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Dec 17, 2014
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Egyptian Playwright Ali Salem: Hamas Is the Enemy, Not Israel

#4680 | 02:43
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

In an Al-Arabiya TV interview, Egyptian playwright Ali Salem said that Hamas and ISIS, and not Israel, were Egypt's enemy.

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on December 17, 2014:

Interviewer: After all these years, your position regarding Israel has not changed?

Ali Salem: Of course it hasn't. Nothing has happened that would change it.

Interviewer: What about the Israeli aggression against Gaza and Lebanon…

Ali Salem: If we had true peace and normal relations with them, there would be no wars with such ferocity.

Interviewer: But who bears responsibility for that? Not the Israelis? Who bears responsibility for the absence of peace?

Ali Salem: All parties. We opposed normalization from day one.

Interviewer: You are against normalization?

Ali Salem: Not me. I mean the Egyptian people.

Interviewer: Well, that's a good thing.

Ali Salem: I am not talking about the man on the street.

Interviewer: Who then?

Ali Salem: I am talking about the educated intellectuals.


Interviewer: You expect the political leadership to impose peace and normalization upon the people?

Ali Salem: I want it to act in keeping with the interests of the people by normalizing relations with Israel.

Interviewer: What about the historical heritage? What about the land that was lost? What about the blood that was shed?

Ali Salem: Stop right there. History is full of bloodshed that culminated in peace.


Interviewer: Israel is an enemy and will remain an enemy forever. Let me ask you a question from the opposite perspective…

Ali Salem: Israel is not an enemy.

Interviewer: So who is the enemy?

Ali Salem: Hamas, for example, and ISIS…

Interviewer: Hamas?! Can my hostility towards Hamas – which is my flesh and blood – possibly equal my hostility towards Israel?

Ali Salem: Your flesh and blood?! Seriously?!

Interviewer: Of course. Am I not an Arab? My brother will remain my brother even if he kills me.

Ali Salem: Let's not romanticize things. People complain about our lack of sovereignty [in Sinai]. The tunnels were dug under Hamas authority, and we have to wage war and die in order [to destroy] these tunnels. Hamas had sovereignty there. The Hamas government split from the Palestinian Authority.

Interviewer: Nevertheless, we must not fall into the trap of equating Hamas with Israel.

Ali Salem: I am not equating anything, I'm just saying, with the utmost modesty, that we must live in harmony with our neighbors, especially considering that we have a peace treaty with them.


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