Wednesday May 09 2001
THE HONORABLE AMBASSADOR NABIL FAHMY
EMBASSY OF EGYPT
2310 DECATUR PLACE
WASHINGTON, DC 20008
Fax # 1202-244-4319
Dear Ambassador Nabil Fahmy:
It is with great sadness and disillusionment that we read the article "Half a Word" published in Al-Akhbar on April 18, 2001, and reprinted on April 25, 2001. In it, columnist Ahmad Ragab wrote:
"Thanks to Hitler, of blessed memory, who on behalf of the Palestinians, revenged in advance, against the most vile criminals on the face of the earth. Although we do have a complaint against him for his revenge on them was not enough."
Such writing is not consistent with Islam or with the Egyptian character. We Jews from Egypt cannot remain silent while our "cousins" spread such malicious and hateful rhetoric in an official government newspaper intended for the masses. Not even at the height of the hostilities between Egypt and Israel during the Nasser era have we witnessed such flagrant anti-Semitism. This article bears witness to the sorry degeneration of Egyptian civilization.
We cannot accept that this article falls under "freedom of speech". We know very well that the Egyptian media has always been and is today controlled by a supervisory board of censors, and we know that most Egyptian columnists are still appointed by the government and reflect its views.
We are therefore holding the Egyptian authorities responsible for this flagrant violation of human morality. The regime of President Mubarak held many promises for improved Jewish -Arab relations, but they mostly remain unfulfilled.
We Jews from Egypt demand a retraction and an apology printed in the same newspaper, Al Akhbar. In addition, an official government statement repudiating the contents of this article in their entirety is clearly in order.
HSJE Committee and the Regional Officers.