Numerous reports in the Arab press have accused the U.S. and Israel of being behind the creation and spread of the deadly coronavirus as part of an economic and psychological war against China.
According to MEMRI—the Middle East Media Research Institute—a report in the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan claimed that it was no coincidence that the coronavirus was absent from the U.S. and Israel, though this is despite the U.S. having twelve confirmed cases at the time of writing. Al-Watan and other Middle East news outlets should not compound the problem by circulating half-truths, whole lies, and fabrications for their political, anti-America, anti-Israel propaganda.
Unfortunately, it is happening all too often. Al-Watan wrote that “the virus was discovered yesterday in China; tomorrow it will be discovered in Egypt, but it will not be discovered either today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow in the U.S. or Israel, nor in poor countries such as Burundi or the Comoro Islands,” the report said.
Al-Watan also went on to accuse the U.S. and Israel of being behind other outbreaks over the past several years in China and in the Arab world. The paper said, “As soon as Egypt announced, a few years ago, that it would rely on poultry raised in the country, and that it would even export poultry abroad—that is, that it no longer needed poultry from the U.S., France, and so on—suddenly there appeared from underneath the ground, the avian flu virus … with the aim of nipping Egypt’s economic awakening in the bud.”
At the beginning of February, the Syrian daily newspaper Al-Thawra also claimed the coronavirus and other outbreaks were part of a U.S.-China war. “From Ebola, Zika, SARS, avian flu and swine flu, through anthrax and mad cow disease to the coronavirus—all these deadly viruses were manufactured by the U.S. and threaten to annihilate the peoples of the world,” the report alleged. “The U.S. has turned biological warfare into a new type of war, by means of which it intends to change the rules of play and shift the conflict with the peoples of the world away from the conventional path,” the report stated.
A report on the Egyptian news site Vetogatye.com built on this theory even more, specifying why Wuhan was supposedly chosen as the epicenter of the current outbreak: “American factories are the first to manufacture every kind of virus and bacteria, from the virulent small pox virus and the bubonic plague virus to all the viruses we saw in the recent years, such as mad cow disease and swine flu,” the site claimed. “Wuhan, the city that has now been struck by the coronavirus, is an industrial town, but it is nevertheless the eighth-richest city in China after Shanghai.”
These charges are based on circumstantial evidence. Things do happen, but that does not mean they prove what someone may hope they prove. They are coincidental. For example, I could argue against these reports by saying that Arabs historically hate Israelis and Americans. How convenient that they would use such reports to implicate America and Israel in some kind of a conspiracy against Arab nations. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.