Friday, June 8, 2007

From Bucharest: The Egyptian delegate in his own words

Seems that the Egyptian delegate, H.E. Ambassador Raouf Saad, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, gave the OSCE the precise text of his remarks so that it could be distributed to the delegates.

[NOTE: This is not standard operation procedure so it suggests that the Egyptians were very comfortable, if not proud, of what they said.]

This is the presentation which set off the American Ambassador, Julie Finley. [See previous post] Lest anyone think I was in anyway exaggerating what he said, I quote:
1. The the anti Semitism [Note: this is how the word is repeatedly used in the document, no hyphen, two separate words] phenomena don't exist in the Arab world as this concept don't apply to the Arab cultural body and the Jewish communities are even called "our cousins" in the Arab common spoken language. It's worth mentioning in this regard that the Jewish communities lived and flourished and where [sic.] fully integrated in the Arab societies till the middle of the past century.

2. I noted that the tone and approach used by many speakers portrayed the Jewish people as hated people and subject to suppression all over the world, the the extent that the Israeli Minister for Social Affairs [Herzog] is asking for governmental protection for Jewish communities in light of this growing phenomenon and its surge in new regions like Latin America.

3. I find that his approach contradicts the facts of life as the Jewish people are strong and influential and rather growing in power in many parts of the world. So the question poses its self [sic], if such a way of thinking serves the interests of the Jewish people. Moreover, I believe that instead of spreading the negative image we need to look for the reasons behind that feeling towards Jews.

4. To this end, we must make the difference between anti Semitism and the rejection of the Israeli practices in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

5. Consequently, I believe that achieving a fair, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East will certainly contribute to contain and reduce this negative feeling against the Jews thus putting the anti Semitism in its real size
Chapter II
At the end of this session the Chair, Dr. Gert Wiesskirchen, said "Egypt suffers from the same problems we all do." It was an eloquent and powerful answer to the Egyptian's remarks.

In the next session, the Egyptian Ambassador commented on both Ambassador Finley's response to him and Dr. Wiesskirchen's remarks:

After hearing the interventions made by the lady US delegate, it is the chairmanship's responsibility to ensure that the delegations are not terrorized by certain individuals who are not accustomed to democratic dialogue.

I ask you Mr. Chairman, to convey to the OSCE Presidency, our outrage at the deplorable intervention made by the lady delegate which crossed all boarders [sic] of constructive and diplomatic practices.

Moreover, I ask you, Mr. chairman to convey to the OSCE presidency our displeasure with the way the moderator conducted this part of the session.

The moderator not only failed in applying discipline on this part of the session, but also made an unnecessary and biased comment regarding my country Egypt.

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