Teheran bemused as France bans anti-Semitic Iranian TV station

February 25, 2005

This is an update to several previous dispatches on this list, including:

* Iranian TV: Israelis steal Palestinian children's eyes (Dec. 23, 2004)
* France to ban "revolting" anti-Semitic TV broadcasts (Feb. 2, 2004)
* French schoolbook: "It was an exam day in the occupied West Bank" (Nov. 18, 2003)


1. "France bans IRI's Sahar TV network" (Official IRIB news website, Feb. 22, 2005)
2. "Broadcast of Iranian TV Channel Sahar" (Feb. 23, 2005)
3. "Broadcast of Iranian TV Channel Jaam-E-Jam 3" (Feb. 23, 2005)
4. "France's Chirac Condemns Racism, Jews Demand Action" (Reuters, Feb. 22, 2005)



[Note by Tom Gross]

Responding to the latest in a long series of anti-Semitic attacks in France – the latest being last weekend's arson attack on the memorial at Drancy, where tens of thousands of French Jews, including many thousands of children, were deported to their deaths [See Note 1 below] – the French government has finally decided to try and prevent satellite television broadcasts inciting anti-Semitism among French Moslems.

Below is a news report from the website of the state-controlled IRIBnews (The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting news website).

You will see in this, as in previous transcripts, that it seems that Iranian Islamic anti-Semites – like secular Western anti-Semites – realize that it is to their advantage to use the word "Zionists" (which makes it sound like they are making a purely political point) rather than "Jews," which would expose them to more obvious accusations of racism. IRIBnews therefore refer to Jews as Zionists in their text: "The unbased allegations over gas rooms and genocide of Jews known as holocaust among Zionists."


The series "Zahra's Blue Eyes" – subject of a dispatch on this list titled Iranian TV: Israelis steal Palestinian children's eyes (Dec. 23, 2004) – continued to be broadcast on Sahar TV, a leading Iranian television station, from early December 2004 up to a few days ago. It depicted Israeli military and civilians (all dressed in the traditional clothing of religious Jews) conspiring to steal the eyes of Palestinian children. The series was produced by a former official of the Iranian Education Ministry. It was made in Farsi but also dubbed into Arabic for further broadcast.

The Bush administration was one of the few foreign governments to condemn the program. Additionally, 15 members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, wrote to the director of the Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran to condemn the series. These included the only Holocaust survivor in congress, Tom Lantos (D-CA).

On Tuesday (February 22) Iranian TV reported that Sahar TV was told it would be banned from broadcasting in France from March 10 because of its broadcasts of "Zahra's Blue Eyes," and of "Al-Shatat."


"Al-Shatat" ("The Diaspora") is a Syrian-produced film originally broadcast by Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV in Arabic but re-aired by Sahar TV in Persian for an Iranian audience one month ago. Al-Manar had also been banned in France for its airing of Al-Shatat.

As documented on this email list, "Al-Shatat" (a 30-part "mini-series" which cost $5.1 million to make) was broadcast during Ramadan last year by Al-Manar. The film is "a Syrian TV series recording the criminal history of Zionism," according to a review in the Syria Times.

Here, for example, is one episode (episode twenty) of Al-Shatat, depicting a classic medieval Christian anti-Semitic blood libel. A Rabbi, played by an Arab actor, directs a member of his synagogue to help him:

1) kidnap the son of his Christian neighbor;
2) bring the boy to the synagogue;
3) slit the boy's throat;
4) drain the boy's blood into a basin;
5) use the blood to make Passover matzoh bread;
6) serve the matzoh to the members of the synagogue.

In Episode Six, a group of rabbis in a Rome ghetto gather to torture and kill a man found guilty of marrying a non-Jewish woman. As the man screams in agony, the chief rabbi instructs his congregation: "You hold his nose shut. You, open his mouth with tongs. You pour lead into his mouth. You cut off his ears. You stab his body with a knife before the lead kills him. This is a sacred Talmudic court." The men then follow the Rabbi's orders.

Below, I attach reports on this from three different Iranian TV broadcasters, followed by a Reuters report from Paris. First there is an additional note on Alois Brunner.

-- Tom Gross



Tom Gross writes:

The Drancy camp, just outside Paris at which many French Jews died and many more were transported on to death camps, was run mainly by French citizens. But from 1943, Eichmann's deputy, his fellow Austrian Alois Brunner, arrived to help supervise round-ups.

I mention this because Brunner is believed to be the last surviving senior Nazi alive. He is still being given protection by the Syrian regime at his comfortable home in Damascus. Germany, Israel and other countries have previously Brunner’s extradition. With Syria very much in the news at present and increasing call's for the Baath regime in Damascus to end its military occupation of Lebanon, rein in terror groups, and democratize, those government officials and advisers who subscribe to this email list from the US and elsewhere may wish to ensure that Brunner's extradition is also on the list of demands that the international community now places on Damascus.

Louis Handschuh, an elderly survivor of Drancy and Auschwitz, adds from Paris, via a subscriber to this email list in Paris who knows him: "Of course I remember Alois Brunner – I still have the scar he gave me on my head. He smashed a rock on me because I did not salute him quickly enough when we met in the courtyard."



France bans IRI's Sahar TV network
February 22, 2005


Under pressures of Zionis [sic] lobby, French government decided to bar Iran's Sahar TV Network from broadcasting as of the tenth of March.

French and Arabic parts of Sahar TV Network has shown two anti-Zionist programs which triggered French council for monitoring media to ban broadcast of the network.

Director of the Sahar TV Network said that the network had tried to reveal the crimes of the Zionist regime as well as the unbased allegations over gas rooms and genocide of Jews known as holocaust among Zionists.

The decision by French Monitoring Council unveiled the true face of democracy in the West.



Broadcast of Iranian TV Channel Sahar
February 23, 2005

Newscaster: "The French Higher Council for Radio and Television decided to cancel [the broadcasting of] Iranian Sahar TV, which belongs to the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the Hotbird satellite. This was the result of its airing the 'Al-Shatat' series and 'Zahra's Blue Eyes,' which, naturally, had various ramifications because it wanted to express the truth, to tell the truth, and to highlight the truth in everybody's minds, but not as the Zionists want. Our only crime is that we wanted to side with the oppressed. Our only crime is that we wanted to be followers of Imam Hussein's teaching, peace be upon him - Hussein who taught us, and indeed continues to teach us, how to face the aggressors."



Broadcast of Iranian TV Channel Jaam-E-Jam 3
February 23, 2005

First newscaster: "Following the ban on the Al-Manar TV broadcasts in France, we see that the Sahar TV broadcasts have also been banned in a country that has claims to be free and democratic."

Second newscaster:"Yes, unfortunately... As you've said, France has banned the broadcasts of the Sahar Global network due to anti-Israeli programming. The French Higher Council for Radio and Television passed on this decision to the Eutelsat company. Sharif-Zadeh, director of the Sahar network, had this to say:"

Intervieweee, Mohsan Sharif-Zadeh, in response to a question: "Obviously, we began this trend to support the Palestinian people and to present the false foundations of the Zionist regime. Naturally, we will continue all programming as long as broadcasts have not been stopped by Eutelsat. Even afterwards we will continue our programming."



France's Chirac Condemns Racism, Jews Demand Action
February 22, 2005

[Extracts of this report only included here]

French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday condemned an attack in which swastikas were daubed on the main mosque in Paris, and faced pressure from Jewish groups to intensify the fight against anti-Semitism and all racism.

The graffiti scrawled on the outer wall of the Grand Mosque and an arson attack on a railway carriage that is now a monument to Jews killed by the Nazi Germans, were the latest in a wave of racist attacks that have alarmed Muslims and Jews in France.

... A dozen swastikas, the SS initials of Adolf Hitler's guard and the words "Get out!" were found Monday written in black paint on the outer wall of the mosque in central Paris.

... There has also been no claim of responsibility for the attack on the railway carriage at Drancy, just outside Paris.

Police said a petrol bomb was thrown at the carriage on Sunday night but it was not badly damaged. The Nazi Germans transported Jews by train from a transit camp at Drancy to death and concentration camps during World War II.

Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin condemned the Drancy attack Monday, but a Jewish leader said Tuesday French should step up its fight against anti-Semitism.

"It's true that the authorities do the maximum to fight this curse of anti-Semitism and racism, but one must fight it more intensely," Roger Cukierman, head of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, told RTL radio.

He said all French people must make an effort to help prevent racist attacks.

"Public opinion must understand that these are not viewpoints but crimes which have to be punished," said Cukierman, who has criticized French sentences for anti-Semitic crimes as too light.

About 600,000 Jews live in France, the largest Jewish population in Europe. It is also home to [over] 5 million Muslims, Europe's largest Muslim minority.

Despite Chirac's drive to crack down on racist attacks, more than 300 tombs or graves have been desecrated in eastern France since April - many in Jewish cemeteries but also some Muslim and a few Christian graves...

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.