web analytics
May 22, 2015 / 4 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Egyptian Blogger Breaks Taboos About Israel

Described as a peace-building mission, Sanad’s visit to the Holy Land sparked a myriad responses.
Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad at Hebrew University press conference on Sunday, December 23.

Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad at Hebrew University press conference on Sunday, December 23.
Photo Credit: Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

“I’m breaking a taboo coming to Israel, but I’m not the first Egyptian to do so,” said Maikel Nabil Sanad, a political activist and blogger who was jailed and tortured for 302 days for criticizing the Egyptian army post-Mubarak. He was pardoned by the Egyptian military in January 2012 following international pressure and efforts of several different human rights organizations including UN Watch.

During his first visit to Israel organized by the Geneva-based NGO, UN Watch, Maikel Sanad was warmly received by Hebrew University’s Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace on Sunday, December 23.

Described as a peace-building mission, Sanad’s visit to the Holy Land sparked a myriad responses.

Speaking to the Israeli and Arabic press in English and Arabic, before the open lecture to Hebrew University students, Sanad stated that he would like to see Israel exist in the Middle East but that Israel had to build initiatives and approach peace activists like himself.

“I would like to see Israel coexist in the Middle East,” said the self-described pro-Israel dissident who was the first political prisoner in post-revolution Egypt. “The majority of my people don’t want war with Israel.” But he was sharply critical of settlement building and Palestinian rights.

“It’s amazing to see that people like Sanad exist,” said Orit Sulitzean, the spokeswoman for Hebrew University to Tazpit News Agency. “There is a thirst and hunger among Israelis to learn more about our southern neighbor,” added Hebrew University Professor Eli Podch.

Others were significantly less happy. When Sanad spoke to the large audience at Hebrew University, and stated that in order for peace to take place in the Middle East, he believes that nationalism would have to end, a group of Israeli-Arab students shouted the speaker down. “Shame on you!” and “Don’t speak about Nasser” they yelled in English at Sanad and at the frustrated audience, who wanted to hear the Egyptian blogger speak.

During the talk, Sanad also offered his historical perspective on Egypt, and spoke about the Egyptian Jewish community, which numbered at 80,000 until 1954 following Egyptian nationalist, Gamal Abdel Nasser’s takeover. “Before Nasser’s coup d’etat, all religions in Egypt coexisted peacefully during the country’s 30 years of democracy from 1923-1952,” he emphasized.

Sanad belongs to the Egyptian Coptic community, also known as Copts, who are native Christians of Egypt and have been severely oppressed by the Egyptian government. The Copts face such obstacles as government restrictions on church building and hate crimes in the form of physical assaults and property destruction by Muslims, have forced many Copts to flee Egypt.

Today, Sanad lives in Germany where he is pursuing a master’s degree in public diplomacy. He says that he is an atheist who doesn’t believe in any religion.

“In Egypt, I am considered crazy for my beliefs,” Sanad said. The 27-year-old Egyptian is a conscientious objector and pacifist, who was recruited to serve in the Egyptian army for three years and refused. Sanad said he was exempted because of army examiners deemed him mentally unstable.

“Egyptian leadership’s belief that Israel is our eternal enemy says something about their mental stability,” pointed out Sanad.

“I’m here to say that I care about the future and that we should not have pay for the mistakes of our fathers and grandfathers,” said Sanad. “I am not and elected official and I don’t represent Egypt, but I am against an Islamic dictatorship under Morsi and I consider Hamas and Hezbullah terrorist organizations.”

An Associated Press reporter who interviewed Sanad right after he was released from jail in Egypt in January of this year, told Tazpit News Agency that Sanad “doesn’t represent the typical protestor of the Egyptian street.”

“People wonder why the Muslim Brotherhood is in power because people like Maikal Sanad stood out during the revolution,” she said. “Sanad, however, represents maybe less than one percent of Egypt. He and the other peace activists are educated, speak fluent English, and are photogenic. Foreign journalists could easily follow their Twitter posts and blogs. But by basing their information from Egyptian peace activists, many foreign journalists created this false impression that Egypt was heading towards peace and freedom.”

