January 10, 2008
Egypt-Israel love fatwa highlights split on peace
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"The children of an Israeli would have more sympathy to Israel, not the Arab world," said Saad Aboud, another lawmaker who presented the draft law, along with Radi. "The curricula the students in Israel have [contains] enough anti-Arab ideas to turn these children against the Arab nation."
Aboud belongs to the yet-unrecognized Karama Party, a left-leaning party that has Nasserite socialist attitudes that usually contradict the stances of the Muslim Brotherhood. Issues of what the two groups call "national security," however, always blur the distinction between them.
According to Al-Mongy, the child of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father follows the religion of the mother.
"So how can a man who is called Ahmed be the father of a child who is called Cohen?" he asked.
He said the 25,000 Egyptians married to Israelis -- his number - each have at least three children. To him, this means that in a matter of a few years time, there would be about 75,000 people demanding their rights in their parents' properties in Egypt.
"This is catastrophic," Al-Mongy said.
The proposed law against Israeli-Egyptian marriages has a slender chance of passing with the ruling National Democratic Party -- a party that inherited Sadat's legacy and presents itself as the guardian of peace with Israel -- having more than an 80 percent majority in the legislature.
Yet, it is a grim reminder of the intrinsic differences between official and public attitudes toward peace with Israel.
"This kind of marriage should never happen." Radi said. "Israel was an illegal entity that was established on Arabs' stolen land. How can we get married to the very people who stole our house and made it their own?"
al-Qatb is the pen name of The Journal's commentator writing from Egypt.
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