Israel complained that the series “is completely unacceptable especially because the two states have had a peace treaty for the past 41 years.”
By World Israel News Staff and AP
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday condemned a new Egyptian TV drama set in the year 2120 that predicts Israel’s destruction as well as the breakup of the United States.
The Foreign Ministry statement said the series “is completely unacceptable especially because the two states have had a peace treaty for the past 41 years.”
Egypt and Israel have worked closely on security issues since the 1979 treaty, especially near their border in the Sinai Peninsula, in a shared effort against Islamic militants. However, public opinion in Egypt has remained overwhelmingly against normalized relations with Israel and Egypt’s culture is steeped in anti-Semitism.
The Egyptian series “El-Nehaya” — Arabic for “The End” — is about a computer engineer living in a dystopian future dominated by cyborg clones. It’s one of the many dramas and soap operas that air each night during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began last week.
In the first episode, a teacher tells a class of students about “the war to liberate Jerusalem,” which he says occurred less than 100 years after Israel’s founding in 1948. The teacher says Jews in Israel “ran away and returned to their countries of origin” in Europe.
He made no mention of what happened to Jews in Israel whose families came from other Middle Eastern countries — roughly half the Jewish population.
A holographic map of a divided U.S. is also shown, with the teacher saying that “America was the central supporter of the Zionist state.”
There was no immediate comment from the Egyptian government.
The series is produced by Synergy, one of Egypt’s largest production companies, which has strong links with the government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The series airs on the ON television network, which is owned by a pro-government company.
The show’s writer, Amr Samir Atif, told The Associated Press that the destruction of Israel “is a possible future in the absence of real peace and true stability in the region. … Peace should be based on justice.”
Egypt has a history of broadcasting anti-Semitic fare during Ramadan. Most famously, in 2002 it aired a 30-part series “Horseman without a Horse,” a dramatization based on the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a Russian fabrication from the early 20th Century purporting to expose a Jewish plan for world domination.
In 2013 during Ramadan it featured “Khaybar” about Jewish and Muslim relations in Medina and the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s expelling of the Jews from the oasis in 628 CE.
In 2017, “Kalabsh” featured an Jewish woman from America, who charmed an Egyptian diplomat into damaging Egyptian national security.
In 2019, the show “Alzyb’a” featured Jews dominating the world.
The new show exasperates Israeli officials, who recently publicly praised security cooperation with el-Sissi’s government.
Israel has granted Egypt permission to deploy troops, armor and helicopter gunships close to the Israeli border to fight militants there. The 1979 peace treaty limited the number of troops and type of weapons Egypt can have in the area without Israeli consent.
When el-Sissi was asked in a 2018 interview if Egypt’s cooperation with Israel was the closest ever, he replied: “That is correct. … We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis.”
Since taking office in 2014, el-Sissi has met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at least twice.
Most Egyptians however associate Israel with the four wars the countries fought against each other from 1948 to 1973.
In 2016, an Egyptian lawmaker and popular TV talk show host was expelled from parliament over a meeting he had with the Israeli ambassador to Egypt.
In June 2012, Egypt elected Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, as president. The Brotherhood is an Islamist movement, which is virulently anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and anti-Western.