THIS BLOG IS NOW MOVED TO MY NEW DOMAIN HUSSEINABOUBAKR.COM
....A blog written and edited by an Egyptian researcher of Jewish history and Hebrew literature living in the US. This blog is dedicated to cultural, social, historical and political issues of the Middle East as well as countering antisemitism. The material of this blog is published in English, Arabic and Hebrew.
“WARNING SIGNS ABOUND ACROSS THE GLOBE: THE DISCARDING OF MAINSTREAM POLITICIANS, THE EMERGENCE OF LEADERS WHO SEEK TO DIVIDE RATHER THAN UNITE, THE PURSUIT OF POLITICAL VICTORY AT ALL COSTS AND THE INVOCATION OF NATIONAL GREATNESS BY PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY GREATNESS ONLY WITH THEMSELVES.. TYRANNY IS ONCE AGAIN AWAKENING FROM ITS SLUMBER.” MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, U.S SENATE HEARING 2019.
There is little doubt that liberal democracy is at least in part responsible for the tremendous advancement of humanity in the past century. The near universalization of concepts such as inherent human rights, the rule of law, and peaceful conflict resolution would not have happened if it wasn’t for the flourishing of liberal democracy in many parts of the world. Liberal democracy isn’t just inherently good, but it also offers the most promising path for security and economic development. The accumulated evidence suggests theorists such as Kant are correct; liberal democracies are less likely to engage in a…
“America is Different” so proclaimed Ben Halpern in the title of the opening chapter of his book, “The American Jew.” Halpern’s proposition was simple; America is a singularly exceptional experience in Jewish history. In America, Jews became citizens at the founding of the republic without a Jewish question nor a long, excruciating emancipation process. There were no court Jews, Dreyfus trials, Nuremberg Laws, Dhimmitude, or pogroms. A country unburdened by a long legacy of monarchism, theocracy, or medieval antisemitism, America offered Jews an experience they did not have since medieval Spain or better yet, antiquity. However, with the steady rise of American antisemitism visible in the public space, American Jews are rightfully pondering, is the age of American Jewish exceptionalism coming to an end?
No one can argue there is something very distinct about the American Jewish experience compared to many other points and places in Jewish history. American Jews have had, by large, a po…
"ONLY WHEN THIS JEWISH BACILLUS INFECTING THE LIFE OF PEOPLES HAS BEEN REMOVED CAN ONE HOPE TO ESTABLISH A CO-OPERATION AMONGST THE NATIONS WHICH SHALL BE BUILT UPON A LASTING UNDERSTANDING." ADOLF HITLER
"When the Vermin are Dead..." Caption: "When the vermin are dead, the German oak will again flourish." Der Stürmer was published by the Nuremberg Nazi leader Julius Streicher.
Nazism is a millennial messianic movement in every regard. The German messiah made the extermination of the Jews, as a collective, the foundation for erecting the thousand-year Reich. For the Nazis, the Jews weren’t merely unwanted sub-humans but the epicenter of pathology not just for Germans but humanity in its entirety. Speaking in terms of “infestation” and “pathogens” the German antisemites made it clear that making Europe Judenrein is a benevolent and even altruistic salvific mission. Only the salvation from the Jews will bring about the kingdom of heaven. Only when humanity is…
In September 2012, US embassies around the Muslim world witnessed a wave of protests and attacks by tens of thousands of people angry at a YouTube video mocking prophet Muhammad. The US embassy in Cairo wasn’t an exception. Thousands of angry young Egyptians surrounded the walls of the embassy, threw rocks, climbed up the walls, and tore down the US flag. It was a scary time as in neighboring Libya, US diplomats were being slaughtered. At the time, the Muslim Brotherhood held both the presidency and parliament of Egypt. They were disturbed by the violence and the events, so they started the following exchange on twitter
The US embassy was, of course, referring to the earlier tweets of the same official accounts in Arabic. Tweets which called on faithful Egyptians to attack the US embassy. Tweets such as “Egyptians! Revolt for the Prophet’s victory in front of US embassy,” This duplicity is not a new occurrence nor it is an isolated phenomenon.
