News / Middle East

    Egypt Grapples with Anti-Israel Sentiment

    Egypt Leaders Grapple with Anti-Israel Sentimenti
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X
    March 19, 2013 1:37 PM
    The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has raised questions about the commitment of Islamist leaders to the peace treaty with Israel. Although President Mohamed Morsi has pledged to honor the deal, he must grapple with long-held Egyptian opposition to the Israeli state. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo.
    Egypt Leaders Grapple with Anti-Israel Sentiment
    Elizabeth Arrott
    The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has raised questions about the Islamist leaders' commitment to the peace treaty brokered with Israel 30 years ago.

    President Mohamed Morsi has pledged to honor the deal, despite the brotherhood's long opposition to the Israeli state.
     
    "Definitely the peace has to be based on justice, OK, but Egypt is in no position right now to get into conflict with anybody," says Amr Darrag, a senior official in the brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party. "As a responsible political force, we respect all the commitments of the state with others, whether we like it or not, at the times these commitments were made.”

    As a sign of how unpopular the peace deal is among Egyptians, even such hedged promises draw criticism, not just from Morsi's fundamentalist rivals, but also from his secular, liberal opponents.  

    "Part of the criticism to Morsi is that he has proven himself a bit too pragmatic to many of us," says political activist Wael Khalil. "This is the brotherhood who...this is central to politics. This was most central thing to their politics, the question of Palestine, the question of occupation.”

    The issue is central to Egyptians across the political spectrum, according to Khalil.
     
    "It is a passage to politicization of many of us," he says. "I was politicized on the Palestinian question, the street protests and the opposition to [former president] Mubarak started in solidarity with the uprising, the second uprising intifada in 2000 and 2002.”   
     
    Khalil concedes some Egyptians interchange the ideas of anti-Zionism and prejudice toward Jews.   
     
    Prior to his political rise, Morsi was videotaped making anti-Jewish slurs, which he now argues were comments critical of Zionism.  

    Despite a once-thriving Jewish community in Egypt, both sentiments now appear deeply engrained.
     
    Former intelligence officer Sameh Saif al-Yazal says politicians know that all too well.
     
    "That's a card that lots of people play," al-Yazal says. "When you attack Israel, then you get a reputation in the street. The people, they do that in Egypt because of that.”

    But al-Yazal argues practicality trumps rhetoric, pointing to frequent, close contact between Israel and Egypt on economic, military and political matters.
     
    "Forget about what you see in the newspaper and what you hear on the TV," he says. "The reality is that the two countries are doing normal, just like in Mubarak's time.”

    Like Morsi's liberal and conservative critics, al Yazal agrees little has changed with Israel since the Islamist leader came to power, nor does it appear likely much will anytime soon.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    March 19, 2013 11:02 AM
    "That's.... al-Yazal says. "When you attack Israel, then you get a reputation in the street." Sadly Israel and the Jewish people are very convinient scapegoats for when nations and politicians have problems due to their incompetent performance; or when dastardly politicians want to look tough, they pick on Israel/Jews; they have been doing so for more than a milenia. This type of deliberate attacks, "Israel bashing", can even be seen amongst some EU elites; such granstanding fuels anti-semitism, a rapidly growing threat to Jews in Europe, clear racism. This dastardly racism needs to stop.
    In Response

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    March 19, 2013 9:05 PM
    maryam - Since you bring the issue of the Palestinians for info- 1.5 Million Arab Muslims live in Israel with full citizenship rights, they even have their own members in the Israeli Knesset, one of the only places in the ME were they have full rightst...; in Gaza, that is under full Pal control, zero Isr Jews live, and once almost 40% of the citizens were Christian, now less than 3% are Christians...Same sit we see all over the ME, all Jews and Christians have been cleansed out. And as far as the economy of the Pals, in Gaza they were able to buy/launch 22,000 rockets at Isr, that money could have been better spent on the necessities of life, it just shows the ability to get weapons in...; over 36 billion US $ went into the Pal sectors, to set up the economy,over 12 yrs what happened to it...???? For 5 yrs the Isr gvmt has been wating for a peace deal, all they get is projectiles/blown up buses, and attacks on peaceful civilians, so wake up and get your leaders to the negotiating table! and stop the terrorism.
    In Response

    by: maryam from: USA
    March 19, 2013 11:41 AM
    if any one wants the TRUTH about racist/zionists all they need to do is SEE what is happening to PALESTINE. Palestinians are prisoners on their own land; homes destroyed' children killed; economy non-existent and THAT is what racist/zkionists are doing!!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora