As President Obama prepares to travel to Egypt to address the world's Muslims, an Egyptian government official has declared that Jews are the source of the swine flu. Therefore, he reasons in a new fatwa, it's OK to slaughter pigs.
It's bad enough when anti-Semitism is promulgated organically. It's especially repugnant when the source of this hatred is a government official.
The whole thing is so ludicrous. First, the World Health Organization has said in response to Egypt's wholesale slaughter of pigs that there's no evidence you can contract swine flu from them. And even if you could, to justify killing the nation's wholesale extermination of its pigs by saying that Jews are the source defies logic.
There's a side issue here that isn't getting much attention. Because eating pork is prohibited by Islamic law, and because Egypt's population is predominantly Muslim, the government decision to slaughter swine adversely affects the country's minority Coptic Christian community. Most of the pig farmers in Egypt are Coptics.
So with one action and declaration, the Egyptian government manages to alienate both Christians and Jews.