Jews have had a presence in Egypt since the dawn of civilisation. The modern community was made up of indigenous Jews (Rabbanites and Karaites) and more recent arrivals from elsewhere in the Ottoman empire. Here is a timeline showing how Egypt’s Jews were stripped of their rights, beginning with the right to nationality in the 20th century:
The recently restored Maimonides synagogue in Cairo
1880: ‘Real Egyptian’ cabinet formed. In spite of Tanzimat reforms, Jews still considered dhimmis. The middle and upper classes sought European consular protection and passports under the capitulations regime.
1914: 10, 000 ‘foreign’ Jews expelled from Palestine arrive in Egypt.
1918: 80 - 100, 000 Jews in Egypt. Ethnicisation of Egyptians into separate ‘races.’
1927: First nationality law. Individual citizens required to apply.
End 1920s/30s: Muslim Brotherhood (founded 1928) and nationalists launch sporadic attacks on non-Muslims (Syrians/Armenians/Greeks/ Jews.) After 1933 Nazis finance anti-Jewish campaign.
1929: Nationality law establishes jus sanguinis. Arab/Muslims given preference. Only 5,000 Jews receive Egyptian nationality, 40,000 remain stateless. The poor could not afford £5 for a nationality certificate.
1937: Capitulations abolished. After 1949, Egyptian government responsible for protecting minorities.
1938: ‘Young Egypt’ pro-Nazi youth movement leader meets Adolph Hitler and calls for expulsion of Jews.
1942: Muslim Brotherhood issues anti-Balfour Declaration
2/3 November 1945: Anti-Jewish and minority riots. Ashkenazi Great synagogue and other Jewish institutions in Cairo burnt down. Jewish shops looted. Six killed.
1946: 200 Alexandrian Jews leave for Israel in semi-legal emigration.
1947: Heykal Pasha, Egyptian delegate to the UN, threatens that a million Jews in Arab countries would be at risk if Palestine Partition goes ahead.
1947: Arabisation Company Law insists that 75% employees must be Arab/Muslim.
1948: police begin anti-Zionist witchhunt. Emigration to Israel goes underground.
May 1948: arrest and internment of 1,300 -1, 000 of them Jews. Sequestration of internees’ property. Jewish schools placed under government control and forced to implement Egyptianisation. Some Jews barred from higher education.
June 1948: martial law imposed. Local Jews considered a Fifth Column. Jewish assets, both communal and private seized during first Arab-Israeli war. Some 20, 000 Jews leave for Israel and Europe. Those with Egyptian nationality stripped of it.
20 June 1948: 22 Jews killed in bombings of Karaite quarter of Cairo.
July 1948: 500 Jewish shops including Cicurel and Oreco department stores bombed. A ‘Zionist plane’ blamed. Some 200 Jews in all killed during rioting that summer.
September 1948 : 19 Jews killed. Jewish businesses looted.
November 1948. Jewish shops looted in Cairo.
1950 (revised 1951, 53 and 56) nationality law bans Jews from receiving Egyptian nationality and allows all ‘Zionists’ to be stripped of their nationality.
Black Saturday, 26 January 1952: nationalists and fundamentalists attack Greek, Armenian and Jewish property.
1956 - 57. Following rise to power of Nasser and the Free Officers, expulsion of 25, 000 Jews in wake of Suez crisis. (Greeks and Italians were not expelled).
1961 -62 nationalisation of remaining Jewish property.
1967 All Jewish males interned after Six-Day war. Number of Jews falls to 15, 000.
2014 Twelve Jews remain in Cairo, five in Alexandria.
Roughly based on Ruth Toledano Attias’s essay in La fin du Judaisme en terres d’Islam (Ed. S Trigano)
Other timelines: Yemen
That is also why ISIS is overrated. A terrorist organization that beheads Americans and posts the video needs to be annihilated, but it is not particularly difficult. The late Sam Kinison’s monologue on world hunger is to the point: they live in a desert. They may be hard to flush out of towns they occupy, but they cannot move from one town to another in open ground if warplanes are hunting them. That is what America and its allies should do.
More dangerous is Iran, as Henry Kissinger emphasized in a recent interview with National Public Radio. Iran’s backing for the Assad regime’s ethnic cleansing of Syrian Sunnis set the refugee crisis in motion, while the Iraqi Shi’ites’ alliance with Iran persuaded elements of Saddam Hussein’s military to fight for ISIS. Iran can make nuclear weapons and missiles; ISIS cannot. If we had had the foresight to neutralize Iran years ago, the crisis could have been managed without the unspeakable humanitarian cost.
