Borat's Anti-Semitism, and Ours

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Thank you for Suzanne Fields' Monday Op-Ed column "But is it good for the Jews?" lauding Sacha Baron Cohen's film "Borat" for reminding us to be on guard against anti-Semitism even here in America.

To be sure, no one would compare the bigotry that Mr. Cohen's "Borat" character famously uncovered at a country-Western bar in Arizona with the extremely virulent strain of anti-Semitism that was common in Europe for centuries and that pervades much of the Islamic world today. PBS recently aired a documentary titled "Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence," hosted by Judy Woodruff. The program exposed the state-controlled Arab media's deliberate use of harrowingly gruesome portrayals of Jews as evil, Satanic figures in "family" programs aired throughout the Arab world during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This is but one example of a systematic indoctrination campaign by the government and extremist religious leaders to inculcate the population with extreme hate for Jews and Israel.

Thus, when former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad claims that "the Jews rule this world by proxy," or when a 31/2-old Egyptian girl named Basmallah tells the host of a "progressive" Saudi women's television magazine show that Jews are "apes and pigs" scenes also featured in the documentary it takes little imagination to figure out where such hateful and dehumanizing views of Jews originate. …