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Monday, September 03, 2012

In the anti-Semitic 'new Egypt,' even the President won't say 'Israel'

In the 'new Egypt,' the anti-Semitism runs as deep as in the old one. Even the President won't say 'Israel.'
From the Egyptian perspective, Lieberman's invitation will be perceived as a provocation. Morsi’s reluctance to say the word "Israel" points to a deeply ingrained anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli sentiment that is widespread in Egyptian society; were he to appear to have a reasonable stance towards the Jewish state, his popularity at home would have plummeted. This is the case throughout much of the Muslim world. In this context, Lieberman’s apparent olive branch will be seen as nothing short of inflammatory.

Last month, Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, received a letter, in English, signed by President Morsi, stating that he was “looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East Peace Process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including Israeli people.” This was a response to a letter sent by Peres conveying Israel’s best wishes for the month of Ramadan.

However, when reports of Morsi’s conciliatory letter emerged, the Egyptian president's office felt compelled to deny its authenticity. “This is totally untrue,” said Yasser Ali, a spokesman, adding that the letter was a “fabrication” by two Israeli newspapers. Which was odd, considering that it had been released by the president’s Jerusalem office as an official communiqué from the Egyptian ambassador, sent by registered post and backed up by fax.

That a letter such as this – which was not even instigating goodwill but echoing it – should provoke such vehement denials from Mohammed Morsi underscores the strength of anti-Israeli prejudice in Egypt.
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At 3:06 AM, Blogger Nomadic100 said...

Carl, I'm an Irish Catholic living in Wisconsin. I'm not an academic with knowledge of the Mid-East. BUT, I don't know how you Israelis subsist under the constant political and military threats emanating from your numerous anti-Jewish neighbors. If you issue defensive statements against those who would annihilate you, you lose - and you lose as well if you issue conciliatory statements. There is no winning this situation except by maintaining a powerful and credible military force. And you have to be willing to use it, all of it, if the time comes.


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