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The Cable TV series from FX Tyrant is driven by anti-Arab racism and stereotypes. Not surprisingly, the series is produced by an Israeli who has no compunction to portray Arabs in as negative a light as possible to further libel Arab culture and their just claims against Israel. The real story of greed, betrayal, immorality and tyranny is the story of Israel that Howard Gordon would never write
By Ray Hanania
I watched the FX series Tyrant out of disdain and the need to help portray its true essence of racism and stereotypes to the public.
Tyrant is one of the most racist and viciously hateful programs on American television, but that isn’t a lonely category in this country because racism, hatred, stereotypes and ethnic lies sell and make money for Hollywood.
Of course, that’s only if the subjects of the racism and hate are “minority minorities,” like Arabs and Muslims who are abused and oppressed in America.
I believe a large part of the hate portrayed on American TV is what fuels the real violence that takes place on the streets of America, not against White people, Israelis or Hollywood producers but against minorities like Arabs, Muslims, African Americans and anyone who “looks” Middle Eastern.
Hollywood is feeding on the country’s hate and it is paying off, otherwise people like Gordon would not be allowed to produce the garbage that they pass off as “good television.”
Just this week, an “American” cut-off a cab driver who “looked” Middle Eastern and Muslims, and then proceeded to beat him to a pulp in Darien, a suburb of Chicago. It turns out the victim was not Arab or Muslim, but in this America, where education means far less than it did when our forefathers started to build this country, the victim was in fact a Sikh.
The victim is Inderjit Singh Mukker, a long time American citizen and the father of two children. He was driving to a grocery store when, according to media reports, another driver began calling him racist anti-Arab and anti-Muslim names, cutting him off with his car and finally forcing Mukker to pull over. Why” Because many Americans are really stupid people. Mukker was wearing a “turbin,” and to most Americans anyone who has dark skin and covers their head has to be a terrorist. That conclusion doesn’t come from education, but rather from watching hatefully driven programs on American television where hatred is promoted and sold as a commodity for cash, praise and success.
Tyrant has everything that makes for a good program in America. It has hate. It has racism. The key actor, Ashraf Barhom, a Christian Palestinian with Israeli citizenship who was born in Galilee in Northern Israel, is a vicious tyrant with no morals and no scruples, who blames everyone else for his problems and only has second thoughts about death after the fact.
Barhom plays Jamal al-Fayeed, the eldest son of a tyrant in a country called Abu-Deen (which, when translated from Arabic means “Father of God”), so pretentious. “President Jamal al-Fayeed” is one of the most brutal of tyrants. He is a man who has no hesitation to kill everyone around him. It was natural for his personality to rape his son’s wife before the wedding, to ensure that she was a “virgin.” He tried but couldn’t kill his Americanized brother Bassam or “Barry” al-Fayeed (played by Adam Rayner) so he tossed out in the middle of the desert to allow God to kill him. Jamal even plots to kill his bastard son who was raised by Jamal’s Mother, the Queen, Amira (played by Alice Krige). But as it turns out, the mother dies instead in a roadside bombing planned through his mousy general. Jamal is accused of gassing his own people, shooting them to death on the street, and torturing them to confess to crimes they never committed.
This type of portrayal can only come from the black mind of an individual who has deep-seated racist issues of his own. Howard Gordon is an Israeli. He could easily have made this series about an Israeli Prime Minister who orders the murder of Palestinian activists, starts a war with Hamas just to build up public support for his government, and has no problem killing 2,200 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip including more than 500 children under the age of 18 all because he can get away with it.
In a real life adaptation of Tyrant, Benjamin Netanyahu would be the vicious tyrant, and an honest Howard Gordon would make Netanyahu to be the war criminal that he really is.
But Howard Gordon is not honest. As an Israeli, his purpose is to further disparage the Palestinians to undermine their legitimate claim to statehood, something Israelis refuse to recognize. Portraying Arabs as vicious killers feeds into the brainwashing that has been feed to the American people by Israeli propagandists and the pro-Israel mainstream media.
Because, as I said before, hate and racism sell. That is what the American news media is all about. Write a story about a Boy Scout who helps a little old lady to cross the street, and none one would by a newspaper. But tell the story of a Boy Scout who is a serial killer who massacres the grandmother, rapes her mother, and kills her babies, and the story would result in extra newspaper runs to keep up with sales to American readers.
Israel propagandists learned long ago that the media is the key to oppression. If you can control the media (news media, Hollywood films, TV and cable TV programming and serials, and even the theater) and fill it with hateful anti-Arab and anti-Muslim stereotypes, you can shield yourself from criticism of your own crimes. Israel can kill 2,200 civilians including more than 500 children under the age of 18 and not have to pay the price of public shame.
In America, the lie is what sells, not the truth. Tyrant is a lie. Tyrant is a calculated lie that spins half truths and feeds on the stereotypes that grow in this country that is based on racism and an audience that lusts for the most unimaginable and fictional cruelty.
Tyrant is not the only hateful program on television. There are so many others, including 24 and Homeland. The list really is endless. (Not surprisingly, 24 originated from the black ugly mind of Howard Gordon, too.)
They all share one common denominator. They take a morsel of truth, exaggerate the hell out of it. Focus the ugliness on a race or religion that society has been taught to hate and despise, and then make it even worse. In other words, don’t just kill people. Add a sense of inherent blood lust in the acting of the actors.
And just to add a cruel and cynical twist of irony, make the people who portray the Arabs as hateful Arabs be Arabs themselves, like Barhom, who is a phenomenal actor forced to survive in a Hollywood industry that can only create anti-Arab and anti-Muslim characters and storylines as the only garbage that they can produce.
Personally, I don’t want to produce a TV show call War Criminal, the story of Benjamin Netanyahu. Because unlike Howard Gordon, I don’t hate Israelis the way he hates Arabs and Muslims. My wife and son are Jewish and my son had his bar mitzvah last year before an audience of Jews, Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. I believe that one day we will get away from the industry of selling racist hatred and ugly stereotypes to generate audiences and money and success.
My idea is to produce a comedy about an Arab and a Jew who are married and call it “Everyone Loves Abdullah.”
But the concept of good being sold to Americans is so unnatural that it would never survive in today’s vicious world.
I watched Tyrant, but the series made me sick. Hate sells. And the more hateful it is, the more successful it will be. That’s Howard Gordon and his despicable TV series Tyrant.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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