JTA is reporting that the pro-Mubarak protesters in Egypt are targeting foreign journalists, who they believe are supported by Jews. The Egyptian state-run media has been reporting recently that Israel is behind the anti-government protests, and this message is obviously beginning to resonate with the pro-Mubarak crowd:
Pro-Egyptian government counter-protesters in Cairo are screaming “Jew!” at foreign journalists, apparently spurred by Egyptian state TV accusations that Israeli spies are behind the protests.
“Egyptian state television has actively tried to foment the unrest by reporting that ‘Israeli spies’ on the unrest have infiltrated the city, which explains why many of the gangs who attack reporters shout ‘yehudi!,'” Al Jazeera said in a report on its website Thursday.
Is it even necessary to point out how ridiculous this is? Israel has consistently supported Mubarak, even going so far as to direct its overseas diplomats to avoid saying anything negative about his regime. The Israeli government has an interest in maintaining the status quo in the region, which means keeping Mubarak in place.
Of course, that means little to the Egyptians, who are programmed to view Israel as the default boogeyman in all situations. Mubarak has supported a culture of anti-Semitism, and now his state-run media is directing this hatred of Jews toward foreign reporters and other enemies of the regime.