TALI MINSBERG , THE JERUSALEM POST
The Anti-Defamation League released a "Report on Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media" on Monday, citing the country's culture of permissiveness which enables anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment to flourish.
The report, delivered to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and members of the Obama administration last week, sours President Obama's hope that Egypt could be a leader in improving Muslim and non-Muslim relations.
"These alarming manifestations of anti-Jewish attitudes undermine attempts by the US administration to deliver on the promise of better relations between the Muslim and non-Muslim world in President Obama's Cairo address," ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said on Monday.
Furthermore, the anti-Israel press and lack of government action present a major obstacle to Obama's vision of normalized relations between Israel and Arab countries, Foxman said.
Popular Egyptian daily newspapers and television programs portray Jews as "stooped, hook-nosed and money-hungry, fighting for world domination."
The ADL report highlights 58 editorial cartoons - from mainstream Egyptian newspapers - which portray Jews and Israelis using anti-Semitic stereotypes. The cartoons from the mass circulation dailies Al-Ahram, Al-Gumhuriyya and Akhbar Al-Yawm also include offensive images of the Holocaust and swastikas.
The report also presents excerpts from articles in the Egyptian press claiming that Americans and Israelis rape Iraqi and Palestinian girls, Israel pollutes Palestinian drinking water and Jews control the American media.
"President Mubarak's government continues to engage in business as usual when it comes to blatant expressions of anti-Semitism in the media, which seep into Egyptian society," Foxman said.
In October, Egypt attempted to exclude Israeli doctors and scientists from an international breast cancer conference.
The ADL addressed President Mubarak in a letter accompanying the report, criticizing the lack of public condemnation and censure of anti-Semitic expressions and actions.
"On numerous occasions, ADL officials have met with you and members of your government to urge Egypt's leadership to speak out against such anti-Semitic expressions and to make clear that the demonization of Jews is unacceptable in Egyptian society," the letter states.
"To our disappointment, such condemnations have been rare, and all too often we have heard representatives of your government justify these examples of hate as understandable expressions of anger toward Jews."
Neither President Obama nor President Mubarak had publicly reacted to the ADL's report by press time.
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