Grieving relatives of Copts killed by a recent military crackdown leave Abbasiya Cathedral and pour into the streets of Cairo. (Photo: Amel Pain / EPA-Corbis)
What begins with the Jews, never ends with them. Last week's massacre of Copts in Egypt (let's call a spade a spade: 'clashes' suggest that both sides were responsible for the violence) prompted Joseph Wahed, co-founder of JIMENA, to write the following letter to the Wall St Journal. It was published on October 17.
As an Egyptian Jew, I read with special interest Matt Bradley's article "Clashes between Christians, Police rock Cairo," Monday, October 10.
This reminded me of what our Coptic neighbor told my family as we were being expelled from Egypt in November 1952.: "After Saturday comes Sunday." He accurately predicted that the Coptic community also would feel the wrath and hatred of Egyptians, much of it inspired by radical Muslims.
Mr. Bradley also commented that "Egyptians have long prided themselves on a shared sense of citizenship that straddles religious boundaries."
Indeed, some individual Copts and Muslims have strong personal ties, but Mr. Bradley's statement is not based on historical fact; rather, it's based on a fantasy typical of Egyptian culture. Mr. Bradley needed to research why Egyptians' so-called "shared sense of pride" did not apply to the 80,000 Jews who once lived in Egypt and who were all kicked out.
There was no sense of pride when Egypt's nationality laws made it virtually impossible for Jews, and some Christians, born in Egypt to acquire Egyptian nationality thus rendering many stateless. In addition, Jews were restricted from certain government Jobs.
Nowadays, Christians are being victimized by the Muslim community in Iraq, Pakistan, Gaza, Bethlehem, Lebanon, Nigeria and elsewhere.
Sadly, just like when Jews were being ethnically cleansed, there's the same stone silence from the U.N., Human Rights Organizations, religious leaders and the world's Christian community.