Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The "Jewish Quarter" TV serial

As you know, most Western journalists in the Middle East don't have a command of Arabic although they hire a bevy of local staffers who speak the language (and most of those are also past or future workers in Saudi and Qatari media, so their politics is always to the right of Muhammad bin Salman--just in case).  When the Jewish Quarter TV serial started airing in Ramadan, the Western media could not see any TV serial except this one. You can even google to see that of all the TV serials, only this one got coverage.  They heard that the serial has a "good" portrayal of Arab Jews, contrary to Western Zionist depiction of Arabs as anti-Semitic.  But it was very clear that that they didn't watch the show: Al-Akhbar TV critic, Zaynab Hawi, tells me that the show actually was more complex and while it avoided any anti-Jewish references, it was firmly anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli.  None of the Western writers noticed that.  I didn't watch the serial so I am relying on her.  Yet, Liberation (the neo liberation which should not be confused with the old Liberation), the French publication decided that the show is in fact anti-Semitic.