Egypt,  Israel/Palestine

The brighter side of Israel hate

There are a couple of encouraging things about this video of Egyptian TV host Khaled Al-Abraq proclaiming Israel as an enemy “for all eternity… This is what I teach my son and what he will teach his son.”

The first thing is that, unlike many other Israel haters, he doesn’t believe that the Jewish state is a temporary phenomenon; he tacitly acknowledges that it will still be around for his grandson to hate, and beyond that for generations to come.

The other is his frustration that other Egyptians don’t share his single-minded focus on hating Israel:

“They always taught us at school that our enemy is Israel. I don’t know who they say is our enemy in today’s schools. They pick a different enemy every couple of days. I am astonished to hear people say that we will not allow anyone to attack Egypt… I thought that they were talking about Israel, but they were talking about Hamas!”

In an encouraging sign of a different kind, the website of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram featured a straightforward and unbiased report about Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum recognizing Egyptian doctor Mohammed Helmy as a “Righteous Among The Nations,” an award given to non-Jews who helped Jews survive during the Nazi genocide.

Helmy, who was living in Berlin, hid a young Jewish woman in a property he owned during the war and also provided medical treatment for three of her relatives, Yad Vashem said Monday.

“Despite being targeted by the regime, Helmy spoke out against Nazi policies, and notwithstanding the great danger, risked his life by helping his Jewish friends,” Yad Vashem said.

“When the deportations of the Jews from Berlin began, 21-year-old Anna Boros, a family friend, was in need of a hiding place,” it said in a statement.

“Helmy brought her to a cabin he owned in the Berlin neighbourhood of Buch which became her safe haven until the end of the war,” it said, adding that Boros later became Anna Gutman.

“Helmy also helped Gutman’s mother Julie, stepfather Georg Wehr, and her grandmother Cecilie Rudnik… he arranged for Rudnik to be hidden in the home of Frieda Szturmann,” who was also recognised as Righteous Among The Nations, it said.

Helmy died in 1982, and Szturmann in 1962.