Following are excerpts from a statement delivered by Egyptian presidential candidate Hazem Sallah Abu Ismail, which was posted on the Internet on November 11, 2011:
Hazem Sallah Abu Ismail: "Believe me, brothers, even when I started talking about running for president, the foreign press and embassies did not ask to meet with me – until I started talking about the economy, saying that the country's strength comes from within. From that moment on, by God, the requests started raining down on me. It was as if they had been asleep, and all of a sudden, they woke up. This is because they do not want this nation to have a will of its own. They want it to continue to be weak and to grovel before its enemy. […]
"You are familiar with our ideological disagreements with Iran, and you know that we cannot tolerate their faith. As you know, they have their way and we have ours. Nevertheless, you see how Iran is making America's head spin, even though [the UN] issued a report accusing Iran of making a nuclear bomb. Enough talking about Islamic countries. Take a look at North Korea.
"In Egypt, we have a ministry called the Ministry of Military Production, which was established in 1979, 32 years ago. They established the Arab Organization for Industrialization. They went to all the respected people, and said to them: 'We won't tell you anything about what the Ministry of Military Production does. It will continue to be a military secret, for the sake of our country's strength.'
"For 32 years, the people did not know if any military production was being done. As a result, we have not produced anything but heaters and gas cylinders. Suddenly, this year, they said: 'By the way, we have produced a tank.' This is a tank that nobody has heard of. I asked all my friends and relatives, as well as people serving in the army. I spoke with officers and soldiers, and asked them if they had seen the tank that we have manufactured. Nobody has seen it. It's an invisible tank, like in 'Candid Camera.' […]
"On the other hand, North Korea, which used 'to play in the mud,' now possesses nuclear warheads, which strike terror in America because it sees a country that stands on its own feet. […]
"We used to say that we would throw [Israel] into the sea, and that we would fight and enter Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The result was that they crushed our country so hard that the Sinai was completely occupied twice in 11 years. What a catastrophe – twice within 11 years. […]
"The first time – when the enemy retreated from the Sinai in 1956 – it retreated only partially and continued to occupy a certain region. But this 11-year-long Israeli occupation of Egypt was kept a secret. The Egyptian people knew nothing about this. Between 1956 and 1967, the Egyptian people did not know that part of Sinai was still occupied, or that Israeli ships continued to pass with their flags flying high. Then, in 1967, when Sinai was again occupied in its entirety, the regime said: 'By the way, part of it was occupied for the past 11 years, and you did not know about it.' […]
"Look at the Gulf of Aqaba on the map. It looks like a small canal. By Allah, it looks like a canal. If not for the Gulf of Aqaba, the Jews would suffocate and die, because this is the only artery through which they can export goods to backward Africa. Without it, they won't be able to export to Africa, and what could they possibly export to Europe and America? The Gulf of Aqaba is nothing more than a canal. If the Egyptians were to sit along the coastline – I am talking about civilians, not the army… If civilians were allowed to be present in that area, the Israeli economy would die on the spot, because any ship passing through would be in danger." […]