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Sunday, January 30, 2011

A reminder of what the Mubarak regime represents

As a reminder of just unhelpful the Mubarak reimge has been in discouraging anti-Semitism, here's an Eli Lake column from the New York Sun that was written in 2005. You will note that the United States has not been very helpful in encouraging the Egyptians to do things differently.
Hisham Abd al-Rauf, the foreign editor of Egypt's largest-circulation afternoon paper, would like the readers of The New York Sun to know that he does not hate all Jewish people. But that nonetheless, he is entitled to his opinions that the Holocaust never happened, that the Romans did not destroy the Second Temple in Jerusalem because it was never built, and that Jews ordered President Bush to unseat Saddam Hussein.

But as for the Jews, Mr. al-Rauf grew up with many in his Cairo neighborhood before the Six-Day War. His father's jeweler was Jewish. In 1993, he met many more Jews, whom he claims to genuinely like, on an American government program to train foreign journalists in Boston. "I have even met some rabbis. I liked them," he said in an interview yesterday where he defended a recent column praising the Iranian president's recent remarks questioning the historical truth of the Holocaust.

Mr. al-Rauf's column, titled "Israel's Lies," argued that the gas chambers were actually rooms to disinfect clothing, and that Adolf Hitler was "not against the Jews," he even allowed 120,000 of them to immigrate to Israel. At the end of this screed, Mr. al-Rauf scolded the Europeans who have expressed outrage at the comments of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "If you feel sorry for the poor Jews, why don't you establish their country on your lands?" he wrote, according a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

The column appeared on December 12 in al-Masaa, a government funded paper that has 200,000 daily readers.

One might think these sorts of assertions would draw controversy. But not here in Egypt. Mr. al-Rauf and al-Masaa's editor in chief, Khaled Imam, say they have received no letters to the editor.


The journalist exchange program in which Mr. al-Rauf participated in 1993 was funded by American taxpayers.


"I saw Jackson, Miss.; New Orleans; Washington; New York, and of course Boston," the foreign editor said. "It's a very good country with very good people, but a very bad government." When asked his thoughts on President Bush, he said, "He is turning America into the Soviet Union," an odd comment for the foreign editor of a state-funded newspaper that nearly every day features an above-the-fold photo of President Mubarak.
Read it all.

I'm beginning to reconsider my comments about the abrogation of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty being inevitable. I'm old enough to remember that when Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981, everyone thought that the treaty would be abrogated. Hosni Mubarak has - nominally - adhered to the treaty for the last 30 years. But obviously, Mubarak is not a lover of Jews.

The reason Mubarak has adhered to the treaty is all that American aid money. Will the US support Mubarak's successor? Obviously, that depends who it is. But if Mubarak's successor is a garden variety anti-Semite and not something like the Muslim Brotherhood that is dead set on turning Egypt and the entire world into a Caliphate, then there is a chance that if US aid continues, the treaty will remain in effect.

What could go wrong?

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