An Egyptian version of Candid Camera turned ugly and violent, when three popular Egyptian actors were led to believe they were on Israeli TV. What was intended to be a prank turned into a frightening exercise in racism, demonization of Israel, Holocaust denial and virulent Jew hate. A woman host and two member's of the show's staff were physically attacked, when the actors fell for the setup and became convinced they being interviewed by a woman who was an Israeli Jew.
The stunning episode was exposed today, July 24, 2012, in a video made available on YouTube by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). The Washington, D.C. based, non-profit organization specializes in providing accurate translations of news articles and broadcasts that originate from the Middle East. MEMRI provides translation from Arabic, Persian, Urdu-Pashtu and Turkish into English.
The program was first seen on Egypt's Al-Nahar television channel. The video, which runs for ten minutes, is in Arabic and includes subtitles in English. Just like many of the reality shows broadcast in other countries, the show includes "gotcha moments", intended to illicit a surprised or shocked reaction. Only the people involved with the program know if they anticipated the possibility of violence and mayhem occurring but it should be mentioned that during one segment, several very large gentlemen did run in to restore order.
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Note: Due to a copyright complaint from Egyptian TV, the video has been blocked by YouTube. Go to the MEMRI website HERE to view the video and a transcript of the program.
In the first segment of the video, the female host is interviewing Ayman Kandeel nicknamed "Tuhami," when a caller to the program declares," I can not believe what I am seeing. We used to love you but when we see you on such a TV channel. A dubious Israeli TV channel. Shame on you." The caller is cut off and Ayman Kandeel begins to do a slow boil until he finally explodes, screaming, "You people all deceive and lie." He then hits the man who is masquerading as the show's Israeli producer several times and when the female host tries to calm him down, he backhands her with enough force to knock her to the ground. When it finally is revealed that he was setup and it is all a prank, he hugs the host, while telling her "You brought it upon yourself." Mr.Kandeel concludes by saying, "After the show, come to my car. I'll rub some lotion on your back." Assault, racism, religious hatred and misogyny, all in one neat package.
Actress Mayer El Beblawi didn't resort to a physical attack. Instead, she used her words as weapons, when she launched into a tirade laced with racist depictions of Jews and Holocaust denial. She angrily proclaimed, "In that country, Israel, they are all liars. They keep whining all the time about the Holocaust, or whatever it's called. Why are you still whining about the Holocaust and it's lousy figures."
She went on to paraphrase the Qur'an, saying, "These people sawed off the head of John the Baptist. They are the slayers of the prophets. What else can we say about them? Allah did not curse the worm and moth as much as he cursed the Jews." When she was finally told she was on Israeli News, a look of horror came over her face and she said, "You're kidding me, right? I won't allow something like this."
The final guest was actor Mahmoud Abdel Ghaffar, who took his rage to the extreme, when he grabbed one of the actors pretending to be an Israeli producer by the hair and dragged him around the studio. The producer was repeatedly slapped in the face, before the furious actor drove his knee into the man's head. Ghaffar screamed at his victim, "You are a Jew." When program's staff finally convinced him that he was really on Egyptian television, Ghaffar hugged the man he was beating and announced to the world, "You brought me someone who looks like a Jew... I hate the Jews to death." When Ghaffar's outburst finally ended, the victim sat on the floor, trying to regain his senses, while the studio erupted in applause.
Perhaps even more disturbing than the three guests and their outbursts, was the wrap up at the end of the program, when the host says, "I'd like to tell you I enjoyed today's episode with Mahmoud. I didn't know there could be such patriotism but it exists in every Egyptian who breathes the air of this country."
And there we have it folks. First broadcast on Egyptian television and then for all the world to see on YouTube, the new, Democratic Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood. Screaming their universal hatred for all Jews, while quoting the Qur'an, denying the Holocaust and violently assaulting someone just for being Jewish. Welcome to the Arab Spring, where Jew hate is equated with patriotism and knocking a Jewish woman senseless inspires national pride. And so it goes with the cold peace between Egypt and Israel during the long, hot summer of 2012.