Let’s first dismiss the idea that the offer was refused out of solicitude for Egypt as Abbas said. As Egyptians always used to say back in the decades when they were fighting wars against Israel, the Palestinians were always willing to fight Israel to the last Egyptian.
Rather, the refusal reflects Abbas’s recognition that although Hamas has followed in the path of his old boss Yasir Arafat and led the Palestinian people to more death and destruction with no hope in sight, it is the Islamists who seem to represent the wishes of the Palestinian people, not the so-called moderates that he leads. Any acceptance of any refugee solution that does not involve “return” to what is now Israel is the political third rail of Palestinian politics. Indeed, the refugees themselves are adamant about their rejection of any solution short of “victory” over Israel.
That is why Abbas, though supposedly in favor of a two-state solution, has rejected it every time the Israelis have offered the PA independence over almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and even a share of Jerusalem. As much as we are told that in the aftermath of the latest war in Gaza that the time of the moderates is upon us, Palestinian opinion polls indicate that they are still backing Hamas.
That means they won’t make peace with Israel no matter where its borders are drawn. So long as the refugees remain homeless, when Palestinians speak of Israeli occupation, they are clearly referring to pre-1967 Israel, not the West Bank.
Egypt’s offer to the PA is a healthy sign that many in the Arab world are rising above their hatred for Israel and ready to make peace, if not for the sake of the Jews then to help them combat the Islamist terror threat. That is a remarkable thing that should be celebrated. The Palestinian refusal is, however, a very unremarkable confirmation of the fact that they remain unready and unwilling to make peace.
You know you’re living in mundo bizarro when Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sounds (and is!) more reasonable than the U.S. secretary of State and the UN secretary general.
In the world of Obama and Kerry, it’s always the Islamofascist dictatorships that get placated and the democracies, like Israel, that get the boot. The same goes for the United Nations, the mundo bizarro of mundo bizarros where countries like Libya and Syria end up on its Human Rights Council and where a plan to feed children during the Iraq war (Oil-for-Food) ends up the biggest scam in the history of the human race.
So John and Ban are off to Cairo for their excellent adventure. I hope they get a chance to see the pyramids before the Islamists blow them up.
The Arab world, as a default, rallies around Hamas against Israel on any and all issues. Muslim countries in conflict, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as other Muslim countries came together last week at the UN in attempt to have Israel condemned for their so-called aggression in Gaza.
However, in wake of the ever evolving geo-political reality in the Middle East, this seems to be only lip service, and the Arab World is actually interested in the IDF seriously hindering Hamas’ terror activities.
They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims. A growing number of Arabs and Muslims are fed up with the Islamist terrorists who are imposing a reign of terror and intimidation in the Arab world.
Senior journalist Khaled Abu-Toameh, writing for Gatestone, reports that over the past week there are voices coming out of Egypt and some Arab countries, voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Isolated and under attack, Hamas now realizes that it has lost the sympathy of many Egyptians and Arabs.
Egypt’s Prime Minister announced this morning that Israel is insistent on continuing what he defined as aggression, and is waiting for Israel’s willingness for a cease fire. However, President Abdel Fattah Sisi has thus far turned down appeals from Palestinians and other Arabs to work toward achieving a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and, other Arab leaders, had fallen on deaf ears.
Sisi’s decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt. Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”
“Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas!” Wrote Azza Sami, of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. Sisi’s Egypt has not forgiven Hamas for its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian civilians and soldiers over the past year. The Egyptians today understand that Hamas and other radical Islamist groups pose a serious threat to their national security.
The trade, though still small, is growing enough to encourage long-held Israeli hopes that the Jewish state can become a commercial gateway to the Arab world. Israel plans to invest at least 6 billion shekels ($1.7 billion) in infrastructure over the next six years to improve the trade route. In the past, some Israeli businessmen and diplomats have lamented the way politics have hurt economic opportunities; others have kept any trade with their Arab neighbors quiet so as not to upset them. Now they see a chance to boost economic and political relations."Israel is returning to its historic role, as a transit country, as a bridge between continents, where historic trade routes passed through," said Yael Ravia-Zadok, head of the Middle Eastern Economic Affairs Bureau in Israel’s Foreign Ministry. She leads a group of Israeli government and security officials trying to figure out how best to encourage trade. The logic is simple: Goods from Europe and elsewhere destined for the wider Middle East are usually unloaded in Egypt before they make the several-hour drive to a Red Sea port, where they are loaded onto new vessels and shipped to their final destination. The routes from Haifa in Israel to Jordan, Iraq and even Saudi Arabia – used by the Ottoman and British empires up until Israel’s founding – are potentially much quicker and cheaper, shaving days, if not more, off a trip between Turkey and Baghdad, for instance. Costs could be cut in half.Neighborly Trade
Leviathan field partners in talks to sell gas to BG’s Egypt LNG plant / ReutersOwners of Mediterranean gas field considering $30 billion export deal with British energy company.Full Story
Here’s what Israel just did: Last night, the IDF went door to door in cities in the West Bank and confiscated a huge cache of weapons. Photos and a video show what they found in Nablus/Shechem, a city that has an ancient Jewish Biblical-era history. It is now a city ready for battle.