The AP reporter who lived in Egypt during the post-war revolution, said that reality on the ground was far different from the peace sentiments on Twitter. “Egypt is a mess today,” she concludes. “And the average Egyptian is in the same position today as he was before the revolution, maybe even worse.”

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Egyptian Blogger Breaks Taboos About Israel”

  1. Ethan Perks says:

    Typical. He insists for peace on "Arab"terms. When have the Arabs EVER moved even a little bit. EVER!

  2. Mark L. Shane says:

    peace on the land that fought and defeated you 3 times. shame this fellow is a fatwah candidate.

  3. Useless visit! He speaks only for himself, he has no influence on any other person, even his dog don´t take seriously what he says! Worse, he his a christian (coptic) the European left (islamist and atissemitic) will see him as a traitor.
    If the Israelis want to know more about Egypt, they could consult MEMRI site… Band of dumbs!

  4. Give the man the respect any human being deserves.
    As a Coptic Christian he knows what discrimination means.
    Hopefully, peaceful Muslems will also wake up to the oppression their leaders are causing to them.
    I also wish my fellow Jews would also open their minds to
    a peaceful solution to our neighbors and our differences

  5. Every hand reaching out for peace is worth shaking.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest News Stories
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.

Israel finally has a Foreign Minister who is not ashamed to say the word “God.”

Cairo Jews shove and curse a journalist dressed up as a Jew.

An Arab language website sent a reporter, dressed as a Jew, to the streets of Cairo.

Volunteers with Shomer Hachadash.

Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]

The Golders Green Eruv

Scotland Yard said it cannot prevent the upcoming neo-Nazi march that is planned for July 4th.

A store in Rafah, Gaza displays women’s Islamic head coverings for sale.

A State Dept. official is in Israel to talk about making the region nuclear-free.

The highway at the property is a favorite spot for PA Arabs to try to throw

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu annual medical report  as written by his personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkovitz, states, “Blood tests were completely normal including those for sugar, cholesterol and fats. The Prime Minister’s blood pressure was normal (120/80), aided by light medication.” The reports notes that “Prime Minister Netanyahu trains several times a week at a […]

The President will speak Friday night at Washington’s largest Conservative synagogue, probably to continue to express his opinion that Israel is racist & Israel should embody “Judeo-Christian”/universal values (as opposed to Jewish values). They’re going to lap it up .

This week ISIS captured two major cities, one in Iraq, one in Syria. Assad’s escape plan revealed.

Israeli Pres. Rivlin expresses deep concern after vandals torch a Bnei Akiva building and synagogue in northern Israel.

More than 70 percent of Muslims in Netherlands reportedly view their brethren fighting the “jihad” in Syria as “heroes.”

Israel rejects a Swiss court decision granting $1.1 billion to Iran after an oil deal went sour after the Islamic Revolution.

Liberman apologizes for describing Netanyahu’s decision to meet with head of Arab Joint Party List as “autistic.”

Former FM Avigdor Liberman slams PM Netanyahu for scheduling talks with the head of the united Arab parties.

Israel’s farmers brought the first fruits of the field to Pres. Reuven Rivlin and his wife Nechama on this eve of Shavuoth.

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Volunteers with Shomer Hachadash.

Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]

Birthright Israel participants in Israel.

The educational organization will bring 1,500 French Jews to Israel to learn about the Jewish state and immerse them in their Jewish heritage.

PM Netanyahu sent a letter of condolences to the Levinger family on the passing of the late leader Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who was known for his life work in establishing the modern Jewish community of Hebron and as one of the founder of the Gush Emunim settlement movement.

MyECheck has bought Israeli company, Seergate Ltd, which concentrates on electronic payment solutions, for $3 million.

When they return home, participants will serve as goodwill ambassadors building bridges between the United States and Israel.

The largest oil and gas conference in the world, known as the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was held this week and 14 Israeli companies were present.

“I had just got the role of my life, Shylock,” recalled Elias. “But following all the hostilities, the Zionist underground members came to the rehearsal and took me away.” 

Netanyahu said, repeating the mistakes made with North Korea, this time with Iran, is a great historic blunder.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptian-blogger-breaks-taboos-about-israel/2012/12/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: