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Sisi Restores Jewish Heritage in Egypt But Faces Challenges – Haisam Hassanein (Washington Inst. for Near East Policy via Daily Alert)

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Dec. 17, 2018

  • Sisi Restores Jewish Heritage in Egypt But Faces Challenges – Haisam Hassanein
    On Dec. 10, Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani announced that President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had ordered the government to devote $72 million to restoring Jewish heritage in the country. On Dec. 6, editor-in-chief Khaled Salah of al-Youm al-Sabaa – a news outlet with close ties to Egypt’s security services – tweeted praise for the Jewish holiday of Hannukah, calling it a victory for monotheism against “paganism.”
    Yet even those Egyptians who agree with Sisi’s attitude toward Jews would still have trouble accepting the idea of a neighboring Zionist state. Most traditional Muslims in Egypt have trouble accepting the idea of a Jewish state, Jewish army, or Jewish political community. Moreover, a central tenet of the fundamentalist Islam practiced widely across Egypt is that Israel and the wider West are huge threats to Islamic territory and culture. Accepting Israel’s ideological foundations as a Jewish state is beyond everything Egyptians have been brought up to believe. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
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