Egypt TV under fire over Israeli interview

2012-08-09 22:04

Cairo - Egyptian state television has come under fire for a show in which an Israeli military analyst was interviewed, with some critics saying the newly appointed information minister should be sacked for the incident.

Eyal Alima, a correspondent for Israel Radio's Arabic service, was interviewed by phone, along with Egyptian and Palestinian analysts, on a Tuesday night programme to discuss an attack by gunmen who killed 16 Egyptian border soldiers two days earlier.

Minister for Information Salah Abdel-Maqsud quickly demanded an inquiry and issued instructions to the state broadcasting authority not to host any more Israelis, reported local media.

However, his action did not go far enough to please critics.

The liberal National Gathering for Change, a non-governmental group, has called for the Islamist information minister to be dismissed and stripped of his membership at the independent Press Syndicate.

Disciplinary penalties

The group accused state television of pursuing "media normalisation with the Zionist entity" - a term used in Egypt by those who reject the legitimacy of Israel.

The turn of events is potentially embarrassing for the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi hails.

Abdul-Maqsud's appointment last week as information minister, controlling state television and radio services, was the Brotherhood's biggest victory in a new cabinet that includes several ministers from the previous military-appointed government.

The Brotherhood has said that Israel's intelligence service Mossad might be behind the attack on the Egyptian soldiers, the deadliest in decades. Israel has vehemently denied the claim.

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 that led to the Sinai peninsula being restored to Egyptian control.

However, Egypt's professional unions are opposed to normal ties with the Israelis. Violators risk disciplinary penalties from their unions.

Angry Egyptians attacked the Israeli embassy in September after a different deadly border incident, in the worst crisis in ties between the two countries since a popular revolt forced Hosny Mubarak out of power in 2011.

  • neil.fromearth - 2012-08-09 22:26

    Unfortunately the peace between Israel and Egypt looks about to expire. And that would be a disaster for both sides. It will also quite likely create another issue of Western countries supporting Israel and Eastern countries supporting the Arab nations. If they would simply recognize Israel's right to exist and do a realistic peace for land deal, that would probably be the only peaceful solution for the region. When push comes to shove, the USA, Britain, Germany and France will back Israel. As it still is the only country in the area resembling democracy and freedom of speech. My point proved "Abdul-Maqsud's appointment last week as information minister, controlling state television and radio services".

      MallyGold - 2012-08-10 07:52

      @Neil: Peace for land deals do not work. You will recall that the Palestinians were given the Gaza Strip as a free gift from Israel in exchange for peace. Israel went to great expense and untold sacrifices by their own people to hand this land over. In return these Palestinians continue to aim rockets at ordinary people with the wilful intention to slaughter these defenceless men women and children.

      Zaahid - 2012-08-10 10:23

      given the gaza strip as a "free gift"? huh??? the same land that they TOOK BY FORCE they now give back as a gift? The mind boggles? (",)

      MallyGold - 2012-08-12 16:09

      Yes, it all depends upon where you begin from, as to just who had rightful possession of the land in question. However, Israel was victorious in the Six-Day War during June 1967 which saw Israel take control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

  • tommo.too - 2012-08-10 01:10

    So much for freedom of speech in Egypt!!!

  • Hermann - 2012-08-10 06:00

    No wonder the Arabs have lost the plot as they refuse to be fully informed, only interested in their side of any story.

  • mkyounus - 2012-08-10 15:49

    the palestinians were so kind to share their land with israel once upon a time,but these zionists were never satisfied and they wanted everything,and so with the help of their staunch allies they decided to steal it!!! typical western bastards!!!!

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-08-12 06:58

      Lying rubbish. Once upon a time, back in 1948, the Palestinian territory was divided into two states. Israel accepted its portion and a nation was born, but the Palestinians Arabs and neighbouring Arab countries did not accept their portion and rejected Israel's existence as well, which they continue to do violently to this day. Arab rubbish.

      MallyGold - 2012-08-12 16:26

      @mkyounus: Palestinians have never been kind enough to share their land with Israel! In fact Palestinians have declared that Israel has no right to exist – a far cry from the kindly sharing you sprout. Jewish rights to the land of Canaan (the promised land) was always part of the very fabric of creation. God delivered Israel from Egyptian slavery to the land of Canaan. God promised Abraham that he and his descendants would inherit the land of Israel as an eternal possession. King David of Israel first established Jerusalem as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel in 1000 BC, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city. Jerusalem, the oldest city in the world, has been a holy city since Jesus was crucified in 30 CE. Jerusalem has been destroyed twice (in consequence of disobedience to God) besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

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