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Connecting the Dots In Egypt

News story number one: On Al-Nas TV, described as an Egyptian religious channel, Egyptian cleric Salem Abu Al-Futouh explains things to his co-religionists:

Brothers and sisters, in 1114, in England, an extremely grave thing was discovered: The Jews would abduct children, slaughter them, collect the blood in a vessel, and consume it at Passover.

The Jews have two holidays: Passover and another one. What is the Passover, you ask? This holiday is a kind of. . . The Jews celebrate this holiday by eating sandwiches. . . Rather, they eat matzos. What are these matzos made of, you may ask? Concentrate now. They are made of flour and, instead of water, of blood.

A fundamental condition is that the blood be of non-Jews, and especially of Muslims and Arabs.

It goes on and on, in the same vein: the same nonsense that we have heard a thousand times before. News story number two: Egypt builds wall around Israeli embassy. This is the same embassy which, as we noted here, was attacked by a mob two weeks ago. One of the rioters, cheered on by the crowd, climbed to the top of the embassy and tore down the Israeli flag. So it is easy to see why Egyptian authorities saw the need to protect the embassy. Apparently, however, it isn’t so easy for them to explain to their populace:

The Egyptian authorities are erecting a wall around the Israeli embassy in Cairo as relations between the two neighbours who signed a peace treaty in 1979 are at a delicate phase. …

Outraged Egyptians last month staged huge protests outside the embassy and called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador over the border deaths of Egyptian policemen killed as Israel hunted militants.

Let’s pause there. First, they weren’t “militants,” they were terrorists. Second, the Israeli forces weren’t merely “hunting” them, they were in hot pursuit after the terrorists had crossed the border from Egypt and murdered at least eight Israelis. Third, some of the terrorists turned out to be Egyptians, and the circumstances under which the Egyptian policemen were killed are still under investigation. This would seem to be important context, but AFP doesn’t consider it necessary to mention. Now on to the main point:

Egyptian officials quoted by the local media have meanwhile stressed that the wall being erected around the embassy was aimed at protecting residents of nearby buildings.

Ali Abdel Rahman, the governor of Giza district where the embassy is located, told Al-Gumhuriyya newspaper the wall “has nothing to do with the protection of the Israeli embassy” but is for the protection of private citizens.

It remains unclear what sort of regime will ultimately emerge in Egypt, but with respect to these stories, the new boss is very much like the old bosses, all across the region. Due to a combination of cowardice and complicity, Arab governments either permit or encourage the vilest (and stupidest) slanders against Jews, and then, when they have to deal with the inevitable consequences of this endless propaganda, they are either unable or unwilling to tell their citizens anything like the truth. Maybe the vaunted “Arab spring” will amount to something someday; maybe it won’t. But as long as this same old script keeps being replayed, we will know that not much has really changed.

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