Photo Credit: Yori Yanover
Morsi with a Western suit and tie and a favorite Arab trinket

The New York Times published an interview with Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi yesterday.

Morsi made some interesting statements, like this:

If you want to judge the performance of the Egyptian people by the standards of German or Chinese or American culture, then there is no room for judgment … When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the U.S. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt.


I suppose this means that if they want to murder Christians we oughtn’t to judge them, while they reserve the right to attack our embassy whenever someone in the U.S. makes a video that insults them. Unfair? What else could it mean?

He said several times that the U.S. favors Israel over the Palestinians, and that this is a problem in relations between Egypt and the US. I would say two things in response: first, Egypt has never been a friend to Palestinian nationalism, except insofar as it could be used as a weapon against Israel. In 1948, Egypt established a harsh military occupation of the Gaza strip. Arab refugees were forced into refugee camps at gunpoint — by Egyptian soldiers.

Historian Efraim Karsh tells us,

[In 1948] the Egyptian government showed no desire to annex the Gaza Strip but had instead ruled the newly acquired area as an occupied military zone. This did not imply support of Palestinian nationalism, however, or of any sort of collective political awareness among the Palestinians. The local population was kept under tight control, was denied Egyptian citizenship, and was subjected to severe restrictions on travel.

In economic and humanitarian terms, the ‘plight’ of the Palestinians was far worse under Arab occupation before 1967 than after Israel took control of the territories. Karsh writes,

Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians also made vast progress in social welfare. Perhaps most significantly, mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22). And under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.

No less remarkable were advances in the Palestinians’ standard of living. By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967; 83.5 percent had electric or gas ranges for cooking, as compared to 4 percent in 1967; and so on for refrigerators, televisions, and cars.

This is not to say that the Palestinians are happy being ruled by Jews, which of course is devastating for their sense of honor and Muslim sensibilities. But it does make one wonder how much Egyptians have historically cared for their Palestinian Arab ‘brothers.’

Second, it is simply untrue that the U.S. has favored Israel over the Palestinians, unless you understand this to mean that the U.S. has not (yet) supported maximalist Arab demands for the replacement of Israel by an Arab state. The U.S. has certainly pressured Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, and it is only the Palestinian desire to ‘have it all’ that has prevented a U.S.-brokered Palestinian state from coming into being.

And here is something else that is untrue:

[H]e also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord. The agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule (my emphasis).

“As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said.

The sentence in bold is not presented as a quotation from Morsi. It is a simple statement of ‘fact’ by the Times’ writers, David D. Kirkpatrick and Steven Erlanger. Regardless of who said it, it is quite false. The Camp David agreement called for Israel to end its military government and withdraw troops from areas of the territories where a self-governing authority is elected by the Palestinians. These conditions have been more than met with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Elder of Ziyon comments on the text of the agreement thus:

Camp David does not say that there will necessarily be a Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza. It most certainly says nothing about a full Israeli withdrawal from the territories, only that its final status (and, by implication, its borders) will be up for negotiation after a transition period. And it explicitly says that there will be a redeployment of Israeli security forces – in order to ensure security for Israel – into locations that can only mean in parts of the territories, or else it would have just said “withdrawal of remaining Israeli forces,” period.

Indeed, the agreement also talks about joint Jordanian-Israeli patrols in Judea/Samaria!


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Vic Rosenthal created to provide a forum for publishing and discussing issues about Israel and the Mideast conflict, especially where there is a local connection. Rosenthal believes that America’s interests are best served by supporting the democratic state of Israel, the front line in the struggle between Western civilization and radical Islam. The viewpoint is not intended to be liberal or conservative — just pro-Israel.


  1. Well , I'm Egyptian not a Muslim brotherhood member or even fan but Morsi had explained what we Egyptians and Arabs feel about Israel may before the first time , the right opinion is stated in US not Mubarak's policy of Yes , Yes for anything that US /Israel wants , forget it…You'll hear a lot of NO's from now on , in fact this may the answer you'll hear from now on…..Israel crimes against Arabs from 1948 In Yafa till the last Gaza war at 2008-2009 will be paid for in due time.

  2. You do realize that when Morsi opens up the Camp David Accords, the first thing we'll be demanding is the Sinai back.

    It's a shame that your country is so brainwashed and backwards. If you had used the opportunity that peace with Israel gave you, your country could have had higher literacy rates, advanced industries, and perhaps even a non-Islamic based democracy.

    But you guys blew it, and are going to blow it again.