In July of 2018, an Egyptian young man noticed something somewhat awkward about a zebra in a Cairo zoo; it didn't look like a zebra. After a closer look, Sarhan discovered the zebra is just a regular donkey painted in black stripes. After the viral post, the Egyptian zoo vehemently denied the animal was a donkey and insisted on it being a 100% typical zebra. The humorous story became a source of much social media memes and jokes for days. For me, this humorous anecdote is more than just a funny story, but it is a symbol of the disease of denial in which much of the Arab and the Islamic world chose to immerse itself.
Last year, in the US Military Institute in which I taught, I passed a lesson to my students centered on the plight of Christian minorities in the Middle East and their dwindling populations. Later the same day they mentioned it to another Muslim teacher who then told them angrily "Those are all lies. Christians live in Muslim countries peacefully." My students…
I remember myself as young as six years old, going to the mosque to pray, standing, kneeling, and eventually putting my forehead to the ground. I was supposed to be talking to God. I opened my eyes and I saw nothing but the beautiful Persian rug on which I was praying. I closed them and I saw nothing but darkness. I tried to listen for anything, but there was nothing but silence. I slowly turned my head, sneaking a peek at the adults praying next to me, and trying to find out what was going on. I saw them rubbing their foreheads against the rug just like me, and whispering some prayers to something distant I couldn’t see. I turned my head back and closed my eyes forcefully, trying to focus, trying to find it, but again, there was silence.
I kept going to the mosques. I became zealously religious and wanted to fight for a god I couldn’t find. I kept trying, to no end. Then, I woke up to the horrors of religion. I saw how my Muslim faith was the agony of many. How it oppressed women, C…
بعد تأسيس دولة إسرائيل في عام 1948 وبعد الحروب التابعة لذلك، قامت
الحكومة المصرية مع الحكومات العربية الأخرى بنزع الجنسية ونفي وسجن اليهود الموجودون
في أراضيهم. قام ما يقرب من الـ100 ألف يهودي مصري بالهرب إلى إسرائيل، أمريكا
الشمالية، أوروبا وأستراليا. أقلية من اليهود المصريين بقت لتواجه الاضطهاد. بعد
نكسة 1967 قامت الحكومة المصرية بالقبض على معظم الرجال اليهود في مصر، على الأقل
فرد من كل عائلة وما يقرب من 20% من تعداد اليهود في البلاد وقامت بوضعهم في سجن أبو
زعبل على أطراف القاهرة.
تم القبض على اليهود حيثما وجودوا، في فراشهم، الجامعات، المواصلات العامة،
والمكاتب. حينما وصلوا لسجن أبو زعبل أستقبلهم الحاخام الأكبر مصلوباً فوق بوابة
السجن. كان عليهم المرور من تحت الحاخام المصلوب ليدخلوا إلى الكابوس الذي حضره لهم
الضباط المصريون. عند الوصول استقبلوهم بحفلة من السباب، الركل، والضرب. كان عليهم
أن يختاروا أسماء نسائية لكل واحد منهم من عينة خدوجة، زنوبة، إلى أخره لأن في مصر
كونك أنثى هي الإهانة الأكبر. تم اغتصابهم، مشاهدة آخرون يغتصبوا، وغصبهم على اغتصاب
بعضهم البعض. في رواية واحدة غصب الضباط…
Following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and the subsequent Arab-Israeli wars. The Egyptian government, along with the rest of the Arab world, decided to strip off citizenship, banish, and imprison the Jews in their lands. Some 100,000 Egyptian Jews fled to Israel, North America, and Europe. Of that number, a sizable minority of Egyptian Jews remained to face the horrors of Arab rule. Following the Six Days War, the Egyptian government arrested almost every Jewish male in the country, at least one person from every family and over 20% of the entire Jewish population, and detained them in Abu Zabaal, a major detention facility in Cairo still operative till this very day.
Jews were arrested wherever they were, bedrooms, schools, buses, and workplaces. Upon arrival to Abu Zabaal, Jews were greeted by the chief Rabbi crucified above the gates. They had to pass under the Rabbi into the nightmares the Egyptian officers had prepared for them. Upon arrival, they were met w…