Wednesday, January 9, 2013

continuing dialogue with Maikel

My dialogue with Maikel continues in this post.  His words are in black, and my responses are in blue.

>> 18 December 2012

I declared before that I started writing a book about my prison experience, but I had lots of difficulties to keep on writing while I'm studying for my Master here in Germany. Sadly my book project has to be delayed for at least one more year :(

Maikel, it was my honor and pleasure to help you during your prison experience and hunger strike.  I thank G-d every day that we were able to save your life and liberate you from captivity.  You have brought incredible happiness and joy to my life on so many levels, both personal and political.  I am sure that recounting your prison experience will be very painful for you.  I was greatly saddened by your sorrow and suffering, by the fact that you were beaten and tortured. But I really can’t wait to read your prison memoirs.  You are a hero in a dark and cruel generation, and I look up to you for your love and compassion toward my people the Jews.

>> 17 December 2012

Alber Saber was released today, temporarily until his appeal is discussed. Thanks for everyone supported his cause.

I am glad that Alber Saber is temporarily released.  But I am more sickened although not surprised that he was sentenced to 3 years in prison for blasphemy.  Although he is an atheist who opposes all religions, I have no doubt that he was targeted by radical Islam for being a Christian and for challenging Islam. I think the Egyptian judiciary has zero concept of political independence and is now taking orders from the Muslim Brotherhood, as they once took orders from the military and before that the Mubarak regime.  In Russia dissidents talk about the concept of ‘telephone justice’, in which judges receive telephone calls from dictators instructing them on the prison terms of their political opponents.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Alber Saber, like Maikel and Kareem Amer before him, was a victim of ‘telephone justice.’

>> 16 December 2012

Aliaa Elmahdy was stopped from traveling from Sweden to France, to avoid her participation in Anti-Morsi Feman protest. Shame on Europe what has been done against her.

I happen to think that Aliaa was foolish to have posted naked pictures of herself online, as I question in what ways she advanced the cause of freedom through such actions.  Of course I avidly support her right to freedom of speech and expression, including the right to post nude photos of herself on-line.
I am disappointed but not surprised that Aliaa was prevented from traveling from Sweden to France to participate in a protest against the Morsi regime.  Europe has a long-standing pattern of appeasing dictators such as the Islamist regimes in Cairo and Iran, and thus they would want to do everything possible to stifle democratic opponents of such regimes in exile.

>> 30 November 2012

I support Israel. That's why I don't encourage Israelis to kill themselves in meaningless wars .
I want to respond to this statement in some detail, Maikel.  I greatly appreciate your love and support of Israel and the Jews, and your willingness to visit Israel and to take risks to express your solidarity with my people.  In some ways I have come to admire your pacifism because I know it is driven by a profound respect for the sanctity of all human life and by a passionate refusal to link masculinity with war and violence. 

But Maikel, I don’t think any of Israel’s wars could be called ‘meaningless.’  I would say that Israel’s participation in the wars against Hezbollah in 2006 and Gaza in 2008 was ineffective.  But Israel had clear security and strategic reasons for launching both of these conflicts.  Hezbollah captured Gilad Shalit and killed other Israeli soldiers in 2006, and Israel acted in self-defense in response to this Hezbollah provocation. In 2008, Israel was responding to 8 years of Hamas and PLO rockets which were launched 3 times a day every day for many years.  These rocket attacks have left the residents of southern Israel living much of their time in bomb shelters and have given the Jewish kids in this region PTSD. 

I plan to respond to more of Maikel’s thoughts on Egypt in my next post.  But I must stop writing now because my back pain is severe and I need to rest.

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