  3. You are right , we could have used the peace time to develop our country except it was ruled by corruption that US backed up as long as they do what they want obedient to US & Israel's demands , for example selling Israel Gas for peanuts . Demanding Sinai back this a joke ? it's Egyptian land and will stay that , for God's sake who's brainwashed and backwards , it's you actually , Israel had been built on a land that's not there's built on a lie now they want it a Jewish country , that's based on religion not nationality , they had killed hundreds of thousand Arabs , muslims and Christians , they don't really care , even killed a US citizens,remember Rachel Corrie was a 23 year old college student the US christian student that was run of by a On March 16, 2003, she was run over and killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza, while defending a Palestinian home from demolition.

    Again and for God's sake who's brainwashed and backwards , it's you actually , wake up the world is changing , slowly but eventually it will admit our rights.

  4. rachel corrie a christian LMBO! no she wasnt and how can you say israel was built on a lie when the word palestine is a name given to the hebrew/jews by emporer hadrian in 136 B.C during the roman occupation… it seems you know nothing of history or even worse your completely brainwashed by your government and friends that you believe theres are a thing called arab palestinian when we both know the word palestina is a latin word and doesnt apply to anything arab. did you know when emporer hadrian occupied israel they renamed jerusalem capitalina aelina another latin name

  5. So , what's Rachel Corrie was ? actually she's a Martyr , what are the 19 people killed, 30-60 injured in Israeli attack on freedom flotilla in 2010 is called ? they are Martyrs .
    Those are only two simple examples of the continuous Israel's blood shed that started even before 1948 , killing the UN representative Folke Bernadotte by the militant Zionist group Lehi while pursuing his official duties. The decision to assassinate him had been taken by Natan Yellin-Mor, Yisrael Eldad and Yitzhak Shamir, who was later to become Prime Minister of Israel

    We didn't forget Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 fighters from the Irgun Zevai Leumi and Lohamei Herut Israel Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, a Palestinian-Arab village of roughly 600 people

    We didn't forget , 1996 shelling of Qana &
    Qana airstrike in 2006 where only children and civilians were killed .

    No , We don't agree at all on principle , Israel is built on blood shedding and killing of Innocents and civilians and on a big lie .The lie is even coming from your reply , being there till 136 B.C ,almost 2000 Years, would that would be enough to occupy a country ? if so , then any body who lived for some time in any country for some time can claim it to be his country.

    Build your wall and keep living in your Ghetto as you've lived in every county , it's your decision , Israel lived and still lives only because US is giving it weapons , money and support , this will end one day .

  6. is this a joke? what is zionist its the support of the rebuilding of a jewish state thats it doesnt have to do with conspiracy garbage that muslims believe and make up day and night its just the belief of a home for the jews which has been there for over thousands of years .

    2nd lets see how many dead by the hands of muslims

    Thomas Sowell [Thomas Sowell, Race and Culture, BasicBooks, 1994, p. 188] estimates that 11 million slaves were shipped across the Atlantic and 14 million were sent to the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East. For every slave captured many others died. Estimates of this collateral damage vary. The renowned missionary David Livingstone estimated that for every slave who reached a plantation, five others were killed in the initial raid or died of illness and privation on the forced march.[Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions, David Livingstone, p. 62, 1888] Those who were left behind were the very young, the weak, the sick and the old. These soon died since the main providers had been killed or enslaved. So, for 25 million slaves delivered to the market, we have an estimated death of about 120 million people. Islam ran the wholesale slave trade in Africa.

    120 million Africans

    The number of Christians martyred by Islam is 9 million [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-10] . A rough estimate by Raphael Moore in History of Asia Minor is that another 50 million died in wars by jihad. So counting the million African Christians killed in the 20th century we have:

    60 million Christians
    Koenard Elst in Negationism in India gives an estimate of 80 million Hindus killed in the total jihad against India. [Koenard Elst, Negationism in India, Voice of India, New Delhi, 2002, pg. 34.] The country of India today is only half the size of ancient India, due to jihad. The mountains near India are called the Hindu Kush, meaning the “funeral pyre of the Hindus.”

    80 million Hindus
    Buddhists do not keep up with the history of war. Keep in mind that in jihad only Christians and Jews were allowed to survive as dhimmis (servants to Islam); everyone else had to convert or die. Jihad killed the Buddhists in Turkey, Afghanistan, along the Silk Route, and in India. The total is roughly 10 million. [David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2200, William Carey Library, 2001, p. 230, table 4-1.]

    10 million Buddhists

    how many killed so far by muslims in america, 3,094 killed by Muslims in America in 66 terror attacks.

    so are all these people who died by muslims hands martys or just infidels?

