Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why am I pro-Israel? - An old article, uncensored (2010 December)

This is an uncensored precise translation for Maikel's article that he originally posted on December 2010 in Arabic on his blog. In case you noticed an unintentional grammatical or spelling error and wanted to edit it in a quote, please notify us first on a comment under the article, our official page or send us a message through Twitter.
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The biggest cultural shock the Israelis did to me was when I watched for the first time the video of Sadat's visit to the Israeli Knesset in 1977… The scene which stuck in my mind and I couldn't forget, wasn't the scene of Sadat or one of his companions, and it wasn't one of the famous and the respected Israeli politicians… The scene which affected me was the size of the masses that crowded around the Knesset to welcome the Egyptian president… I knew that there are peace supporters in Israel, but I didn't expect to see thousands of humans, all of them wearing white and pink clothes, holding flowers, standing in streets for hours to greet the president of the state which fought them earlier, a few years… The intimacy of the amazing reception and the scene of the Israeli police while doing their role in organizing the welcoming crowds with the enemy-friend president, was of the scenes which changed my life… I asked myself: If an Israeli official came to us in Egypt supporting peace, will he get half of that welcoming from Egyptians?

I don't deny that I often feel guilty toward my Egyptian readers who I shocked when I said I'm pro-Israel and I continually shock them by my stances continually supporting the Israeli policies… I feel guilty because I didn't explain to them the reasons for my stances and I didn't show them what I know about my Israeli neighbors, then I ask them to understand my stance and to accept it with all tolerance… A hard situation, I excuse them on.
The same guilt feeling I feel toward many of my Israeli readers, who I notice the surprise and the disbelieve from their comments… Some of them think I'm crazy, unaware of the extent of what I say; some of them think I'm a trap of the intelligence to deceive the Israeli people in a framework of a sense of a major conspiracy on the Jewish people… They are also excused, because they also don't know my motivations and reasons which I built on my political stances.

This article is an attempt of me to explain the logical reasons which made me pro-Israel. The reasons which make eager to continually support the state of Israel in existence and the reasons which make me supportive to complete and true relations between the two peoples and the rest of the peoples of the region.

In reality, my support to Israel isn't a support to Israel itself more than it's a support for the values which the state of Israel represents in the region… Because the case in my view is that this is democratic and that is tyrannical, this is liberal and that is totalitarian… Therefore my bias to Israel is a bias to the democratic and the modernist values which the state of Israel represents - whether we like it or not - in the region. [The previous paragraph was misquoted by the Israeli media and the misquote was used over and over in the Egyptian media]

Here, I'll try to recount in a detailed manner some of the points which will illustrate the point of view I provide.

1- Politics - Israel is the biggest and the oldest of the democracies in the region
The political system in Israel is a parliamentary systemThe first popular elections were held in 25 January, 1949, so that the first Knesset starts, and the current Knesset is the eighteenths Knesset in the history of Israel… During all that period, the state of Israel was headed by 9 presidents, starting from Chaim Weizrmann (1949) till the current president, Shimon Peres (2007)… Each new Knesset came with a new government for Israel, i.e. approximately 18 Israeli governments in 60 years (approximately a new government every three and a third years)… Each time the Israeli elections passed smoothly, without armed coup d'etats, without allegations of election fraud, without election results of the type of the 100% or the 99.9%.
In the last 60 years, when Israel was ruled by 18 different governments, Egypt was ruled by 6 presidents (King Farouk, King Ahmed Fouad, Mohamed Naguib, Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak)… The first three left the authority as a result of coup d'etats or militarist movements, the fourth (Nasser) remained in his throne till death and if he hadn't died he would have remained to rule Egypt till our day, regardless of the rumor that he died poisoned… The fifth is Sadat, went out of the authority by killing… The sixth remains in his position for 30 years, and we don't know a means of getting him out of authority… At the time when Israel's rule was exchanged with 18 democratic governments, we were ruled by 6 persons, none of them reached authority by means of elections, three of them left the authority by the force of a coup d'etat, two went out of their positions by death, the sixth, we are searching for a means to get him out of the authority for 30 years with no use… I think the comparison is obvious.
Anyone of us can open any map for the Middle East and he won't exert an effort to discover that Israel is the greatest democracy in the region… The Middle East didn't know a democratic regime except Israel, till the American invasion of Iraq in 2003… Turkey and Iran have deformed democracies, Iran prevents the secularists from running in elections and Turkey prevents the religious currents from running in elections, so what's the benefit of the elections if the legislator had already chose for the people the ideology of their rulers?… After Iran and Turkey, no democracies are left in the region except Lebanon and Iraq, both are new democracies, Iraq after the American invasion in 2003 and Lebanon after the cedar revolution in 2005, both of them are deformed democracies because of the sectarian divisions which control the election process… The rest of the states of the region are either bedouin kingdoms (as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar), or totalitarian militarist (as Syria, Egypt, Sudan and Libya)… All that make you not find in the whole region a real democratic regime except Israel.
What's more is that David Ben Gurion, who many consider him the founder of the state of Israel, was the one to declare the independence of the state of Israel, he served as the interim president for the state of Israel for only two days, to hand-over the presidency of the state to the president of the state Chaim Weizman… David Ben Gurion wasn't mummified on his chair as the Muslim and Arab presidents do (Gaddafi is in authority for 41 years and seeks to inherit the rule to his son), contrary to David Ben Gurion who gave-up authority more than once… Despite of his being president of the Israeli government in the period between the years 1948 and 1954, he left authority in the era of the second Knesset to be succeeded by Moshe Sharett in the period between 1954 and 1955, then Ben Gurion came back to head the Israeli government afterwards… For the whole life of Ben Gurion, he occupied many positions and left them after short periods in a peaceful and a smooth exchange of authority… So, who of you saw an Arab president giving-up his position that smoothly? So, think of that, we are speaking about a person who is almost the founder of his own state… Only because Nasser was able to control the officers of the 1952 coup d'etat, he attributed to himself successes far bigger than his size and he kept being in his position for 16 years… Hosni Mubarak, who attributed to himself all the victory of October, and because of this pretext about the victory he kept being as president of the republic for thirty years… So, think of that, a founder of a state leaving its presidency after two days and left the government presidency after 6 years? Doesn't a democracy like this deserve that we give it its appropriate respect?

2- Working and producing - Israelis built a complete state from the needle to the nuclear reactor in less than 50 years

Israel by its current situation, is a modernly existing democratic state in the region… The ancient Israel which ended in the first century (CE), means nothing to me in my article… The current Israel; the Jewish people started to put its foundations for not more than a period of a century… They built the farms, the cities, the factories and all that isn't a state… The first appearance of the state of Israel was after end of the British Mandate for Palestine , that's why the age of the state of Israel starts approximately since 1948, regardless of the foundations of this state were put before that by decades.
Israel and the Jewish people were able in less than 50 years to build a strong integrated state covering all sectors of life… The Jewish people established a complete state of institutions, having a complete separation between the authorities, having a parliamentary political system of the best political systems in the world, with a parliament doing a monitoring and a prominent legislative role, and a judiciary which is impartial and neutral which has judged the biggest politicians of Israel with integrity that no one doubted… What we say on politics is said on agriculture, industry, tourism and technology.
Here, I appreciate the innovation with time, so, we the Egyptian who are proud that we are the the children of a more than 5000 years civilization, yet we weren't able to build one nuclear reactor (Israel has approximately 4 nuclear reactors), and when we thought of establishing a peaceful nuclear reactor, we started searching for French and British companies to take care of the process of its establishment, even till our day the Egyptian bureaucracy is still disabling the establishment of the first Egyptian nuclear reactor… The same thing is said on the satellites; at the time when Israel exports satellites specialized for espionage to India , Egypt wasn't able to manufacture its satellites on its own and bought them from French companies… At the same time Israel is selling weapons to Russia (the heir of the Soviet Union), the military factories in Egypt manufacture cookers and heaters which don't even satisfy the Egyptian consumer… People working in the field of industry know well how many industries don't exist in the whole Middle East, except in Israel.
As Egyptians, we have to admit the technological gap which separate us from Israel… We have to admit that there is a people (even if we disagreed with) but this people sanctifies work, production and creativity, people who don't allow bureaucracy or corruption disable their march to progress… A people who surpassed the impossible difficulties as the little population, the continuous states of war and the isolation between their neighbors as well as the racial and ethnic conflicts, who made a civilization and an integrated state. While most of the states of the region live in continuous peace, they sink in recession and live on importing their food, clothing and primary necessities, and are ruled by a group of thieves while most of their peoples are busy with khat, hashish and religion.