Here’s what members of the local Palestinian community did: They posted anti-Jewish cartoons and posed their children giving three fingered salutes—one finger for each captured “Shalit.” And they baked cakes celebrating the kidnapping.
Here’s how Hamas sounded: Their spokesman, Mushir al-Masri, “warned the Zionists against committing any more stupidities, including their violations of international laws by their arresting of the Parliament speaker.” As of yesterday, Israel had arrested over 150 Palestinians, including the Hamas representatives in the newly formed Palestinian Unity Government. Al-Masri continued: “The resistance is the only route to freeing the (Palestinian) prisoners.” He said that he did not believe that the “lives of the three Israeli teens are actually worth “those of the 5,000 prisoners.”
Of course, Hamas officials also condemned Abbas for agreeing to help Israel look for its captives—and demanded that he instead “declare Jihad against the Zionists.”
What else did Israel do? The authorities cancelled visiting privileges for all Palestinian terrorist prisoners who, unlike Israeli captives, have access to excellent medical care, other prisoners and visitors, literacy and university educations, exercise, prayer sites, and entertainment. According to Noam Shalit, Hamas kept his son, Gilad, in the dark and in isolation for five years. The Red Cross was not allowed to visit him. These privileges that Palestinian prisoners routinely enjoy will be returned when the three kidnapped boys are returned.
MEMRI translates an article from Egyptian magazine El Kibar by Firnas Hafzi, a supposed expert on Hebrew who also writes about fashion, beauty and health.
The article breaks new ground in the classic Passover blood libel, recycling the historic medieval blood libels as fact and adding new accusations against Jews.
The article, along with illustrations from antisemitic and even Nazi sources, is online.
In another stage of the Passover celebrations, [the Jews] combined the preparation of matzas and the offering up of sacrifices with their enmity towards non-Jews, especially Christians, and mixed the blood of one of their victims into the matza [dough. This was done] especially on Passover, Purim and circumcision rituals. They also used blood in acts of sorcery and witchcraft…
…The draining of the victims’ blood is done in [several ways. One method is] by means of a barrel lined with needles. This is a barrel the size of the victim’s body, with sharp needles that stick into all his limbs when he is placed in it, so that his blood slowly trickles down from every part of his body. This entails excruciating torment, which gives pleasure to the Jews who become drunk with joy at the sight of the blood dripping from the victim’s [body] to the bottom of the barrel and into a container placed there to collect it. [Another method] is to slaughter the victim like a sheep and collecting his blood in a vessel, or else slashing the victim’s veins in numerous places so that the blood flows from the wounds into the vessels. Then the blood is handed to a rabbi who prepares a matza laced with human blood in order to please the Jewish god, Jehovah, who thirsts for blood.
The Jews can rejoice in their holidays only if they eat matza laced with the blood of non-Jews.
Based on this false [narrative] in the Torah and this barbaric behavior anchored in delusions, we can understand what motivates the Zionist leaders to kill Arab children in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once said, insolently, ‘whenever I hear of the birth of an Arab child I cannot sleep at night.’
…The Jewish crimes which came to light throughout history and which were investigated and tried are a drop in the ocean compared to the Jewish crimes that no one knows about. The thousands of children and others who vanish around the world are probably victims of Jewish rituals. Their blood surely lies in Jewish stomachs along with the holiday matzas.
The Jews have tried denying that they drain the blood of non-Jews and use it in their holiday matzas, and they continue to deny it. Rabbi Moussa Abu ‘Afia [one of the Jews implicated in the 1840 Damascus blood libel] converted to Islam during the investigation into the [murder] of Father Toma in order to escape punishment. He gave important testimony regarding the Talmud and the directions it contains that hint at crimes and barbarity.