  7. You seem to have forgotten that Egypt lost the Sinai in one of the many wars you lost to us (you did learn that in school, right?), and the only reason you have the Sinai now is because you signed a peace treaty with Israel, and Israel gave it to you.

    But if Egypt wants to open up the Camp David Accords, well then everything is up for grabs then, isn't it.

    I know that despite the peace treaty with Israel, Egyptians, such as yourself, were unfortunately still brainwashed against Israel these past few decades.

    And while it won't get any better under the radical Islamic regime you stuck yourself with, it would behoove you to try to learn more about Israel from someplace other than hate sites and your local Iman.

  8. Aleida Marte , It seems that you justify Israel crimes to a casual event that happened in rebuliding a jewish state or a justified price that had to be paid by muslim & christian arabs or even other nationalities !!! Wwooo . You must have digged up a lot in history to bring noteably strange examples that needs to be verfied as they were not supported by links as I did, so I'll ahve to search for them myself , which wil take some time but generally they are irrelevant to Israel case which is around 100 years old , but your examples are really irrlevanet .
    I'm not sure why your language is starting not to be subjective , remarks like "Consiparacy Garabage that muslims believe " is simply unacceptable to adress other people point of views and provokating which you really don't need to do with me , starting to detraction each other is to street quarrel , so please keep it a respected discussion , that we both know will not convince any of us with the other point of view but let us keep it civlized one.

  9. Stephen Leavitt , I'm sure now that you are the brainwashed , a term that I'm not happy to use but you seem determinated to repeat this word , Egypt lost Sinai in an agression war made by Israel , not on gambling table , regained it by justified war to return its land,regained defeated Israel , Israel didn't voluntry gave it back ,that I don't think you've learned that in school .

    Now ,you say" But if Egypt wants to open up the Camp David Accords, well then everything is up for grabs then, isn't it" . Of course not , unless Israel is planning to start new war aganist egypt ? or Israel believes that it can grab anything it wants , no , not everything is for grab when it belongs to others .

    And yes , despite the peace treaty , Egyptians and all arabs are not convinced with the treaty because it's only respeted from our side and was not completely respected by Israel , you lost a big opprtunity toconvince us with it as Israel didn't make peace with Palestinin till today instead escalated agression with Mubark's Collusion.

    Islamic regime we've now isn't different from jewish regim you stuck yourself with too but both came through free election so we've to abide to them. As for your advise" to learn more about Israel from someplace other than hate sites and your local Iman" , I'm learning about Israel from a very reptuable Egyptian writer called Abdel Wahab Elmesirey , you better learn more about Israel from him.

  10. It is so sad how much you are proving my point.
    But in a country that has more illiterate people than the entire state of Texas, I guess that's to be expected.

    Here is a timeline of the events immediately leading up to the 6 Day War. Maybe it will help you better understand your own history.

    22 February: Syria announces it is time to move from "…defensive positions to offensive positions…" [2]

    7 April: Syria steps up its shelling, increasing attacks on border villages, leading to an air fight between the Syrians and the Israeli Air Force (IAF).

    12-13 May: A Russian report alleges that Israel is amassing troops along the Syrian border. Israel denies the build-up. U.N. Secretary General U Thant reports that UNTSO observers on the Syrian border "… have verified the absence of troop concentrations and absence of noteworthy military movements on both sides of the [Syrian] line." [3] According to the Soviet media, the Russian accusations were part of a coordinated "Zionist-imperialist" plot to undermine the revolutionary regimes in the Middle East. [4] Today it is understood that this Soviet report, used to deliberately incite Egypt and Syria to form an active military alliance against Israel, was in fact, false. [5]

    14-15 May: Syria requests Egypt act to deter an Israeli attack, invoking a mutual defense treaty. Egyptian Field Marshal, Abd al-Hakim Amer orders the Egyptian Army in Sinai "To raise the level of preparedness to a full alert for war, beginning 14.30, 14 May 1967. [6] At the same time Israel clarifies that it does not have aggressive intentions against Egypt or any other Arab state. [7]

    18-19 May: Egypt requests that U.N. forces withdraw. U.N. Secretary General, U Thant orders a complete withdrawal of U.N. forces without consulting the U.N. General Assembly or Security Council

    20 May: Egypt dispatches at least 100,000 troops to Israel's southwestern border, leading to a sweep in Arab nationalism against Israel

    22 May: Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and any international assistance promised to Israel in case of such a violation in the region never materializes. [8] Arab troops continued to gather on Israel's borders, reaching estimated levels of 450,000 or more.

