In Final Interview, Egyptian Playwright Says Israel Is Not An Enemy Country
In a televised interview just days before his death, a renowned Egyptian playwright stressed that Israel is not an enemy state, and expressed hope that his country’s political leadership would cease to be ashamed of the peace treaty signed between the two states, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Asked whether, under the current circumstances, Israel deserved to be called a friend, Ali Salem responded, “Israel is not an enemy state,” and even if it were truly an “evil nation,” it is not foolish enough to allow a neighboring country, like Egypt, “to be torn to pieces, to become all screwed up, and be ruled by gangs and by ISIS.”
“[Israel] would never allow it,” stated Salem. “A strong Egypt is in Israel’s best interest.”
When presented with the allegation that Israel “welcomes” the Syrian Civil War, Salem responded that the tragedy of the Syrian people is the sole responsibility of the Syrian regime, and not of Israel. In fact, Salem added, “The only Syrians who can get a full 8 hours of sleep every night are the ones living in the Golan Heights,” since Israeli control has protected them from the Assad regime’s “bombs and the killings.”
Salem also pointed to the ancient relationship between the Egyptian and Hebrew peoples, saying that he had never seen another people who loved the Egyptians as much as the Jews.
On Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel he said: “We did not commit a crime [by making peace with Israel.] Anwar Sadat did not commit a crime.”
Pressed by his host on the feasibility of persuading the Egyptian people that Israel is a friend and terror group Hamas an enemy, Salem responded, “Israel does not pose a threat to the national security of Egypt on any level.”