As part of the efforts to deny [the Jewish crimes], Jewish Americans wrote stories about vampires in the 1970s, in order to disassociate themselves from the accusation of sucking human blood and deceive [the mechanisms of] justice. During that period they spent millions on Dracula films, in order to deceive world public opinion. They claimed that those who slaughter children and adults and suck their blood are lunatics and that all this has nothing to do with them and their religious rituals. On February 14, 1964, the [Egyptian] magazine Al-Musawwar published a story about vampires in Colombia after many [Colombian] children had been slaughtered to shed their blood. Neither the magazine nor the investigators in Colombia dreamed that the vampires might be Jews, rather than [people who] sell blood to hospitals.
Out of hundreds of millions of Arabs, I cannot find a single one denouncing these lies and incitement.
We know from past experience that such naked antisemitism in Arab media cannot be solved by merely publicizing it. Most Arabs are not even aware that there is anything offensive about describing Jews as murderous bloodsuckers.
However, a major advertiser for Al Kibar is Visa, with this ad popping up on most articles and shown on the main page:
I emailed to Visa’s media relations departments for Egypt (email@example.com) , the US (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Europe (email@example.com).
Dear sir or madam,
Visa Middle East is a major advertiser for Egypt’s El Kebar magazine. Every online article seems to pop up your ad for the FIFA World Cup promotion.
The current issue includes a sickeningly antisemitic article by Firnas Hafzi that calls Jews “vampires,” that claims that Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood and mix them with Passover matzah, and that the Dracula story was made up by Jews to deflect from people realizing that they are the ones who suck people’s blood.
And that is just the beginning.
The article is here, the translation is here. Your ad is linked from the front page of the El Kebar website and pops up when viewing this vile antisemitic article.
I would hope that now that you are aware that your brand is being associated with the most disgusting kinds of incitement, that you will not only drop all sponsorship of this magazine but also demand that El Kebar issue a strong apology for publishing this filth.
What do you plan to do about this, and when?
I am a news blogger with thousands of readers, and I am writing about this article and your sponsorship of it.
I look forward to your speedy reply.
I urge you to write to Visa as well.
Here is a chance to make a difference.
A 24-year-old Egyptian has been arrested by authorities in Egypt for allegedly committing the crime of “loving Israel.”
National media outlets in our neighbor to the southwest have already given the “suspect” the moniker “Israel-lover,” after he was spotted with a tattoo of the Star of David on his arm.
According to authorities, the man “made contact with Israelis through his Facebook page, and he clicked ‘like’ on the Mossad’s Facebook page.”
Authorities also allege that the man, who is currently unemployed, made contact with the Israeli and South Sudanese embassies in Cairo. He is also reported to have posted critical comments of the Egyptian government on his Facebook page.
While Israel and Egypt have had full diplomatic relations for 35 years, civilian contacts between Egyptians and Israelis are considered taboo in Egypt, the largest Arab country in the Middle East. In the first 30 years of Israel’s existence, it fought four large-scale wars with Egypt, two of which ended in decisive victory for Israel.
In his online contacts with Israelis, the Egyptian was said to have professed his admiration for the Jewish state. He is also believed to have attempted to reach Israel through Sudan.
Local media even reported on a list of items that authorities say “prove the suspect’s guilt”: a Hebrew-Arab dictionary, $100 US, rifle rounds, and four identity cards, each of which indicate that he worked in a different place. He also was found to have a business card belonging to the South Sudan embassy. On the back of the card, he wrote, “Israeli embassy.”
Authorities who investigated his Facebook page and his personal computer discovered that he clicked “like” on the Mossad’s page as well as that of the IDF Spokesperson and other Israeli pages. He was also found to have downloaded pictures of Israeli soldiers and officers as well as other figures waving the Israeli flag.
According to local media reports, the man admitted that “while he worked as a driver in a tourist resort in Sinai, he traveled to Sharm el-Sheikh in 2011, met an Israeli woman, and tried to enter Israel by way of local Beduin who work in smuggling infiltrators into Israel.”
Watching this video, I am at a loss to figure out exactly whom these terrorist thugs were protecting themselves from. Were they defending themselves from three-year-old Adele Biton, who was killed by Palestinian rock throwers? Or from five-month-old Yehuda Haim Shoham, also murdered by rock throwers? Maybe from Koby Mandell, 13, and Yosef Ishran 14, who were stoned to death and their bodies hidden in a cave covered by stones?
And you might want to have a chat with the Egyptian military.
If it’s guns and machinery that concern you, Israelis are also murdered by Palestinian guns and rockets. Of course, sometimes Palestinians are also “martyred” by their own weaponry in “work accidents”.
We also know that Hamas loves to launch rockets from highly populated areas, especially schools, mosques, and hospitals, using their own people as human shields so that when Israel is forced to fight back, Hamas can cry crocodile tears over the lives of their pawns.
Your defense of these psychotic murderers is sickening.