While a recent worldwide survey from the Anti-Defamation League found that the majority of the most anti-Semitic countries and territories can be found in the Middle East (the worst being Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, West Bank and Gaza), one American University professor claims that the report's findings are indeed wrong. She believes anti-Semitism doesn't exist in the Middle East.
Hillary Mann Leverett is a senior adjunct professorial lecturer at AU's School of International Service well-known for her 25 years of practical experience in U.S. foreign policy, area studies and conflict resolution. She has worked in U.S. embassies across the Middle East, at the United Nations, on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff and with the National Security Council Staff as well. She was even one of a select few U.S. diplomats who were authorized to negotiate with Iranian officials over Afghanistan and al-Qa'ida.
An impressive background to say the least, one would expect Leverett to be a natural choice for interviews with media about the Middle East, which is probably why MSNBC recently asked her to partake in a segment on Melissa Harris-Perry.
On the show, Leverett was asked about anti-Semitism in the Middle East. Her response was that it doesn't exist.
"There is not this deep-seated Arab-Jewish or — you know, Muslim-Jewish animosity," she said. "There's not an anti-Semitism in the Middle East the way that there was in Europe, which is based on race; which is based on color; which is based on genes and biology. That doesn't exist in the Middle East. There's no history of that in the Middle East."
The professor talked about how she had personally visited a Jewish hospital in Iran and been to the Jewish restaurants, using those two instances as examples to defend her position that anti-Semitism doesn't exist in the Middle East.
As Business Insider pointed out, many public leaders from the Middle East have been candid about their anti-Semitic beliefs, including Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's former president. Morsi's slurs against Jews raised concerns when he urged Egyptians to "nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred" for Jews and Zionists back in 2010.
There's also Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who called the Holocaust a myth.