Jewishness as an accusation

Via Glenn, Legal Insurrection and Andrew Sullivan (who still has some scruples as this link indicates) comes a story that will likely shock the vast majority of readers who don’t pay attention to the realities of the Arab world:

While walking in the street someone pushed me from behind with such force that I nearly fell over.

Turning around, I found myself surrounded by five men, one of whom tried to punch me in the face. I stopped the attack by pointing out how shameful it was for a Muslim to assault a guest in his country, especially during Ramadan.

Relieved that a seemingly random assault was over, I was appalled by the apology offered by one of my assailants. “Sorry,” he said contritely, offering his hand, “we thought you were a Jew.”

Shaking his head in disbelief on hearing the news, an Egyptian friend sympathised: “That’s stupid, you are obviously not a Jew.”

The chilling implication I was left with was that, had I been Jewish, the assault would have apparently been justified.

That’s bad enough but I found his description of an encounter a few days earlier just as…interesting (emphasis mine):

Eventually one of the men struck up a conversation, revolving primarily around what exactly I was doing in Egypt at a time when most foreigners had left.

My answers met with furrowed brows and clearly dissatisfied shakes of the head, when suddenly, raising his hand in front of his mouth in a conspiratorial gesture one man shot, “I bet he’s from Israel” into the ear of his friend so quickly as to be barely discernible.

I was shocked. In nearly six months of living in Syria, where orchestrated hysteria about Israel is integral to the very identity of the state, I had never heard the accusation surreptitiously levelled against me.

The accusation Accusation! Who does he think he is David Rosovsky?

Ask them, Sister tell them I am NOT A JEW!

As a person constantly mistaken for a Jew (particularly when I wear my beard) I’m disgusted.

Considering that this comes a day after the unrepentant speech of one of the Fogel Family’s murders and the declaration that any Palestinian state much be Judenrein this shouldn’t get me all that worked up.

(BTW if you are a Huff-po reader crying “misinterpretation” perhaps you can explain why Politico reports he has explicitly called for this in the past and tell us; how many Jews currently live in Gaza?)

I should be more charitable, after all Dinham article plainly reveals the antisemitism and the paranoia behind it that is the reality of the Arab Middle east to a BBC audience that doesn’t acknowledge its existence. Of course Dr. Jack Shaheen will likely disagree.

But I feel bad for the Egyptians in question as well. Their mistake made them look bad in the eyes of the western media, if only they could find some way to isolate those troublesome Jews this would not be an issue. I wonder how that can be done?

Let’s be blunt, if the Jews in Israel thought of the Arabs the way the Arabs in the Middle East thought of the Jews every Arab east of the Nile and west of the Jordan would have been slaughtered decades ago.