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FJP backs El-Erian’s call for Egyptian Jews’ right of return

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Online activists criticise El-Erian’s comments, saying Egypt should accept Copts before introducing more minorities

El-Erian called on Egyptian Jews to return home to Egypt. (AFP Photo)

El-Erian called on Egyptian Jews to return home to Egypt.
(AFP Photo)

The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has defended its Vice-President Essam El-Erian’s recent statement made on the Egyptian Dream TV channel, where he called on Egyptian Jews and foreign-born Palestinians to return to their homelands.

El-Erian made specific mention of Egyptian Jews, calling on them to return home, saying their departure from Israel would allow for Palestinians to resettle their homes.

El-Erian’s latest remarks were made on live television, where he proceeded to criticise former President Gamal Abdel Nasser, by asking the Dream channel presenter why Nasser had expelled Jews from Egypt in the first place. El-Erian was critical of Nasser’s reign, saying their exodus contributed to the occupation of other’s lands.

“Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation,” El-Erian added.

Mohamed Soudan, the FJP spokesperson, defended El-Erian’s statement by saying it was the party’s desire to see Palestinians return to their homeland.

“Our policy is clear,” Soudan said. “We call on all occupied people to return to their lands and we ask, or rather hope, that Palestinian people will return.” The party’s official position on the matter also extends to Jews living in Israel. “If you ask for one group to return, so too must we ask the others,” he said, adding that Jews should return to wherever they may have come from, be it “Poland, Egypt or anywhere.”

Soudan was quick to emphasise the party stood against Zionism, but have no qualms with Jews. “They have a complicated history, but the Jewish motherland is not Israel,” he added, whilst also saying Egyptians should celebrate the different faiths together as they are part of a greater whole.

In response to El-Erian’s comments, a lawsuit was filed on the grounds that he is in a position of responsibility, and should not be spreading false information that could be harmful to national security; inferring that Arab and Egyptian Jews that are responsible for occupying Palestine.

Egyptian law recognises, and allows, the practice of the “three heavenly faiths,” namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. However, sectarian strife exists between the faiths and Christians have since the revolution seen an increased number of attacks on their places of worship. Tensions between religious groups are exacerbated by repeated calls from fringe groups for an Islamic nation governed by Islamic law with no place for other faiths. More recently, Coptic representatives in the Constituent Assembly withdrew in protest to what they saw was an Islamist-dominated assembly and a constitution that did little to safeguard their rights

The current Jewish population in Egypt is negligible. By their own estimates, there are less than 100 Egyptians who identify themselves as being Jewish. The population keeps a low profile out of fear they would be persecuted.

About the author

Luiz Sanchez

Luiz Sanchez

Journalist

Luiz is a Brazilian journalist in Cairo @luizdaVeiga

  • kamalelaraby

    No longer live in Israel few of the jews of Egypt as theyare now currently at the age verging the 80 years as well as the death of many of them and generaly returning to Egypt unwelcome by jews who stayed sweeter days througout Egypt tolerant and seems that ElErian dreamed he doesnot realize that Egyptcurrently is carrying a climate unknown and difficult adventure to live in

  • gedaliah

    if israel is not the jewish homeland then where is it?

    • Nariot Ketherm

      Well, depends how you define a homeland. religiously speaking yes, but there are many Jewish scholars and Rabbis who will point to scripture that says Jews shall not return to Israel until the messiah returns to take them, and the Diaspora is a part of the Jewish doctrine, that’s they be forever spread across the earth to guide mankind until the time the Messiah returns.

      Now, physically speaking Jews are not a race, they are a religion and therefore, their homeland is wherever they were born. In this case El-Erian misses the mark because so many of those living in Israel now were born there, making it their motherland as much as the Palestinians living there

    • fatma

      @GEDALIAH
      is there a country for Muslims or Christians?
      there is no homeland for jews , the jews in israel are actually from lots of places from europe , africa , arab wrold

    • felipe augusto

      According to the believes of the jews, the messias do not return yet to say that, you dumb!

  • dunce

    How about a carve out of Egypt for a Coptic homeland on the Israel side of the country and maybe the Egyptian Jews would feel safe there. I heard that Copts are 10% of the population so they should get the same % of the country and muslims would not have to be offended by seeing Christian symbolism their neighborhoods.

  • Alex

    This is another sick joke by Moslem Brotherhood. One can look at the plight of Christians being targeted by Moslems in Egypt and other Islamic countries to realize what awaits those unfortunate Israelis who opt to return to Egypt. Palestinians have never belonged in the Holy Land. They came from Arab lands to seek fortune in Turkish- and then British-occuppied Holy Land. The Jewish homeland was eventually restored as was its capital—Jerusalem. Facts are facts, so the Palestinians need to throw away their “keys” to former residencies and start building a new life for their children in Arab and Moslem states.


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