Even Egyptians who are pro-Palestinian, but have a moderate attitude towards Israel get targeted by Islamists in Egypt. Maikel Nabil Sanad, 27, is a well-known Egyptian blogger who said there are a number of Egyptians who favor peace with Israel:
First of all I came to say a peace- seeking community exists in Egypt, even if the media is trying to make it look like there isn’t. We oppose war and are pro-peace with all countries including Israel. The Egyptian dictatorship tries to hide us and pretend such people do not exist, but we are present in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Mauritania though the media does not report it.
Sanad spent nearly a year in prison after he criticized the Egyptian military after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, which he championed. In addition, he has openly criticized the Muslim Brotherhood this way:
The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to establish a dictatorship in Egypt, and Morsi was not elected in a democratic way. It is a fascist regime causing fatalities amongst the civilians but I am optimistic and believe this is heading in a positive direction. The Muslim Brotherhood is becoming less popular and most people who voted for religious parties are realizing they made a mistake.
Sanad, who lives in Berlin, made these comments at an event sponsored by UN Watch at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was heckled by Palestinians. Sanad deserves credit for attacking the Brotherhood’s tyrannical rule and saying there are Egyptians who favor peace, but it’s not quite that simple.
He also has said this:
I have been trying to visit Israel for over two years but was not allowed. When I applied for a visa, I was questioned whether I obtained a permit from Egyptian Intelligence, and when I said no I was denied. I was not permitted to visit the Israeli Embassy in Egypt or the Israeli Embassy in Berlin – where I study. When my friends and I wish to visit Israel, we must obtain a permit from the Egyptian dictatorship Israel recognizes. Israel regards Egyptians as a threat even in the cases they are peace activists.
And just why is Israel wary of Sanad? Perhaps because he also said this:
I believe most Egyptians do not wish to fight Israel or destroy it but they do have a moral obligation to the Palestinians and their non-violent struggle. The fact people support a Palestinian state and oppose the Israeli occupation doesn’t mean they oppose Israel’s existence.
When someone reputed to be a moderate still refers to the “Israeli occupation” then no matter how they frame it, they endanger Israel’s existence. To Islamists, the whole state of Israel is land under occupation, despite the fact that there are Jewish Biblical roots to the land and the right to keep lands won in war. Anyone who speaks of “Israel’s occupation” is still on the wrong side of the argument.