Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Egypt's Jews back army against Brotherhood

  Magda Haroun: 'we are not dead yet'

It seems that Cairo's Jews will not be celebrating Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) this September: participants will be prevented from travelling by the curfew, and the rabbi who usually officiates has cancelled his trip. Magda Haroun, the community's leader, has one cause to celebrate, however: the downfall of the 'fascist' Muslim Brotherhood, whose government had voted to end the community's monthly grant. Nonetheless the hard-up group of 14 Jewish ladies have scrounged what they could for the army's anti-Brotherhood campaign. The Jerusalem Post carries this JTA report (with thanks: Lily):

When Magda Haroun was out on the streets during the unrest now rocking Egypt’s capital, she saw someone standing over the body of a dead soldier.
“Not even a Jew would do this,” she heard him say.

Haroun, the president of the Egyptian Jewish community, doesn’t enjoy hearing anti-Semitic slurs on the street. She gets nervous when she hears Egyptians are burning the churches of Coptic Christians, a much larger religious minority than the country’s tiny Jewish community. She assumes that most of her compatriots have forgotten there are any Jews left in Egypt.

But when protesters filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square at the end of June calling on President Mohamed Morsi to step down, she was right there with them.

“The amount of people in Tahrir was breathtaking,” Haroun told JTA. “The unity between people was breathtaking. Some of the people recognized me because I was on TV. They were shaking my hand and telling me, ‘God bless you. You are a real Egyptian.’ ”

Haroun, 61, is the youngest of the 14 women who make up Cairo’s dwindling Jewish community. Most are now in their 80s, living off charity and rental income from properties the community has owned for generations.

But though small in number, Haroun says the community is proud of its country and, like many Egyptians, supportive of the army’s campaign to quell Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

The latest round of unrest in Egypt began last month after mass protests in Tahrir Square led the army to depose Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected leader, and install a new government. The Muslim Brotherhood denounced the move as a coup and confrontations raged between its supporters and the military, leaving more than 1,000 Egyptians dead in just the last week alone.

Jews have lived in Egypt for millennia. Around the time of Israel’s founding in 1948, the community was estimated to number 75,000, but in the decades that followed the vast majority fled.

Those that remain are happy to call Egypt home, Haroun says. Although she has relatives in several European countries, she vows to “never, never, never” leave.
“I’m very proud to be here,” she said. “I want to do whatever I can to help. We are a strong people. I am very happy now that people [are] in the street. Instead of talking about football, they are talking politics. There is more awareness about the importance of our country.”

On Tuesday, CNN reported that the White House was withholding some military aid to Egypt in protest of the military’s violent crackdown on Morsi supporters. But for Haroun, the army’s assertion of control is a welcome development she sees as “fighting terrorism.”

Haroun says the Jewish community thus far has not experienced any anti-Semitism as a result of the fighting — probably, she says, because it’s so small.

Under Morsi’s rule, however, it was a different story. Soon after taking office, the government voted to end a monthly subsidy of $1,000 to the Jewish community for more than 20 years.

“The way they wanted things to go, it’s a fascist movement,” she said. “I hope we’ll start a new era in Egypt where everyone will be equal regardless of political beliefs. I am very confident in the future.”(...)
Egypt’s unrest will prevent the community from celebrating Rosh Hashanah together in a few weeks. In past years, the community has hosted festive meals and invited foreign dignitaries and non-Jewish Egyptians.

Due to the curfew now being imposed by the army, however, they cannot meet in the synagogue. A rabbi set to fly in for the holiday has canceled his trip.
Still, the community is providing support to the army’s campaign. When a call went out for Egyptians to donate money to the government during the unrest, the 14 Jewish women in Egypt decided to scrounge together what they could.

“We have no money, but do you agree we should contribute a small amount of money in the name of the Egyptian community?” Haroun recalled asking the women. “You know what they responded? ‘Yes, of course. We are not dead yet.’

Read article in full


Anonymous said...

Ms Haroun is delusional!!!Does she really believe Egyptians have any respect for us Jews?
If they (Egpytians) could throttle us they would!!!
I still remember the burning of Cairo and the mad masses looking for Jews to slaughter

Sylvia said...

She talks too much....

By the way, there used to be an important Karaite community in Egypt with their own communal assets. Why don't we ever hear about them?

SyrianJew said...

She's not stupid. She knows that if she speaks honestly about how Egyptians really feel about Jews, she'll most likely be killed. So she spews these fairy tales about how Egyptians love Jews so much and treat them with equality and justice. Yeah, and I'm Yasser Arafat.

Malca said...

Egyptian organizations in America call for a large peaceful rally to be held in Washington, DC, on Thursday, August 22 from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM. The objective is to expose and denounce the terrorist acts by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies around the world, and to expose the bias of the Obama administration and the American media towards the Brotherhood.

Participants will assemble at the main gate of the White House (Wet House Sidewalk) at 11:00, then move at 2:00 PM to the headquarters of The Washington Post followed by the headquarters of CNN and then to the headquarters of the Islamic organization CAIR, which acts as the "embassy" of the Brotherhood's International organization in Washington. The march will end in front of the Egyptian military attaché's office in Washington to greet the Egyptian army for its heroic role against the Brotherhood's terror.

Buses will move from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina and North Carolina. Many people will come directly by private transport to the gathering point in front of the White House.

For information please contact: -

Magdi Khalil (General Coordinator):

- The Muslim Brotherhood has a long history of violence, which they, and their allies, try to sweep under the rug. This goes back to the Cairo Fire on Jan. 26, 1952, where they burned 700 foundations and hotels killing 49 Egyptians and 9 foreigners.

- On January 28, 2011 Brotherhood militias stormed 99 police stations and 6 prisons across Egypt, and helped evade 23,000 prisoners, including Mohamed Morsi ....