January 01, 2013

The right of return...to Egypt

Here's an interesting article in Ha'aretz about how the deputy leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has called on Egyptian Jews living in Palestine to return to Egypt where they will have any property they lost returned to them:
Dr. Essam al-Erian, deputy chief of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, called on Thursday for Egyptian Jews who immigrated to Israel to return home.
"I call on the Egyptian Jews to return to their homeland," he said in an interview with Egyptian network Dream TV. "They must refuse to continue living under an oppressive and racist regime that stains them with crimes against humanity."
In the interview, al-Erian: "Why did Gamal Abdel Nasser have to expel them from Egypt? They consequently participated in occupying Arab lands." He added that Egypt has no right to prevent the return of any Egyptian, and that the Jews could have their property back. This way, he said, "they will make room for the Palestinians, since the Palestinians' right of return is indisputable and no one can cancel it."
Naturally, al-Erian's statements drew criticism from all sides. One lawyer, Mohammed Salem, demanded that the attorney general take legal steps against al-Erian for "harming the country's independence… by spreading statements that may damage national security. He warned against "opening the gates of Egypt before the Zionist enemy."
Dr. Mohamed Younis, former dean of the law faculty at Helwan University, voiced a different concern. He warned that al-Erian's statements to return property to Jews could force the state to pay huge sums of money as reparations, even though it was not forcefully taken from them – and all this "when the country is facing economic collapse."
The Muslim Brotherhood's leadership did not comment on al-Erian's interview, nor did President Muhammad Morsi, who did not address the issue during his speech before the newly convened upper house of parliament on Saturday.
Actually, Morsi seems to approve of this right of return idea. It was his retweet that led me the Ha'aretz article in the first place:
I must say I'm surprised that the president of Egypt has a Twitter account specially for retweeting. I should also say that he says in his profile that RT ≠ endorsement but it looks like endorsement to me.

But back to the article.  These guys who are complaining about the right of return for anyone and everyone are knaves or fools or both. It gives Israel a far greater headache that it would give to the native countries of the returnees.  That's not the reason to support the right of return.  The reason to support a right is because it is a right.


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