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Remember a couple of years ago how people were so upset that Israeli Gal Gadot was playing Cleopatra in a biopic (now set to be released sometime in 2023)? She was accused of “whitewashing” the role, with some claiming that Cleopatra was black or part Arab, and others responding that she was of white Macedonian ancestry, and it was not at all inappropriate for a Jewish woman to play someone else whose ancestry was Levantine.

There was more than a little antisemitism in that controversy – Gadot being from Israel was the real issue, as we saw with the protests in the Arab world about her Wonder Woman role.
Now, Egyptians are turning this issue on its head, thanks to an upcoming Netflix documentary series that casts a black woman as Cleopatra, and claims that she was indeed black.


A Netflix docudrama depicting Queen Cleopatra as black has sparked an uproar in Egypt.
‘Queen Cleopatra’ stars British actress Adele James, who is of mixed heritage, as the title character.
But Egyptian academics insists that Cleopatra, who was born in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 69 BC, was light-skinned and of European descent, not black.
So intense is the backlash that an Egyptian lawyer has reportedly filed a complaint in an attempt to prevent the show from airing in Egypt, accusing the film of violating media laws and aiming to “erase the Egyptian identity”.
This doesn’t come close to describing the pure racism coming out of Egypt, far out of proportion to just complaining about Cleopatra’s origins.
Asharq reports:
Representative Saboura El-Sayed, a member of the Egyptian Parliament, submitted a request for a briefing to the Speaker of Parliament, Counselor Hanafi Jabali, calling for a ban on broadcasting the Netflix platform in Egypt, in light of the promotional advertisement for the documentary film “Queen Cleopatra”, which is scheduled to be broadcast on the digital platform next May 9.
Saboura explained to Asharq that…”this incident is an attempt to steal and distort history, as there are major plans seeking to undermine, demolish and steal the Egyptian state.
She pointed out that Netflix’s promotion of Cleopatra as a queen of African descent feeds the ideas of the “Afrocentric” movement, which adopts the idea that all civilizations of the world included people of African descent before their dispersal, stressing that the film is trying to change the history of ancient Egypt and falsify established historical data.

But while the Gadot issue complained she was too white and this one says the actress is too black, there is one thing in common: both of them have elements of old fashioned Jew-hatred.

One Egyptian expert went off into a crazed antisemitic conspiracy theory:
Egyptologist Dr. Wassim El-Sisi said, “This film is a scheme that carries political goals, which is the expulsion of Jews of African descent from Europe and America to Egypt.
Al-Sisi continued, to Asharq, “They want to convince Jews of African descent that their ancestors are the owners of the Egyptian civilization, and that those present in Egypt are the sons of the invaders, Arabs, Ikhshidids and others, but it is their misfortune that scientific research has proven that more than 86% of Egyptians carry the genes of Tutankhamun.

(Update): There is a variant on that conspiracy theory in  popular Egyptian site Al Masry Al Youm, where they say that Zionists are trying to expel Blacks from America by convincing them that Egypt is really theirs and they should return there and get rid of the Arab invaders.

El-Sisi is a well-known figure in Egypt, an antisemitic nutcase who says that Jews control all aspects of the United States – and that Mohammed was Egyptian, not Arab. But his craziness gets airplay in Egypt.
He isn’t the only racist and antisemite weighing in on this in Egypt. Al Masry al Youm said the idea that Cleopatra was black came from Jewish “pressure groups” for their own nefarious but unstated purposes.


{Reposted from EoZ}

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