Reality television is a growing phenomenon around the globe. Watching people deal with uncomfortable or compromising situations is today a most popular form of entertainment. And, in Egypt, there is no more uncomfortable or compromising situation than coming face-to-face with an Israeli Jew, according to one reality TV show.
Aired recently on Egypt’s Al-Nahar channel, the program showed three popular Egyptian actors being interviewed before being told by their young female interviewer that they were on Israel’s Channel 2 News. All three of the celebrities shown in the segment were outraged over the idea of speaking to Israeli Jews, and two turned violent.
One celebrity, actor Ayman Kandeel “Tuhami,” slapped and knocked his female interviewer to the ground after coming to believe she was an Israeli newscaster. Kandeel then threw chairs at the rest of the television crew before being told that he had been pranked and that all the staff were in fact Egyptians.
After being convinced of the truth, Kandeel hugged the female interviewer he had just assaulted, stating, “You brought it upon yourself.” A male presenter accompanying the injured woman told viewers, “People, let’s have a round of applause for Ayman [Kandeel].”
Another actor, Mahmoud Abdel Ghaffar, also turned violent after being told he was being interviewed by Israeli television. Ghaffar slapped and violently shook the head of his interviewer before staff members told him, “Mahmoud, this is a candid camera show. We are all Egyptians!”
Like Kandeel, Ghaffar then hugged his victim, telling the rest of the staff, “You brought me someone who looks like a Jew. I hate the Jews to death.” Also like Kandeel, Ghaffar was applauded by the television crew for his violent reaction to supposedly being interviewed by an Israeli Jew.
Female actress Mayer El Beblawi was the other targeted celebrity, and while she did not turn violent, El Beblawi did launch into an anti-Semitic diatribe.
“In that country [Israel] they are all liars. They keep whining about the Holocaust, or whatever it’s called. They are the slayers of the prophets. Allah did not curse the worm and moth as much as he cursed the Jews,” said El Beblawi.
Egypt has been officially at peace with Israel since 1979, but the reaction of some of its prominent cultural figures to supposedly coming face-to-face with an Israeli Jew reveals just how cold that peace has been. It also again demonstrates the worrying fertility of the social soil into which the Muslim Brotherhood intends to plant its own dangerous ideology.