Sunday, June 28, 2015

Egypt's Popular Soap Opera "The Jewish Quarter"

י״א לחודש הרביעי תשע״ה
Arutz 7: Israel Lauds Egyptian TV Show on Jews, then Regrets It
Show tries to overcome local Jew hatred by presenting love story of Muslim man and Jewish woman, but airs hostility to the Jewish state.

Arutz Sheva, June 26, 2015

With scenes of religious coexistence and vintage elegance in a more cosmopolitan era, an Egyptian soap opera aims to dispel prejudice towards the country's long-vilified and nearly extinct Jewish community - but even as it does so it exhibits hostility towards the Jewish state.

AFP reports that "The Jewish Quarter" shows life inside Cairo's Haret al-Yahud district during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, depicting an almost idyllic portrait of a society where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived side by side.

"I wanted to present this cosmopolitanism bringing together all religions" and to "show how Egypt used to be, and how it is today," said screenwriter Medhat al-Adl.

He said he wanted "to break the taboo and prejudice" by presenting "normal Jewish characters," in contrast to the derogatory representation of Jews in recent decades in movies and television shows.

The series initially won praise from Israel whose embassy in Cairo said it was pleased to see "for the first time, Jews represented according to their true nature, as human beings."

The show is openly anti-Zionist, however, and the Israeli embassy later criticized what it described as a "negative turning point" in the series and "attacks against the state of Israel," reports AFP. (cont.)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Just what we need, another Muslim man (fighting against UN sanctioned, Israeli independence) seducing a Jewish woman into a physically, sexually, and emotionally, abusive relationship!
The plot revolves around the love story of Aly, a Muslim officer in the Egyptian army fighting in the 1948 war, and his Jewish neighbor Leila, an elegant francophone saleswoman working in one of Cairo's upscale department stores, which were owned by influential Jewish businessmen.
And the pathetic, assimilationist, Israeli government lauds it, because it is not as Jew-hating as usual?!

No surprises here.

The Israeli Government eventually does criticize the television series for "attacks against the state of Israel," apparently unphased by the issue of interfaith, romantic relationships.

This is definitely one of those times when I get very confused when Jews, and non-Jews alike, called the State of Israel a "Jewish" State.
One scene shows Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna encouraging supporters to stage attacks, saying: "The war is not only in Palestine. Jihad here is no less important than it is there."
Well, at least the Egyptian producer got something right.

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