June 8, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10657

Egyptian Liberal Writer Dalia Ziada Condemns Egyptians Who Are Celebrating And Justifying Recent Killing Of Three Israeli Soldiers: They Are Unpatriotic, Terrorists, Or Potential Terrorists

June 8, 2023
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 10657

In response to the widespread celebration on social media[1] of the killing of three Israeli soldiers on June 3, 2023 by an Egyptian policeman – a terror attack hailed as heroic and justified because the victims were Jewish and/or Israeli – Dalia Ziada, an Egyptian writer who is executive director of MEEM Center for Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean Studies, strongly voiced her opposition to this trend.

Dalia Ziada's Facebook profile photo

Stating emphatically that those who celebrated and justified the attack are either terrorists or potential terrorists who might target their Christian neighbors if given the opportunity, Ziada wrote on her Facebook page, which has 30,000 followers, on June 4, 2023 that Israel should not be viewed as an enemy of Egypt, as it has supported Egypt on multiple occasions. She further stressed that "anyone who truly loves Egypt" cannot rejoice over such an event or "consider it heroic in any way."

The following are translations of Ziada's Facebook posts criticizing celebrations of the attack.

"Anyone Who Truly Loves Egypt Cannot Possibly Be Joyful Or Celebrate Such An Event, Nor Consider It A Heroic Act In Any Way"

Ziada wrote on Facebook on June 4, 2023: "A little bit of reason... This is not a match between [top Egyptian football clubs] Al Ahly and Al-Zamalek. It's about Egypt's national security.

"To those who are glorifying and justifying the attack carried out by an Egyptian security officer against Israeli soldiers yesterday, who exactly are you? What is your precise interest in doing so? Anyone who truly loves Egypt cannot possibly be joyful or celebrate such an event, nor consider it a heroic act in any way.

"First: What heroic act is there in trespassing the borders of a neighboring country with which we have a peace treaty and years of security cooperation, as well as countless economic interests? What has been achieved by killing soldiers who were stationed at their own borders, in a treacherous act that lacks any logical justification, except the desire of those behind it (using the security officer as a pawn) to ignite conflict between Egypt and Israel or, at the very least, to create a rift in their excellent relationship? Or perhaps the perpetrator is driven by extremist religious motives, such as those calling for the killing of Jews based on their religious identity, which is completely detrimental to Egypt and contradicts the principles of the Egyptian state.

"Second: This incident could cause significant harm to Egypt's interests if it is not promptly addressed and contained by the Egyptian and Israeli authorities. The best way, in my opinion, to contain it is through transparent investigations supervised by both parties, along with taking all necessary measures to prevent its recurrence. This is exactly what the Egyptian defense minister promised his Israeli counterpart in a phone call shortly after the incident."

Egypt-Israel Cooperation "Has Been One Of The Most Important Factors In Egypt's Success In Overcoming A Very Critical Phase In Its History"

"If you don't understand how Egypt's interests could be affected by an incident like this, take a look at the map:

"From the west, the situation is already volatile in Libya, and our relationship with Libya is deteriorating day by day due to the political division and Egypt's alignment with one side against the other.

"From the south, the ongoing war in Sudan is taking its toll on Egypt's economy and burdening Egypt with troubles that will greatly escalate its suffering in the coming period.

"From the east, there is Gaza and its never-ending problems.

"Not to mention the constant threat posed by conflicts in these three locations to Egypt's national security.

"In light of all this, Egypt cannot afford to engage in a security or political battle (which is unnecessary and illogical) with Israel. The unprecedented cooperation between Egypt and Israel in recent years has been one of the most important factors in Egypt's success in overcoming a very critical phase in its history, amidst combating terrorism and facing immense economic challenges.

"During the period between 2013 and 2015, when Hamas elements infiltrated Sinai and later pledged allegiance to ISIS, Israeli forces were fighting alongside Egyptian forces against terrorism in Sinai.

"At a time when the entire world stood against Egypt after the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood, and as there were calls for imposing diplomatic and economic sanctions on Egypt, Israeli officials defended the modern Egyptian state in international forums. I personally heard them clearly say, 'The security and stability of Egypt under Sisi are necessary for the security and stability of Israel.'

"[This is] not to mention the economic cooperation between Egypt and Israel in discovering and extracting gas in the Eastern Mediterranean and selling it to Europe and Asia. Israel chose to cooperate with Egypt in this matter over any other country in the Mediterranean basin, giving Egypt the ability to fulfill its dream of becoming an energy hub in the region, despite all the geopolitical complications and maritime border disputes."

"Israel Is Not An Enemy Of Egypt... It Has Stood By Egypt's Side In Its Most Critical Times"

"Israel is not an enemy of Egypt... I say it again: Israel is not an enemy of Egypt. Israel is Egypt's direct neighbor and one of the countries that stood by Egypt in its most critical times. There is absolutely no reason to ignite conflict with it. Anyone who does so or encourages it harms Egypt's interests greatly.

"This is a word of truth that I wanted to convey to people with rational minds, especially considering all the positive and loving attitudes of Israel towards Egypt that I have witnessed firsthand, and I am confident that the relevant authorities in Egypt fully understand the importance of all the points I mentioned and act accordingly, regardless of the usual media frenzy surrounding the issue.

"May God have mercy on the victims of the incident and protect the security, stability, and cooperation between Egypt and Israel."[2]

"Do Not Encourage Or Cheer For Extremism"; "The True Muslim Does Not Betray Those With Whom He Has A Covenant And Agreement"

In a subsequent post on June 7, 2023, Ziada wrote: "Every demagogue today who tries to justify celebrating the killing of Israeli soldiers on our borders by labeling them as Jews, or who believes according to his sick perspective that it as permissible to kill them even if they were peaceful and had not committed any aggression against them, is in reality either a terrorist or a potential terrorist.

"Just as they targeted their Jewish neighbor on the border, they will, as soon as they have the opportunity, target their Christian neighbor on their street. It is they who harass and assault women and slaughter them in broad daylight if they refuse to marry them.

"Do not encourage or cheer for extremism. The true Muslim is he who 'would not harm people by his tongue and his hand' (and here we are talking about all creatures to whom the description of people on Earth applies, not only Muslims).

"The true Muslim does not those with whom he has a covenant and agreement, no matter what happens. On the contrary, it is his duty to protect them if necessary. [Betrayal] is not the morality of the Prophet, the morality of the Companions, or even the morality of the Egyptians. Wake up, people."[3]

Ziada's June 7 post on Facebook


[2], June 4, 2023.

[3], June 7, 2023.

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