3- Culture - the best universities in the region
Israel has 8 universities… The oldest of them is the Hebrew University of Jerusalem which was established in 1918, after Cairo University by 10 years… So, if we excluded the Open University of Israel which comes behind in the global rank, the rest of the 7 universities are of the best 500 universities around the world (sometimes Bar Ilan and Haifa universities come late by a few numbers after the 500 in some categories)… Where as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem occupies the 77th rank in the world, which makes it the best university in the Middle East.
Till a recent time, there wasn't a single Arab university between the best 500 universities in the world, and till our day there is no Egyptian or Arab university on the list of the best 200 universities in the world, after some Arab countries were able to enter the list of the best 500… What's quaint about it is that the Egyptian universities started to search for less globally famous categories, or manufacture by itself a global rank for universities, in order to put itself in the list of the best 200 or best 500… It would have been better for the Arab universities to search for the reasons of their corruption and their collapse, and to reform and to develop themselves instead of fabricating these counterfeit ratings.
We won't also be amazed when we know that Israel is the most country in the world to spend on scientific research (in relation to the national income)… Israel spends around 4.7% of its GDP on scientific research, and it's a very huge number if we knew that the United States of America spend only 2.6% from its domestic production on scientific research… What do the Arab countries spend on scientific research? The total of what Israel annually spends on scientific research exceeds what all the 22 member states of the Arab League spend on scientific research.
Years ago, a statistic was published to compare between the rates of culture and reading between the countries of the world… The Israeli citizen reads an average of 40 books yearly, while each 8 Egyptian citizens read one book yearly… The meaning of this information is that what one Israeli reads in 10 years needs of the Egyptian citizen 3200 years to read the same amount… A significant difference when you compare between the country of science and technology (Israel), and the rampant ignorance in the Arabic speaking countries.

4- Human rights - The greatest spaces of freedom in the region
I have an Israeli female friend of Arab origins… I was surprised that she went back early from her school at one day, I thought she was ill… I asked her to make sure of her health, so she told me (in Israel) in the month of Ramadan, they allow the Arab school students to go home early (taking into account fasting in Ramadan)… The real shock is that I don't forget how in all of my life in Egypt I was forced to do my tests in the feast days of my religion (the period of my embracing to Christianity)… Egyptian Christians who live in Egypt since the beginning of history (regardless of their conversion to Christianity) till our day are still a target of Intransigence by government officials who intentionally force the Christian students to do their tests in the feasts or the days which precede the feast… This is the distinction between the situation of religious minorities in Egypt and Israel.
Israel - contrary to what Arabs think - has a high standard of human rights which don't exist in any Arab country… For example, Israel doesn't have the death penalty, and no other physical punishment… In the whole Middle East, only Turkey doesn't apply the death penalty, and other countries that practically stopped practicing it without outlawing (Morocco, Tunisian, Algeria), at the time when a lot of the Islamist countries (such as Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia) apply physical punishments as whipping, cutting hands and stoning… What is said on death penalty and physical punishments can be said on children rights, women rights, freedom of opinion and expression. Israel doesn't have a religion section in the national identification card… Israel is the only country in the Middle East where homosexuals can organize themselves in human rights organizations… Israel is the only country in the Middle East where atheists can establish legal atheist gatherings and publish their atheistic thoughts absolutely free… Israel is the only country where you can be a citizen in it while not acknowledging its right to exist, at the same time your nationality won't be revoked or be imprisoned or even be denied the unemployment subvention… Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the media can publish scandals for the army (remember Spirit of Shaked) and it's the only country where the official state TV can criticize the religion of the majority simply and without guillotines being held for anyone.
Israel stood beside all the weak and the wronged in the region… We don't know anything about countries of Africa, and Israel continually sends them aids… The Muslim compatriots of Darfur, who were subjected to genocide, rape and displacement by the hands of their Muslim brothers from the Islamic regime of El-Bashir… The compatriots of Darfur are the ones to flee through the Egyptian lands to enter Israel to receive the right of political asylum, to live as normal free people… What did the Arabs and Muslims do to Kurds or the compatriots of Darfur? How many demonstrations erupted in Egypt in solidarity with Darfur compatriots? How many demonstrations erupted in Egypt in solidarity with Kurds against the murderer Saddam Hussein who killed thousands of Kurds with no guilt? We, the Egyptians, weren't satisfied by silence, but we killed, dragged and tortured the Sudanese in the middle of the streets of Giza in front of the eyes of everyone with no mercy… All that and Darfur compatriots are Muslims while Israelis are Jewish, but the Israeli state overcomes the ethnic and religious boundaries to stand beside the persecuted, while the Arabs don't mind be silent on the injustice toward their brothers without even a logical justification for this silence, exactly as they did when they kept silent when Saddam occupied Kuwait, then revolted, upheaved and uprose when Egypt participated in freeing Kuwait from the occupation of Saddam… Don't Egyptians wonder about the feelings of their Kuwaiti brothers when they see that reaction?
Since the issue of the Nile basin countries was fueled in the past months, the establishments of the Egyptian state started to propagate for a scenario of an Israeli conspiracy in the Nile basin countries… For me, I don't see any conspiracy at all… Egyptians didn't ask themselves what they know about Ethiopia and what they gave to it? What do Egyptians know about the poverty, diseases, floods and the rest of the issues which Ethiopia suffer from? Why didn't Egyptians sympathize with their African Ethiopians in their problems? Israel sympathized with Ethiopia for long years, and gave them lots of aids to try to help the Ethiopian people to get rid of their problems… It's natural that there would be strong Israeli-Ethiopian relations… At the same time, it's natural that there wouldn't be any exchanged passion between Egyptians and Ethiopians in light of the racial superiority in which Egyptians deal with blacks (and ask Nubians if you didn't know), in light of the Egyptians ignoring the financing of terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, Palestine and Yemen… So, if Gaza was more important for Egyptians than Ethiopia, then why are Egyptians bothered when they lose their relations with Ethiopia which they ignored humanely for long decades?

