The Samira Ibrahim affair

Samira Ibrahim in Tahrir Square. Not afraid of Zionists

Samira Ibrahim in Tahrir Square. Not afraid of Zionists

This isn’t a big story, but it has some interesting aspects.

In observance of International Women’s Day today, Michelle Obama and John Kerry will be recognizing 9 International Women of  Courage, including — posthumously — the anonymous victim of the infamous Delhi rape.

There were to be ten honorees, but one of them, Samira Ibrahim of Egypt was caught sending several vicious tweets, one calling the terrorist bombing of a bus full of Israelis in Bulgaria “sweet news,” one quoting Hitler approvingly, and even one celebrating the anniversary of 9/11. When the State Department put her award on hold, she at first (unconvincingly) claimed her account had been hacked, and then said “I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award.”

Despite hating Jews and the United States, Ibrahim certainly was courageous. She was originally picked because she sued the Egyptian government when they performed a degrading “virginity test” on her after she was arrested for protesting in Tahrir Square, and forced them to end the ‘tests’. And of course, she is not  afraid of the “Zionist lobby” either.

If we include Ibrahim, five out of the ten women selected are Muslims, possibly illustrating the importance the State Department attaches to establishing good relations with the people who, more than anyone else in the world, want to kill Jews and Americans.

But it is not surprising that — especially in Egypt — they had a hard time finding someone who did not share the common prejudices.

Let’s understand that Egypt, which has rendered itself almost entirely free of Jews (it’s estimated that there were less than 100 in 2004), is nevertheless a nation obsessed with hatred of Jews.

When non-Jewish journalist Lara Logan was swarmed and sexually attacked in Tahrir Square in 2011, the crowd shouted “Jew!” They also decorated pictures of Hosni Mubarak with the star of David. Egyptian TV often casts Jews as villains, and recently presented a series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hitler’s Mein Kampf, in Arabic, is a bestseller in Egyptian bookstores (I mentioned that one of Ibrahim’s tweets quoted Hitler).

It isn’t just Egypt. They would have had a hard time in the ‘advanced’ nation of Turkey, too:

A study by Turkey’s Hrant Dink Foundation has found that Jews have become the main object of hate speech in the country, followed by Armenians, Christians, and Greeks.

I bet it would have been much easier to find a courageous Israeli woman, perhaps one who lives in the southern part of Israel and who has been subjected to rocket bombardments day after day and year after year, who doesn’t hate Arabs, Egyptians or Turks. But that wouldn’t help the message, which is that the US is a friend to the oppressed; and by definition an Israeli can’t be oppressed, she can only be an oppressor.

One more interesting connection: The New York Times blogger Robert Mackey, known for his anti-Zionist take, asked Samuel Tadros, who originally broke the Ibrahim story, whether he was a Coptic Christian and if this could have influenced his reporting.

The mind boggles. If a Coptic academic sees and translates a Jew-hating or anti-American tweet, is his reporting thereof invalid? Is everything now ethnically relative?

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One Response to “The Samira Ibrahim affair”

  1. Robman says:

    What you close this article with is a highlight of nothing less than left-wing fascism.

    That’s right: Anyone whose point of view contradicts the “correct” left wing line must be part of a group that has an “agenda” and hence cannot be trusted, no matter the objective veracity of any facts presented.

    Of course, per these very same types of anti-Israeli liberal left journalists and academics, Moslems promoting bloody-minded hatred of Jews, Israel, Christians, etc., are ALWAYS “objective”, and can NEVER be accused of having an “agenda”.

    That is why support for Israel in Congress is blamed on the “Israel lobby” allied with implicitly “fringe” Evangelicals by establishment left wing commentators such as Thomas Friedman. Without any attempt at examining the objective worth of arguments in favor of supporting Israel, by simply tarring support by associating the same with such “special interests” is intended to marginalize such support in the public mind as illegitimate and nefarious in every instance without exception. The intended end result is to create an automatic association in the public mind between support for Israel and “fringe” special interests that are opposed to the “true” interests of America a a whole.

    Where I live, my own pro-Israel letters to the editor of our local newspaper, once a frequent feature back when we had an editor with a modicum of integrity, have been all but banned. Anymore, if I submit a letter in response to the outrageously freaquent Israel bashing in my paper – they recently called on Obama to impose sanctions on Israel for the announcement of planned contruction in the E-1 corridor (!) – either my letter will not be printed, of it if is, it will be after weeks of delay, and/or the letter will be edited beyond recognition.

    A key reason why my letters are now treated in such a prejudicial manner is that I don’t have a Jewish sounding name. The local Islamist/Obamist butt kissing petrodollar whores of my local paper cannot abide the idea of a non-Jewish person – who doesn’t have the implicit “agenda” – lending credibility to a pro-Israel viewpoint.

    Letters written by Jewish community leaders are typically published promptly and without editing…but of course, not only do such contributors have Jewish sounding names, but even if they don’t, their titles make it clear what “axe” they have to “grind”, so people can dismiss their views as “partisan” and “non-objective”.

    Last fall, I helped an Evangelical activist submit a letter to the paper. Of course, she did not identify her organization and she has a very non-Jewish sounding name. After notifying her that the letter would be published, they waited over FOUR WEEKS to do so, and when they did, the letter was literally cut down to less than half of its original length, with the most salient points removed.

    A free press is essential to the proper functioning of a democratic society. It is increasingly obvious that we do not have a free press, and that at the level of our national executive leadesrhip, we are not living in a democratic society. On a related note, even beyond the unprecedented and outrageous favoritisim the press showed for Obama this past election cycle, had I been put in charge of rigging the election in favor of Obama, I would have tried to make it look less obvious.

    Today, under Obama, America is not a free and open democracy. True, we don’t have the “midnight knock at the door” (at least as long as you don’t make a video ‘defaming Islam’), but free speech is limited to your family and friends, and the diffuse, atomized, self-selective blogosphere. Major mass media is clearly controlled, and our national elections are now rigged.

    Welcome to the United States of Venezuela. Hugo Chavez is surely smiling at us from his perch in Hell, chuckling at the perverse caricature of a free democracy that America has now become.

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