Recent Controversies in Egypt Illustrate Anti-Israel Sentiment Still Prevalent » ADL Blogs
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March 2, 2016 2

Recent Controversies in Egypt Illustrate Anti-Israel Sentiment Still Prevalent

Recent con­tro­ver­sies in Egypt illus­trate the preva­lence of anti-Israel sen­ti­ment in a coun­try which has had a peace agree­ment with Israel since 1979.

The lat­est inci­dent involved a din­ner invi­ta­tion by Egypt­ian Par­lia­men­tar­ian Taw­fiq Okasha to Israeli Ambas­sador Haim Koren. Okasha, a TV per­son­al­ity who has a his­tory of mak­ing anti-Semitic remarks on his show, was sub­se­quently ousted from Egypt’s Par­lia­ment after being accused of engag­ing in nor­mal­iza­tion efforts towards Israel. He was also phys­i­cally attacked byan­other Par­lia­men­tar­ian, Kamal Ahmad, who hurled his shoe at Okasha in protest.In a video, Ahmad explained that his action was intended not only toward Okasha, but also toward the Knes­set and the “Zion­ist Entity.” The Al-Yawm As-Sabi news site hosts a video game where play­ers can use a shoe to hit Okasha across the face. At the top of the screen appears the title “Con­grat­u­la­tions, Okasha”, and he is depicted with a black eye in the back­drop of the Israeli flag.

MP Tawfik Okasha (right) hosts Israeli ambassador Haim Koren.

MP Taw­fik Okasha (right) hosts Israeli ambas­sador Haim Koren.

Another exam­ple of anti-Israel sen­ti­ment in Egypt occurred ear­lier this month when the Cairo Inter­na­tional Book Fair fea­tured an Israeli book, Ara­bian Nights.Com, which was writ­ten by Israel Army Radio’s Arab affairs ana­lyst Jackie Hougie. Its inclu­sion resulted in Par­lia­men­tar­ian Muham­mad Al-Masud demand­ing that Egypt’s Cul­ture Min­is­ter launch an inves­ti­ga­tion into the deci­sion to sell the book at the fair.

And a few weeks prior to that, Egypt­ian author­i­ties ordered the can­cel­ing of a screen­ing of Israeli film The Band’s Visit. The film, from 2007, tells the story of an Egypt­ian band arriv­ing in Israel, and deals with the issue of coex­is­tence between Israelis and Egyp­tians. When the issue became pub­lic, Mohammed Munir, the Gov­er­nor of the Cairo Dis­trict, ordered that the screen­ing be can­celed, and announced an inves­ti­ga­tion to deter­mine which offi­cial had ini­tially approved the film screening.

  • Michael Howard

    There are many other exam­ples that show clearly that what Sadat tried to do did not take place yet. Granted, the Egypt­ian mil­i­tary coop­er­ate with the Israel in fight­ing ter­ror­ism which is good. What is needed is that the real edu­ca­tion that the Arabs, specif­i­cally the Egyp­tians, need to have about the his­tory and the strug­gle of the Chil­dren of Israel which is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the strug­gle of our father Abra­ham espe­cially when he rec­og­nized the Cre­ator as the one who must be wor­shiped.
    There are many things in all aspects of life that are sim­i­lar in Mus­lim lives and Jew­ish lives. Those are ignored for the time being and may be for­ever until some­one starts an edu­ca­tion rev­o­lu­tion that lead close­ness between Israel and Egypt.
    What every­one neglected to con­sider is that anti-Semitism had never been among us in Egypt. My father spoke with me highly about the Chil­dren of Israel who are the chil­dren of Abra­ham our father. This rela­tion­ship is ignored because since the Mufti of Pales­tine (Hus­seinni) sat with Hitler and infested Mus­lim coun­tries with anti-Semitism, this evil behav­ior is still there. But, when it comes to the Ara­bic cul­ture, bot­tom line, we love our father Abra­ham and we love all his chil­dren from Isaac to the 12 Tribes and after­wards.
    I pray to the G-d of Abra­ham to remove the spell of Hitler and his deputy (Mufti Al Hussieni) that secured anti-Semitism among the Arabs espe­cially Egypt which is unfor­tu­nate.
    I remem­ber when Abd El Naser deported the Jews from Egypt, I had seen Egyp­tians cry­ing sorry for the con­di­tions that the Jews in Egypt lived in and were ordered to leave within less than an hour in some cases.
    For me, as a Mus­lim, I have never met any one with full faith in our Cre­ator more than the Jews no mat­ter what they do, their heart and soul are with the Cre­ator with total seri­ous­ness and faith.
    I do believe that nor­mal Egyp­tians do not have any idea about who are the Chil­dren of Israel or how much the Cre­ator blessed them in their dias­pora which is the worst sit­u­a­tion any­one can be in.
    I dream that there will be stu­dent exchange between Israel and Egypt at least where nor­mal Egyp­tians deal with nor­mal Israelis because at my time, the Israelis were explained to us as if they just came from space or some­thing although we dealt with Jews and we trusted them more than even our Mus­lim neigh­bors.
    I can write pages after pages to put my thoughts which may look as if they are some kind of impos­si­ble dreams but our Cre­ator will put us together when the time comes which we do not know when.
    But, we must start show­ing our Cre­ator our inten­tion of get­ting together in his name. I am a Mus­lim and I am told by my Koran to believe in the Torah and honor all of the chil­dren of Israel who are “pre­ferred over all nations” as it is in the Koran said.

  • Israel was cre­ated to only cre­ate fric­tion and war among the Arabs..Sadly Israels exis­tence depends on 9/11 like attacks.…