5- Israeli foreign policy is built on interest not racism
The basics, that the politician is a person who was chosen by the people to achieve their interests, not to achieve points of view of specific ideologies… This of course doesn't apply to Arab politicians who reached the authority by tanks, but of course apply to Israel.
For example, the political party Likud, who Arabs continually accuse of being a radical rightist party, is the same party which challenged its ideology in a very short time, and signed a peace treaty with Egypt, and gave back Sinai fully for no exchange (as Israel's right in navigation in the international straits, not a grant)… Egyptians don't ask themselves: how would it be a radical party and make a peace treaty (in spite of it is almost controlling all Sinai) and leaves Sinai to Egyptians for no war? The idea is that politicians care for the interest of Israel, more than the theoretical ideologies… And, Israel's interest is to live in peace between its neighbors… If we exchanged the positions at then, and Egypt was in place of Israel, Egypt wouldn't have gave up an inch of Sinai for peace, exactly as it does by holding to the Sudanese lands it occupies now (Halaib Triangle).
The same thing can be said on the negotiations with the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Lebanese… Arabs have kept repeating for decades goofy words about the empire from the Nile to Euphrates, but Israel destroyed all that Arab theses in one moment on the negotiation table, when it commanded to dismantle the settlements in Gaza… That day, the Israeli army by itself to initiate the evacuation of the Israeli settlers from their homes which they built in Gaza, to leave them to Palestinians… So, if Israel wanted to expand in the region (the ideology), then why did it dismantle its settlements in Gaza or withdraw from Sinai (the interest)? It's because interest dominates ideology in the Israeli foreign politics.
The opposite is true for Arab politicians… Syrian politicians know well that they can easily make a peace process with Israel, but they are still unable to dominate the interests of their peoples over their reactionary narrow ideology… The stupid person is the only one to torture a whole people for the sake of a foolish ideology… In my discussions with the politicized Syrians, they didn't give me logical responses for the idea of peace with Israel, all their talk is futile words about Israel as a Zionist entity and not a state, and that the issue is the Palestinian issue not Syria… Are you a Palestinian or a Syrian official? You are a Syrian official and your job is to achieve the interests of the Syrian people. What guilt makes you force the Syrian people to live in a continued state of war (the army engulfs the biggest part of the state budget) only because there is an ideology demanding that you keep the eternal state of war with a state exceeding you militarily by tens of time?
What is said on politics is said also on culture… Israel also has extremists, all countries of the world have extremists… But, the state of Israel doesn't know any kind of futility related to the cultural invasion and the preservation on the national identity and the blah blah… The Arab films (specifically the Egyptian) are continually aired on the Israeli TV, and Israelis watch them without sensitivity, while we, the world shakes under us if a cultural center showed an Israeli film calling for peace between the two peoples… Arabic language is an official language in Israel, and they have in Israel an academy for Arabic language, similar to the academy of Arabic language in Egypt… Israelis don't look at the Arabic language as a threat to their culture, their identity or their existence, but they see that their interest is to co-exist with their neighbors… The Arab peoples understand the identity oppositely “I exist, then you don't exist”, while the interest necessitates that both of us continue to exist, and stop attempting to wipe the other from existence.

Epilogue
The political, the social and the anthropological comparisons between the Israeli society and the Arab societies is a rich topic, can't be confined in one article… I only wanted here to illustrate the main points which characterize the Israeli society from rest of the societies surrounding it in the Middle East… These differences are the ones to force me to bias to the full right of Israel to peacefully exist in the region and they are the same to force me to stand beside Israel as a modern democratic state, its people live freely in a region of the world where thinking about freedom is regarded a crime.
Of course, my stance doesn't mean that I agree with Israel in all details, and it doesn't mean that I support Israel in any wrong stance it takes… Israelis themselves don't agree on anything, including the right for Israel to exist… So, if there isn't an Israeli citizen who agrees with the policy of his state in everything, then of course no supporter for Israel can agree with all the Israeli policies… I'm only supporting the rights of the state of Israel, and I support a lot of the wide lines in the Israeli politics, because I understand their motives and merits.
That of course means that there are points of disagreements between me and the Israeli policies… For example, the official stance of Israel about the Israeli pacifists… I still can't believe that the Jewish people who suffered of persecution for nearly 20 centuries because of their religious belief, when they establish a state they start to persecute their people because of their conscientious beliefs! I don't deny that I felt shy when I was exempted from the military service in Egypt after announcing that I won't serve in the army because of my pacifist beliefs, while my pacifist companions in Israel are in the Israeli prisons… This is a point which needs a revision in the Israeli politics.






Notice: the majority of the contained information in this article were given sources by links… So, please click on the links to view the source, to form a clearer picture for the contained facts in this article

Related topics
Yediot Ahoronot - 24 October 2010 - The Egyptian Objector: I'm pro-Israel - (another post)
To be a Politician in Egypt
A Formal Charge of being an Agent for Ra (a parody article)

Books I advise to read
Ali Salem - A Journey to Israel
Abdel Azim Ramadan - The Egyptian-Israeli Confrontation in the Red Sea 1949-1979

Article I advise to read
Amira Taher - Facts and Lies about Israel

Links interest you
      A- official Israeli websites

The Israeli Knesset http://www.knesset.gov.il/
The website of the president of Israel (blocked in Egypt) http://www.president.gov.il/
Israel ministry of foreign affairs (blocked in Egypt) http://www.mfa.gov.il/

      B- Websites exposing counterfeit of history
Israel, the civilization and the history - an Israeli website explaining some of the controversial matters http://www.yahoodi1.com/
Middle East network - a website correcting many of the misunderstood concepts http://mideastweb.org/arabic.htm


2 comments:

Joy Wolfe said...

I hope Maikel Nabil is watching his back Anyone who dares to speak out for peace and cooperation with Israel automatically puts a price tag on their head.
At the end of this turbulent year I send my admiration and appreciation to all the brave Muslims, Palestinians and others who have put their lives at risk by be willing to tell it as it is. And I share my least favourite pictures and stories of the year of the year
1. A body dragged through the streets by a group of biker thugs
2. Ahmadinijad at the podium in the UN - shows exactly how low that toothless organisation has sunk
3. BBC journalist using photo of a syrian child to damn Israel Surely he should be suspended if the BBC had any credibility which, of course, when it comes to reporting on Israel it doesn't http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/11/19/bbc%E2%80%99s-gaza-correspondent-jon-donnison-tweets-picture-of-syria-child-victim-blaming-israel/
4 Little Palestinian children in military gear with fake guns mouthing obscenities about Israel and Jews.
5 The heartbreak of Cincinatti
6 The fact that many victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods still are not properly housed
7 The two-faced pronouncements of Hamas and PA leadership who fool the world they are ready to negotiate with Israel then making the most outrageous statements saying they will not rest till they have the WHOLE of Israel
8 The pictures of the young Israeli soldiers beaten half to death when they had toe raid the Mavi Mavara to stop the deadly terrorists on board who were falsely claiming to be carrying aid to Gaza
9 The never ending stream of anti Israel questions in Parliament and the Lords making one wonder if that was the reason why some anti Israel bigots were elected. Why don't their constituents wake up to the fact they are doing nothing for them.

And my best memories Stories of the hundreds of joint Israel Palestinian grassroots projects that hopefully will start to make a difference
The unending Goood News stories of successful medical and technical research that result in Israel doing so much for an ungrateful world
The success of visiting cultural and theatrical groups in the UK despite the ridiculous claims of the BDS brigade

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