FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Horseless Rider

The latest controversy to involve the Arab World concerns a TV program “A Rider Without a Horse” that started airing on Wednesday, Nov. 5th, the first day of the holy month of Ramadan on several Arab satellite channels. The source of the controversy is that the program is partly based on “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, the old forgery originating in Czarist Russia. Naturally numerous Jewish groups, the US, Israel and other countries and organizations have requested that the program be banned from the airwaves, without avail. What was left out from the intense media coverage is that there is significant opposition within the Arab world for this program; this article will furnish an argument on why Arabs themselves should oppose such a program and why they should campaign to take it off-air.

Before delving in the reasons why Arabs should reject the program, it should be noted that program timing and medium could not be worse, broadcasting during Ramadan nearly guarantees audiences in the tens of millions, and the widespread coverage on the efforts to ban it has only widened its appeal. Another real danger is that there has been a great trend in Arab societies toward visual inputs of information, where satellite television programs sometimes serve as the only conduit of information to the Arab family, such a trend will ensure that such a program will have credibility and that it will be viewed as historical facts, which is exactly why it should not be broadcast in the first place.

The main reason why we as Arabs should reject this program and the text it uses, is that it is an imported piece of anti-Semitic bigotry that was forged in one of the darkest chapters in European history, it has nothing to do with historical facts and more importantly with Arab world’s tolerant past where Jews were an integrated minority living in harmony with Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities. As a Palestinian currently living under a new Apartheid, I cannot but reject any ethnic stereotyping and demonizing such as advocated by the program, and I totally reject the notion that such programs will strengthen the support of the Arab world toward the Palestinians, any support generated by racism should be unwelcome by people suffering from it. It is very unfortunate that while we as Arabs have paid a heavy price for past European prosecution of Jews, we are currently importing and reviving the ugliest embodiments of that tradition of anti-Semitism.

Putting aside for a moment the amount of damage this program is causing to the image of the Arab world, it is morally and educationally wrong to introduce such intolerant stereotyping programs, instead of furthering universal values of tolerance and equality, we march in the opposite direction, propagating baseless hatred via mass media. It should be emphasized that the Arab- Israeli conflict is not based on religious rivalry, but on the fact that there is an occupied land and people enduring the last occupation on earth. The ferocity of the Palestinian and Arab opposition to this occupation would be the same if the occupiers were Muslims, Christians, or Buddhists instead of Jews.

A big part of the trend of importation of anti-Semitic bigotry (especially in times of heightened Israeli-Palestinian warfare) is simply based in ignorance, because of deficient history education and the lack of a culture of self-learning; most Arabs have little or no knowledge and understanding of the European past prosecution of Jews and how these events are always resident in the Jewish psyche in particular and western one in general. Such ignorance might explain but does not excuse what “Rider without a Horse” is about, the producers of the show might be thinking that they are trying to help the Palestinians with anti-Israel piece. They are doing exactly the opposite; they are affirming the views of the extremists in Israelwho say that Arabs will never accept the presence of Jews in the Holy Land and who are now advocating the forced transfer (another term for ethnic cleansing) of Palestinians from Palestine to elsewhere in the region.

In conclusion, there should be forceful internal Arab action by wide sectors of the educated classes to stop airing this tainted program, and it should be done for solely internal reasons, not in the context of bowing to foreign pressure. Bigotry should be rejected, regardless of who it is directed against, feeding Arab families (including the children) carefully measured doses of hatred is morally repugnant and will eventually come back to haunt us when this cycle of bigotry start enveloping the next target. Taking the program off-air will be a victory for reason, universal values, and the old Arab tradition of tolerance that now seem to be under constant attack. This fight should be as much about our internal image as about our external one.

QAIS S. SALEH is a business consultant currently living in Ramallah, Palestine and may be reached at qaiss@hotmail.com.

 

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
Naman Habtom-Desta
Up in the Air: the Fallacy of Aerial Campaigns
Ramzy Baroud
Kushner as a Colonial Administrator: Let’s Talk About the ‘Israeli Model’
Mark Hand
Residents of Toxic W.Va. Town Keep Hope Alive
John Kendall Hawkins
Alias Anything You Please: a Lifetime of Dylan
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigots in Blue: Philadelphia Police Department is a Home For Hate
David Macaray
UAW Faces Its Moment of Truth
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Horace G. Campbell
Edward Seaga and the Institutionalization of Thuggery, Violence and Dehumanization in Jamaica
Graham Peebles
Zero Waste: The Global Plastics Crisis
Michael Schwalbe
Oppose Inequality, Not Cops
Ron Jacobs
Scott Noble’s History of Resistance
Olivia Alperstein
The Climate Crisis is Also a Health Emergency
David Rosen
Time to Break Up the 21st Century Tech Trusts
George Wuerthner
The Highest Use of Public Forests: Carbon Storage
Ralph Nader
It is Time to Rediscover Print Newspapers
Nick Licata
How SDS Imploded: an Inside Account
Rachel Smolker – Anne Peterman
The GE American Chestnut: Restoration of a Beloved Species or Trojan Horse for Tree Biotechnology?
Sam Pizzigati
Can Society Survive Without Empathy?
Manuel E. Yepe
China and Russia in Strategic Alliance
Patrick Walker
Green New Deal “Climate Kids” Should Hijack the Impeachment Conversation
Colin Todhunter
Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India
Robert Koehler
The Armed Bureaucracy
David Swanson
Anyone Who’d Rather Not be Shot Should Read this Book
Jonathan Power
To St. Petersburg With Love
Marc Levy
How to Tell a Joke in Combat
Thomas Knapp
Pork is Not the Problem
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming and Solar Minimum: a Response to Renee Parsons
Jill Richardson
Straight People Don’t Need a Parade
B. R. Gowani
The Indian Subcontinent’s Third Partition
Adolf Alzuphar
Diary: The Black Body in LA
Jonah Raskin
‘69 and All That Weird Shit
Michael Doliner
My Surprise Party
Stephen Cooper
The Fullness of Half Pint
Charles R. Larson
Review: Chris Arnade’s “Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America”
David Yearsley
Sword and Sheath Songs
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail