Comment on Jerusalem: from Egypt State Information Service official site
- Comment on the Jerusalem Web Page of the Egyptian Information Service
by Adel Darwish
[Editor's note - The Egyptian Government's position regarding Jerusalem was sent
to MewNews by Benjamin Pogrund - the link is below for those
who did not see it. Apologies for list duplications]
I find the bias in the language used by both Media and official
information centre in Egypt very sad.
It is very regrettable that Egypt seems to have gone backwards hundreds of years for a complex of
reasons. Egypt has been a lighthouse in the ages of darkness in the region, and in its recent modern
historym was a home for thousands of Jews, who either originated there, fled intolerance in what
remained of the Ottoman empire and elsewhere or chose to settle in Alexandria and other places to
prosper. The Jews in Egypt inter-exchanged culture and contributed generously to artistic, cultural
and political life, as well as business, investment and the general well being of the Egyptian
nation. Unlike many other places, until the military coup of 1952 ( Colonel Nasser & Co) Jews felt
they were Egyptians. They even participated in the political struggle to improve the lot of all (
trade unions and left wing activities in General, and also to build an industrial and commercial
base independent from world super powers of the late 19th early 20th century.)
Time and space are too limited to list the richness of life of Egyptians of many faith and ethnic
background when the country was more open and more tolerant. ( sample some of the old black and
white movies made in 1940s or 30s, with Leila Murad - who by the way was Jewish, although converted
to Islam to marry - or Anwar wagdy or Estphan Rusti, and you will see the role of Jews, not only in
the credits of those who made the film, but also in the characters played - the Muslim, the Jew, the
Copt, the catholic, the Greeks, the French, it was a mosaic of a society).
I come across - on long-haul flight to the Gulf- new low standard Egyptian films, where Jews are
pictured in a very negative light, and with naive and warped sense of history, the crisis with
Israel is presented in one sided, distorted image, facts are twisted and the general message is very
disappointing and doesn't encourage any one to even consider peace or thing of Israelis as human.
I personally don't know the answer, but the information about Jerusalem from a government source or
an official site in Egypt is a case in point.
Of course there are many UN resolutions which are violated by Israel, and/or not implemented by
Israel. Of course majority of people and peace lovers do not accept or recognise Israel's - or any
other nations's - occupation of neighbours or other people's land; however, Egyptian officials could
have at least presented facts as facts, refrained from using a biased language that just feeds the
extremists with what they can present to the young as ' official facts' hence reducing any chance
for a peaceful solution in the future.
In the old days we used to say ' perhaps with the younger generation the wounds of the past will be
forgotten and the young who are interested in ' make love not war ' can achieve peace.' Sadly, it
seems that the old were more tolerant and understanding tan the young.
The information appeared at: http://www.sis.gov.eg/jerusalem/html/jintro.htm
Adel Darwish, Writer on Foreign Affairs