From the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
JORDAN CANCELS ANTISEMITIC TV SERIES,
FOLLOWING PROTEST BY 24 U.S. RABBIS

The government of Jordan has agreed to cancel an antisemitic television series after receiving a letter of protest from 24 American rabbis who had met last month with Jordan’s king.

The protest was organized by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. “During the 1930s, too many Americans were silent in the face of rising antisemitism, with tragic results,” said Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff. “Our generation must not repeat that error. We must speak out against antisemitism today, whenever and wherever it erupts.”

The rabbis’ letter was sent to the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2005. Two days later, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported the Jordanian Embassy’s announcement (on Oct. 26) that the series has been cancelled, noting that “a group of rabbis that had met with Jordanian King Abdullah II in September wrote the king a letter urging him to stop the broadcasts.”

Those who signed the Wyman Institute’s letter of protest included Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, vice-president of Reform Judaism’s Hebrew Union College. Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist rabbis also signed the letter.

The antisemitic television series, called “Al-Shatat,” portrays Jews conspiring to assassinate world leaders, cause stock market crashes, and provoke world wars, as part of a plan to conquer the world, based on the notorious antisemitic forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” One episode depicts Jews murdering a Christian child in order to use his blood for Passover matzos. Another episode shows Jewish leaders helping the Nazis slaughter Europe’s Jews, in order to win world sympathy for Zionism.

The 29-part series had been running on the Al-Mamnou television channel in Jordan. In recent years, the series was also aired on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Television and on Iranian Television.

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