In an unbelievable display of chutzpah and/or a spectacular example of irony, a new Muslim Brotherhood official “called on Egyptian Jews to return to Egypt and leave Israel to the Palestinians,” JTA reported.
This guy, the deputy head of the Islamist government’s Freedom and Justice Party, reportedly said this incredible thing during a TV interview.
He made some noise about “every Egyptian having a right to live in his country,” and also reportedly said “that the Jewish presence in Israel contributes to the occupation of Arab land.”
In case further proof were needed that this guy, and, likely people in Muslim areas, is lacking a grasp of today’s truth and is bereft of historical perspective, the man said “Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity.”
Meaning Israel. Jeez.
The guy also reportedly questioned why former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser “expelled the Jews from Egypt in the first place.”
This man is in desperate need of a history lesson – one that needs to go back much further even than Nasser.
First, he needs to brush up on his Bible studies, so that he may recall the first time the Jews made their way to his country en masse, they wound up slaves and were forced to escape. It’s that whole Moses, Mt. Sinai, Ten Commandments story… We Jews remember it annually during a little thing we like to call Passover.
Historical websites on the issue help clarify Egypt’s Jewish history, explaining that Jews have lived there since before the Babylonian Exile. Many came following the conquest of Judea by Alexander the Great in 322 BCE.
Much later, in 1922, Egypt became independent from Britain, leading to changes in the status of its foreign and ethnic minorities, and Jews began losing rights a little at a time.
The struggle in the 1940s for an establishment of a Jewish state in their ancestral homeland, made things progressively worse for the Jews of Egypt and other Muslim countries.
In November 1945, in Cairo, there were anti-British, anti-Zionist (and anti-Jewish) demonstrations commemorating the Balfour Declaration’s 28th anniversary. That was the document throwing Britain’s support behind the establishment of a Jewish state in ancient Israel. A synagogue was burned down, 27 Torah scrolls were desecrated, and a soup kitchen, an old-age home, a homeless shelter, the Jewish hospital, the Art Society and Jewish public buildings were damaged or destroyed. The Muslim Brotherhood is generally believed to have been behind the attacks.
This is the same organization that’s asking the Jews to return.
Not long afterward, a United Nations resolution partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish parts, prompting the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists to proclaim a jihad and dispatch volunteers to Palestine to fight against the establishment of a Jewish state.
Conditions for Jews deteriorated after that, and in June, July and September 1948 acts of sabotage took place throughout Cairo against Jews and their property. “In October, authorities discovered a cache of arms and munitions on the estate of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood battalions in the Palestine war” and in November “police found arms and incriminating documents in the possession of the Muslim Brotherhood,” sites note. But, Egypt’s Jews had already begun fleeing by then.
In 1948 there were 80,000 Egyptian Jews, only 880 in 1956, and even fewer now.
In the early 50s, “Egypt was rocked by violence and anti-British guerrilla warfare,” which eventually led to a coup d’etat which elevated Nasser to power, and marked the beginning of the end for the Jews, the other minorities and foreigners in Egypt.
New measures were passed – unwarranted police detention; sequestration of businesses and property; expulsion from the country; and a new statute under which Jews were deprived of citizenship – that made it intolerable to be Jewish in Egypt. Again.
“Egypt’s policy of getting rid of its Jewish population was implemented through both expulsion and ‘voluntary’ emigration. But the two methods were not entirely distinct,” according to historical websites.
“Most of the hundreds of Jews expelled from Egypt by 1957, were heads of families, ordered to leave the country within two to seven days,” these explain. And since most were a family’s breadwinner the entire family had to leave the country.
This measure was replaced by 1957 “by the more subtle, potent techniques of intimidation and psychological warfare against the Jewish population as a whole,” along with “the simultaneous economic harassment of Jews,” causing the mass exodus to grow. “Jews ‘voluntarily’’ obliged themselves, in formal declarations to the authorities, to leave the country and, in the case of Egyptian nationals, to relinquish their citizenship. The port of Alexandria and the airfield at Cairo were jammed with refugees leaving the country. Government officials showed little leniency in customs inspections, arbitrarily confiscating any items which were believed to be of value,” the sites note.
“In the bedlam of this situation, thousands of people left with hardly more than the clothes on their backs,” they say.
I personally know people who had to flee that place with only what they could carry.
This makes twice, and, now, another “Pharaoh” is asking the Jews to return? Are they nuts? Let’s all sing, “Let my people the hell alone.”
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