al-Arabiya confirmed that Imam’s pro-Mubarak stance was “the big surprise” for Egyptians as “it contradicted his previous leading roles in many nationalist and anti-establishment films”. However, Al-Arabiya notes that this should not be a surprise as Imam was known to be a close friend of Mubarak’s family. Since then, Imam made several media appearances, including one on Al-Jazeera, claiming he was supportive of the revolution, but his name remained on the blacklist, signifying the potential damage to his career.

This July, Imam made a comeback with a miniseries titled “The Naji Attalla’s Squad.” The miniseries will air all through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which began on July 2th for most Muslim countries. The Naji Attalla’s Squad tells the story of Naji Attalla, a retired Egyptian military officer serving as a senior diplomat at the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv, where he runs a thriving gambling business under the cover of his diplomatic immunity. Attalla draws the attention of the Israel Security Agency — better known as the Shabak — who freeze his assets because of the unexplained funds compared to his income. Choosing to take revenge, Naji Attalla (Imam) puts together a group of ex-servicemen who had served under him, with the purpose of going to Israel to rob Bank Leumi where his frozen assets are kept.

In an interview with the Egyptian Private TV network, Dream, Imam described the mini-series as “A historical landmark.” Let’s see what Imam’s “historical” miniseries has looked like so far.

Imam’s first appearance in the miniseries begins with him telling a joke. Imam says: “One time, a Jewish guy went to France, he found a French girl, he spent a night with her and then gave her 50 Euros, the next day, he spent another night with her and gave her 50 Euros. The third night was the same and the fourth was the same. The lady got impressed, she told him: A generous Jew? 200 Euros in one job! I love Jews now and by the way my aunt lives in Tel Aviv, the Jewish guy responded: I know, as she’s the one who sent you the 200 Euros”.

In another scene, Imam is shown making another joke about Jews being too cheap to a laughing and an impressed Jewish Israeli real estate agent. In another scene, an Egyptian diplomat who was newly-appointed to serve in Tel Aviv is shown telling Imam how he feels like he is in a nightmare for having to live among Israelis, noting he could not forget “their despicableness…and our folks still getting killed in Gaza and Palestine,” to which Imam responds “it is better to get know your enemy…in order to know how they think, as they (the Jews) have always been trying to learn how we think.”

In a different scene the Egyptian Embassy’s driver tells the fresh Egyptian diplomat: “May God burn them (Israelis) in hell; when Hamas carries out an operation against them, or when Hezbollah fires a couple of rockets my heart will be jumping with joy.”

Throughout the miniseries, Israelis are portrayed as Arab-hating bigots; one scene shows a female Israeli student giving a speech to a large crowd of students at Tel Aviv University, complete with the University’s coat of arms behind her. The Egyptian actress spoke in Hebrew, with Arabic captions, saying Israel did a great job “killing thousands of Arabs in Lebanon and Gaza,” and ended her passionate speech with her and the crowd chanting “Death to the Arabs.” The miniseries does not stop with portraying Israelis as prejudiced against Arabs, but also as prejudiced amongst themselves: In one scene, a Jewish Bank Leumi manager of Iraqi background is shown chastising one of his employee of a European background for missing days at work, telling him “Whom do you Ashkenazim think you are? You think you are a big deal? We Sephardim have held this country on our shoulders.”

The miniseries is a joint project between a private production company and the Production Section at the Egyptian TV, a state-owned and run institution, as confirmed by the Alarab website.

This miniseries is not the first, nor will it be the last, demonization of Jews and Israel in the Arab mass media. Nonetheless, the weight of the Arab star, Adel Imam, is huge, and therefore the miniseries is likely to have a more lasting effect in the minds of the younger generation in post-Mubarak Egypt.

Imam’s act is nothing new. Before him, a lesser known Egyptian actor, Muhammad Sobhi, earned himself great fame when he starred in a miniseries names “A Horseman Without A Horse,” which revolved around an alleged Jewish manual to control the world, better known as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

At the time, Western criticism of the miniseries served its star, Muhammad Sobhi. As that contributed to Sobhi’s fame, Adel Imam too might end up with more fame and public acceptance if his new miniseries brings about a Western or a Jewish uproar.

In the Middle East, the oldest publicity trick seems to still work: When you are need of social acceptance – or forgiveness in Imam’s case – just hit the Jewish piñata.

Will Egypt and other Arab Spring nations move forward or will they keep blaming their shortcomings on “the evil Jews”?

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author: Mudar Zahran is the Secretrary General of the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition, a known Jordanian- Palestinian politician and writer, who now resides in the UK as a political refugee. His writings regularly appear in Arab, Israeli, and American publications.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “In Egypt, Just Whack the Jewish Piñata to Become a Star”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ayala Shapira, 11, is fighting for her life after suffering burn wounds when an Arab terrorist threw a Molotov cocktail at the car in which she was riding.
‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim
Latest Indepth Stories
Bill Cosby

It shakes our sense of justice when allegations against a famed role model are covered up or ignored

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.

Knesset Logo

The silver lining with early elections is the chance to change the current dysfunctional government.

Cohen-122614

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.

What benefit is a learning experience that leaves kids confused,disillusioned&harms self confidence?

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

Obama’s comments calling Israeli settlements “unhelpful”are harsher than prior US administrations’

More Articles from Mudar Zahran
Jo-map

The Jordanian public is a fertile ground of anger that could be easily exploited by ISIS.

Can King Abdullah II of Jordan be saved?

Jordan’s king caused the rise of terrorists&ISIS by denying the Palestinian majority their rights

Unrest in YESHA and J’m helps Abbas and Abdullah defuse anger, gain politically and appear moderates

A., a teacher: “I do not know a single Gazan who is pro-Hamas at the moment, except for those on its payroll.”

Permitting the niqab in the British legal and educational systems not only further legitimizes Islamist fundamentalism, but also opens the door for enforced apartheid.

For the first time, the Palestinians engaged fully in the protests, calling for toppling the regime.

Hamas has brought misery, pain and destruction to Gaza, so Hamas’s alleged involvement in narcotics trafficking should not come as a shock to anyone.

Far from being the guardians of modesty and public morality, the Islamists are the worst offenders of sexual deviance and inappropriate public behavior.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/in-egypt-just-whack-the-jewish-pinata-to-become-a-star/2012/07/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: