Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Welcome to Israel, Maikel

This post is my response to the news that my dear friend Dr. Maikel Nabil Sanad is announcing his trip to Israel and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and to some of his other recent crazy notes.  Here he states the purpose of his visit.  I am thrilled beyond words that Maikel is finally visiting Israel, most of all that the Jews are finally allowing him as a leader of the Egyptian peace movement to visit Israel.  Of course I admire him for his courage in standing up as an Egyptian Arab man for the cause of peace and freedom. 


I am glad that he is declaring his protest against anti-Semitism by refusing to engage in the common racist practice of having two passports, one that lists a visit to Israel and one that does not admit public contact with Jews.  I was very deeply offended when an Iraqi Arab friend of mine asked me to follow this practice after I visited Israel.  As an active participant in the Iraqi democratic freedom movement, I would love to visit a post-Saddam, liberated Iraq.  However, I refuse to visit Iraq or any other country which refuses to acknowledge the right of the Jewish nation to exist.


My only objection to Maikel’s itinerary is that he is refusing to visit all religious sites.  I totally respect his atheist beliefs and strongly oppose all attempts to impose one’s religious convictions upon others.  However, I think that Maikel cannot understand the religious significance of Yerushalayim for the Jews without visiting the Kotel, the Western Wall.  For this reason I urge him to visit the Kotel.  I find the thought of Israel surrendering the Jewish capital of   Yerushalayim to the Arab side as incomprehensible as the suggestion that Mecca and Medina should be turned over to non-Muslims.   I wish he could also visit the Haram al Sharif, the Nobel Sanctuary, and the Al Aksa Mosque, but as a non-Muslim he is sadly barred from these sites.  In addition, for Christians Nazareth and Jerusalem are holy, and I think visiting these Christian sites would help him understand the religious significance of Israel for Christians. 


From this point forward, Maikel’s words are in Black, and my responses are in Blue.

>> 25 October 2012

After my prison experience, I started asking myself if this person defended me or not before defending him!!!

, Links to this post, 0 comments

>> 24 October 2012

My personal life now is divided into 3 phases: Before prison - Inside Prison - After Prison :(


It was my pleasure and honor to defend and support him during his captivity and particularly during his hunger strike.  I only wish my fellow Jews had joined me in supporting him at that time. 


In this day, 23 Oct 2011, I was transferred from El-Marg prison to Abbasya Psychiatric by orders from military court. No justice until now :(

Maikel, I remember the date when you were sent to psychiatric confinement as if it was yesterday.  I was horrified but not at all surprised by this alarming development.  I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to get you out of that hellhole so fast.  



>> 23 October 2012


Just noticed Israeli flag in a demonstration calling for my freedom in Berlin last year. Happy to be a peace activist

Maikel, I’m happy with your peace activism work although I disagree with you about giving the Palestinian Arabs a state.  I am very deeply appreciative to you for your love and support of Israel and the Jews.


>> 22 October 2012

UN is a racist organization which divide humans into Super-humans (citizens of veto-holding countries) and Sub-humans (the rest of the world)

I don’t take the UN very seriously as it is a bastion of genocidal dictators and anti-Semites and not a free expression of global public opinion.  But I think Maikel makes a powerful point which I hadn’t considered. He is pointing out the injustice of the difference in power, control, and status between the handful of superpowers who hold veto positions, and the rest of the world which is in a subordinate position at the UN.

Like this day, 22 Oct 2010, I was supposed to join the army. I refused and became 1st Conscientious Objector in Egypt

I think Maikel showed tremendous bravery in his decision to refuse to join the army.  He started a movement based upon a concept of pacifism which Professor Bernard Lewis said was completely new and inconceivable in the Arab world prior to Maikel’s activism.  Thanks to his efforts, Egyptian intellectuals are beginning to discuss and debate the concept of pacifism which remains deeply taboo for most Egyptians, especially poor, religious,  and less educated Egyptians. The notion of pacifism is far outside the mainstream of Egyptian political thought, but Maikel is sparking debate about it through his courageous actions. 


>> 21 October 2012

I don't know who is the idiot who invented the term "Arabic Spring". Egyptians, Tunisians, and Libyans are Africans not Arabs

I remember feeling really astonished when Maikel told me during one of our phone conversations that he identifies himself as Egyptian and not Arab.  He also added that he thought the whole concept of Arab identity was nonsense because the differences of linguistic dialect and cultural mind-set between the various regions and countries of the Arab world were so vast.  I never conceived of the Arab world as a unitary phenomenon, and I definitely recognize the tremendous diversity within the Arab world. 

But his claim that he didn’t identify as an Arab puzzled me. His statement reminds me of the Egyptian-American who identified herself as an African-American.  This woman was a guest on Soledad O’Brien’s special “Black in America.”  I think of Africa as referring to Sub-Saharan Africa and of Arab North Africa as part of the Arab world. I know that Egypt has a Nubian African minority. 


The American University in Cairo doesn't allow Israelis to study or work at the university. Thanks USA for practicing Antisemitism.

I am disappointed but not surprised that the American University in Cairo doesn’t allow Israelis, i.e. Jews, to study or work at their institution.  They are simply following the anti-Semitic policies of the Nasser, Mubarak, and post-Mubarak military regimes.  They are also kowtowing to radical Islam by excluding Jews as well. 

30,000 victims in Syria is not enough for the world to interfere. Maybe The UN is waiting until the victims become 300,000 or 3,000,000

If you consider the Syrian revolution just a civil war, why didn't you send peace-keeping forces to protect civilians?

Once again the UN has shown itself to be a bastion of genocidal tyranny by supporting Assad’s attempted genocide against the oppressed Sunni majority in Syria.  The UN is irrelevant or harmful to the global freedom struggle.  The UN would not care if the number of victims of attempted genocide in Syria reached the levels of Liberia under the murderer Charles Taylor or the number of murdered Bosnian Muslim victims of the Serb attempted genocide from 2002 to 2005.  Obviously if G-d forbid 3 million people were murdered in Syria, then it would be another full-scale genocide like the Holocaust. 

Until now, Obama has hidden behind Putin and China as his excuse for doing nothing to challenge the Assad regime.  But now that he sees the Assad regime beginning to totter inside Syria, he is making the first step toward supporting the Syrian opposition by recognizing them as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.  Obama’s sole motivation for this decision is his fear that the Assad regime may fall from power, not an expression of moral outrage against the Assad regime’s ongoing attempted genocide.  I doubt that Obama will offer tangible military aid to the Syrian opposition because he does not want to see the Islamist regime in Iran fall, and he knows that helping the Syrian opposition would weaken the Iranian regime.   I continue to support the U.S. offering tangible military aid to the Free Syrian Army and bombing Assad’s military and regime installations from the air as in Libya.  But I feel certain that Obama will not take these steps. 


>> 16 October 2012

Full respect to Natan Sharaansky, one of the few supporters of democracy in Israel, who truly understand dictatorships

 I admire Sharansky’s courageous struggle against tyranny in Soviet Russia, and Sharansky’s personal experience in this struggle sets him apart from the vast majority of Israeli citizens and politicians who have no empathy for the freedom struggles of Arabs and Muslims and who seem to fear the concept of democracy in the Middle East.


1 comment:

H said...

Hello Rachel,

"It was my pleasure and honor to defend and support him during his captivity and particularly during his hunger strike. I only wish my fellow Jews had joined me in supporting him at that time."

As an argentinean jewish blogger, I did what I could: spread his views as early as April 2011

Stand for him when he was jailed (this one's in English).

Participating in the Blogging for #MaikelNabil day translating to English a traditional argentinean song against conscription called Botas Locas (Crazy boots). This one's in English too.

Finally, celebrate his release :)

Twitter: @Apuntes_Urbanos