    26-27 May: Israel learns of an Egyptian and Syrian plan to launch a war of annihilation against Israel within the next 48 hours. The initial Egyptian military offensive, dubbed "The Dawn," was essentially a march straight to Jordan, cutting Israel in half and planned by Egyptian general, Abdul Hakim Amer. Only minutes before the attack was intended to begin, pressure by the United States and the Soviets, convinced President Nasser to call it off. [9]

    30 May: Egypt, Syria and Jordan sign a mutual defense pack, solidifying their alliance and putting Jordan's military under Egyptian command.

    4 June: Egyptian troops in the Sinai now include seven divisions (four infantry, two armored and one mechanized), plus four independent infantry and four independent armored brigades. These forces are equipped with 950 tanks, 1,100 APCs and more than 1,000 artillery pieces. [10]

    2 June: Moshe Dayan, a former chief of staff known for his trademark eye patch, joins the Israeli cabinet as Minister of Defense.

    5-6 June: Early in the morning, the Israeli Air Force launches a series of raids against Egyptian airfields, attacking 19 bases and destroying 285-309 aircraft. The strikes eliminate 85% of the Egyptian air force. The Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces attack oil refineries in Haifa Bay and an airfield in Megiddo. By evening, Jordan's air force is wiped out, the Syrians lose two-thirds of their total air strength, and the Iraqi air force loses several planes. After two days, Israel has destroyed 400 enemy aircraft, 94% of them on the ground. Israel loses 26 aircraft in action. During this time, Jordanian forces lob thousands of shells into Jewish West Jerusalem, destroying hundreds of buildings and killing 20 people. [11]

    7 June: After successful advances against the Jordanians in and around Jerusalem, and after 24 hours of internal debate and diplomatic outreach, the Israelis take over the Old City of Jerusalem. Before entering the city, Israel PM, Levi Eshkol sends a letter to King Hussein proposing that Jordan halt its attacks on Israeli territory, agree to a ceasefire, and begin peace talks. There is no response from Jordan. [12]

    9 June: Israel begins ground operations against Syrian, hoping to secure its northeastern border after nearly two decades of Syrian attacks on the Galilee.

    10 June: The war ends with Israeli forces in control of the Sinai Peninsula up to the Suez Canal, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.

    19 June: Israel offers Egypt and Syria return of the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights for a peace settlement to be negotiated directly. In the Golan, Israel offers to withdraw to the international border, not including territory conquered by Syria in 1948. The offer was transmitted through the United States, but turned down. Egypt and Syria refuse to negotiate with Israel. [13]

  11. As usual you try to provoke , do I wonder why ? no I don't wonder , you want to get it as street fight which will not happen with me .Well , the illetral people here are not the majority But all of them are patriots. Also as you usual , you deter the conversation to a long irrelative time line aabout 1967 war aiming to prove that poor Israel was forced to agressively attack 3 or 4 arab countries at the same time just because it felt threatened ,what that has to do with fact that Sinai is egyptian land that was occupied and returned by war / do you dream one daay to come back , forget it .
    This feeling of threat is the repeated story to maintain Israel's on alret and keep the flow of aid extend ,that feeling needed to go on building your wall which is exactly building your own Gehtto.Last and not least , Israel is doomed to end one day being a racist country even inside between Isael's themselves safardeem and ashkinaz , religious nad non religous parties , remeber how Ezak Rabeen was killed and who killed him ?
    By this I'm ending this long conversation and let us wait and see .

  12. khaled my friend , arguing with these people is really pointless , aleida, I find what you say very hilarious actually , palestine in arabic is falasteen , our roots come from the Filists who existed 5 centuries B.C , I really have no clue where the hell you got your information from , but I'm pretty sure you're just as ignorant as the rest of the people you are defending , this is why you're still in community college 🙂

    i could go on and on with this , but its really pointless , WHERE THE HELL DO YOU GET YOUR INFORMATION FROM?
    i don't care if you lie about the holocaust when you say hitler massacred 10 million jew when they were barely 1 milllion in reality , but when you lie about my country , it gets personal , please don't bull in public , people might actually believe you.
    @khale, d peace from palestine my friend , not a big fan of morsi nor the muslim brotherhood , but I hope things get better in egypt , and I hope morsi has good intentions concerning the struggle in the middle east , unlike mubarak.

  13. Ziad , I'm sure the conversation is not going to convince them or hard line zionists but it's a pleasure to let them know how arabs and egyptians feel about them loud and clear and as you may've noticed I was very objective with facts contrary to their replies which were nervous and showed very disturbed state , hahahaha 🙂

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