Five Ridiculous And Offensive Assertions Middle East Leaders Have Made About The Holocaust And Jews [SLIDESHOW]

By @MayaErgas on
  • Imam Abdul Rahman al-Sudais
    Saudi Arabia: “Jews are evil offspring, infidels, distorters of words …the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs.“ – Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, imam in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, April 19, 2002 Reuters/Parivartan Sharma
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    Iran: “Zionists are people without any religion. They are lying about being Jewish because religion means brotherhood, friendship and respecting other divine religions … They are not even a 10,000-strong organziation.” -- Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, August 28, 2007 (source: Anti-Defemation League). Reuters/Mian Kursheed
  • Supporter with a picture of Hassan Nasrallah
    Lebanon: “Throughout history the Jews have been Allah's most cowardly and avaricious creatures. If you look all over the world, you will find no one more miserly or greedy than they are." – Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, Sept. 28, 2001, in a speech in Beirut. Reuters/Khalil Hassan
  • Bashar al-Assad
    Syria: “Followers of Judaism tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Mohammed.” – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the visit of Pope John Paul II in 2001. When told he should retract the statement due to its anti-Semitism, Assad said, “These are historical facts that we cannot deny.” Reuters/Khaled Al Hariri
  • Mohamed Mahdi Akef, Muslim Brotherhood leader
    Egypt: In 2002 Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef called Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “a modest pupil in the world of murder and bloodshed” in an editorial published in the government-run newspaper Al-Akhbar. He went on: “In light of this imaginary tale [the Holocaust], I personally complain to Hitler, even saying to him from the bottom of my heart, 'If only you had done it, brother, if only it had really happened, so that the world could sigh in relief [without] their evil and sin." Reuters/Tarek Mostafa
1 of 5

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s recent comments claiming that his slur of Jews and Zionists was a manipulation by the “Jewish-controlled Western media” did not happen in a cultural vacuum. Anti-Semitism in the Middle East is not an extremist pursuit. It is alive, well and mainstream. In 2008, a Pew Research Center survey found that 95 percent of Egyptians, 96 percent of Jordanians and 97 percent of Lebanese had negative views of Jews. And many people in the Middle East still believe that the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. were part of a Jewish conspiracy.

In November 2005, Syrian television broadcast a speech by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke while he was visiting the country. Duke’s website features some choice blog posts in which he compares the idea of Judeo-Christianity to Satanic-Christianity, and says that “Jewish supremacy, which is grounded in Jewish psychology and might very well have a genetic basis, is steadily becoming more extreme as a result of continued inbreeding among Jews.”

In his speech in Syria, Duke said, “Around the world and in America, it is only the Zionists who want war rather than peace. It hurts my heart to tell you that part of my country is occupied by Zionists, just as part of your country, the Golan Heights, is occupied by Zionists.” The speech was greeted with loud cheers from the assembled crowd at a rally.

On Nov. 30, 2012, a Tunisian imam named Sheikh Ahmad al-Suhayli said on TV that God wanted to destroy the “sprinkling of Jews” in Tunisia, “and “is sterilizing the wombs of Jewish women.” He later claimed the statements had been “misinterpreted,” when the Jewish community in Tunisia (population about 1,000, all living on the island of Djerba) complained.

On Thursday, an Egyptian actor assaulted presenters on a candid-camera- type show when told he was being interviewed for “Israeli channel 2,” and said, “I hate the Jews to death,” Jerusalem Post reported. Another actress, confronted by the same presenters, said, “In that country [Israel] they are all liars,” she said. “They keep whining all the time about the Holocaust, or whatever it’s called. …  Allah did not curse the worm and moth as much as he cursed the Jews.”

If that’s not enough, you’ll easily be able to find in Cairo bookstores a copy of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the notorious hoax book published in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, which details a supposed plan by the Jews for world domination. The book was republished, widely distributed, and passed off as fact by notable anti-Semites such as Adolf Hitler and Henry Ford.

With Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, Jan. 27, here are five of the more outlandish and offensive assertions that Middle Eastern and Arab leaders have made about Jews and Israel.

Join the Discussion