Sunday, January 06, 2013

Comrade Joseph on Egyptian Jews

"We must also keep in mind that a substantial percentage of the Jews in Egypt were not legally Egyptian, as they did not carry Egyptian nationality and many did not even speak Arabic and carried European passports (Italian, Russian, British and French), a fact that intensified the perception in some popular quarters that they were not loyal to the country. This of course was not the case with the old Egyptian Arab Jewish community (especially the Qarra'in Jews) whose lives were eclipsed by the large and powerful Ashkenazi and Sephardi families who arrived in Egypt in the 19th and early 20th century...
This situation also coincided with the ongoing Israeli campaign to bring Arab Jews to Palestine through various criminal means and secret deals, which were successful in Iraq and Yemen and were ongoing in Morocco and which resulted in the destruction of these communities altogether. Israel's direct efforts to bring about the departure of half of Egypt's small Jewish community of some 60,000 to Israel (the rest went to France and the Americas) is still not fully known but should not be ignored in analysing the situation.
That most of the terrorist attacks against Jewish interests in Egypt took place under the rule of the Egyptian King Farouk in the 1940s and early 1950s seems irrelevant to the few Egyptian Zionist propagandists today, who appeared this week on Egyptian television and wrote articles in the Egyptian press, insinuating that all that went wrong with Egyptian Jews should be blamed on Nasser and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Indeed, such propagandists completely factor out Israeli actions from bringing about the departure of Egyptian Jews. One propagandist referred to the departure of Egyptian Jews as "nuzuh" or "flight", and agreed with al-Aryan, whom he opposes otherwise, that Jews were indeed "expelled" from Egypt.
We are even treated to the strange claims by the same propagandist that Egyptian Jews he met in the US and France continue to love Egypt, Arabs and Muslims. While there is no doubt that many Egyptian Jews, wherever they may be, harbour positive feelings towards Egypt, many of those prominent among them in the West have expressed much hatred towards Egypt and the Arab world.
Indeed, many among the latter have become prominent because of their hateful views of Egypt while those Egyptian Jews who love Egypt are ignored and given less prominence in the West and Israel....
As for Egyptian Jews in the US who have written memoirs about their time in Egypt, one of them complains in his memoirs about the disgusting smells of Egyptians who "smell" of fenugreek.
Of course, there are other Egyptian Jews who are not as prominent and who continue to love Egypt, but propagandistic generalisations of the sort being pushed by the few non-Jewish Egyptian Zionists today that "all Egyptian Jews" in the US and France, at least, if not those in Israel as well, love Egypt and the Arabs, are hardly apt when so many prominent Egyptian Jews expressly manifest their anti-Egyptian and anti-Arab attitudes in the West, let alone in Israel.
Another major commentator in the US on American Jews is one Lucette Lagnado, who along with her Jewish parents left Egypt in 1963. She would come back to visit after 2005 and published a memoir. She had a book-reading in Zamalek at the Diwan Bookstore where she befriended one of the owners, Hind Wasef, who welcomed her to Cairo and introduced her to Diwan's customers who welcomed her in turn.
In the meantime, however, Lagnado propagandises like many other Zionists, about the "population exchange" formula, among other Zionist myths. She tells us, towing the Israeli line, of how Jews were "forced out" of their homes in the Arab world while Palestinians simply "fled" Israel.
Since the revolution, however, and despite the hospitality shown to her by Egyptians when she visited, Lagnado has been propagandising against the new order and tells her Wall Street Journal readers that she will not go back to the country given that the new government is led by the Muslim Brotherhood. Who knows, maybe after al-Aryan's invitation she will, even though his invitation seems to include only Egyptian Jews in Israel.
As for half of the Egyptian Jewish community who ended up in Israel, many of them would fight in the wars against Egypt and the Arabs, and some became military spokespersons for the Israelis, who often appear on Al Jazeera and speak Egyptian Arabic. It is unclear if those too are being invited back to Egypt."