Forbidden Zone: Of Leftists and Genghis Khan

July 29, 2013

In Uncategorized


I recently went to Egypt and “Palestine” and felt that I should write you something:

I left Norway for Egypt June the 15th and stayed there until the 29th before I went to the West-Bank where my uncles live. I stayed in the West-bank until July the 12th.

I had a great time in Egypt (of course), but many things there surprised me. First of all someone in the Cairo-metro threatened me that they would “slaughter” me and all Palestinians if we “continued to interfere” in Egypt! I was shocked and scared but luckily nothing happened with me. I hadn’t heard about it before I came to Egypt but quite a lot people there believe in some crazy conspiracy-theory about  Morsi and Hamas: basically Hamas an Morsi agreed that Hamas would “kidnap” some Egyptian soldiers which Morsi then would”free”. I was shocked that this particular story was believed by so many. People thought that I was an idiot because I hadn’t heard about it, hehe. The strangest part though is that these people believed that Hamas was killing Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai at the same time! This particular conspiracy-theory is apparently so widespread that I think The New York Times actually reported on it. Many Egyptians even believe Morsi gave away fuel to Gaza. 

Another thing that surprised me was the hatred against the Muslim brotherhood. Of course I knew that many people don’t like the MB – I don’t like them either, I am an atheist like you – but the hatred against wasn’t normal. It is difficult to explain but the hatred was so great that people just repeated claims you would find in a typical Caroline Glick-column! “The MBs are terrorists” “Didn’t you know they killed Sadat?” “They kill people” “They aren’t Egyptian!”. Now I see these hatred on Facebook – in Egypt I got some friend on Facebook and I am appalled by what they are writing.: Yesterday a completely normal Egyptian guy wrote “They deserved it because they are terrorists” and so forth (they write in English btw because of some kind of inferiority complex I guess). I of course deleted him from Facebook (I didn’t bother to reply).

I wish that the so-called Egyptian liberals and leftists will grow up some day. Today they behave so reactionary. My feelings about them are best summed up by this funny tweet by some funny Lebanese guy: That awkward moment when you realize some Arab leftists and liberals are politically to the right of Genghis Khan.
Sadly there is some truth in it.
Well enough about Egypt! I completely agree with what you wrote on you website in your discussion with a former student.
When I came to Palestine I bought your book “Knowing too much” in east-Jerusalem. I loved it! Especially the chapters on the six-day war, Dennis Ross (especially the part about rights and “needs”) and  Benny Morris. I also greatly appreciated the chapter on Hezbollah and the 2006-war. I am impressed by your legal writing. Have you learned this on your own? 

Hope everything is find with you by the way and hopefully something positive will happen in Egypt one day!