Egyptian Storefront Advertises Hitler the Cockroach Killer

Hatred of Jews flourishing in Egypt

October 2, 2014

A storefront in Egypt is advertising the services of Hitler the cockroach killer, according to a copy of the sign posted on Facebook.

The offer bearing the name of the initiator of the Holocaust promises an exclusive offer to burn cockroaches, an apparent reference to the Nazi gas chambers that killed some 6 million Jews.

The anti-Semitic advertisement is a reminder that anti-Semitism continues to thrive and grow in Egypt even under its more moderate government, experts say.

"Here Only," states the Arabic sign, which also bears a swastika and a picture of the Nazi leader raising the traditional Third Reich salute. "A salute to the respectable Egyptian peoples from the German Hitler."

"Hitler: Burns Cockroaches," it reads, according to a translation provided to the Washington Free Beacon. The picture was first posted on the Facebook page of Egyptian journalist Wael Abbas.

While Egypt’s government has adopted a more moderate pro-Western attitude since the rise of current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, experts say that the storefront sign is a prime example of how anti-Semitism still flourishes in Egypt.

The sign is "obviously intended to bring to mind the gas chambers," explained Samuel Tadros, an Egypt expert and research fellow at the Hudson Institute.

"No one uses the word ‘burn’ cockroaches, at least not in Egypt," Tadros said. "We would say: ‘kill’, or ‘exterminate’, but ‘burn’?"

"The whole thing is meant to remind you of the Holocaust," he said. "That this is posted by a shop owner as a way of promoting his product, tells you all you need to know about how soaked Egypt is in anti Semitism."

In the time since al-Sisi was elected, some Egyptians have used anti-Semitism as a way to delegitimize his government.

"Sisi is Jewish and Egypt is now under Zionist occupation," wrote one newspaper in 2013, according to an article on the topic penned recently by Tadros.

The Muslim Brotherhood, members of which have been tossed in jail and tried since al-Sisi came to power, has pushed the meme that al-Sisi is a secret Jew who is carrying out a Zionist agenda, according to Tadros.

"That anti-Semitism and its accompanying conspiracy theories are deeply embedded in Egyptian Islamist discourse is no surprise for those familiar with Egypt or Islamism, though familiarity does not lessen one’s astonishment at the bizarre and convoluted nature of the claims made in these and other stories," Tadros wrote.

"Anti-Semitism," he continues, "is not only a dominant discourse in the country, but is rather the only common worldview shared throughout its political spectrum and among all levels of Egypt’s political class."