Talk about bad timing.
On the same weekend that the US forgave $1 billion of Egyptian debt, the Washington Post published a Q+A with Cairo’s new Foreign Minister that won’t help Egypt’s relations with the US — never mind Israel.
Here’s Nabil Elaraby’s response to Lally Weymouth’s point about Hamas:
Hamas is on the U.S. terrorist list.
You want my answer? So was George Washington for the British. So was Nelson Mandela in South Africa. So were Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. Begin was one of the biggest terrorists and was responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel. Shamir was responsible for the assassination of Count Bernadotte. And they worked for peace after that. Allow someone who is fighting for a cause to see the light of day at the end of the tunnel and to enter into peace. That is the history of the world.
Should I feel flattered that an Arab leader compared Begin and Shamir to Washington and Mandela? You don’t see that everyday.
Nah. Elaraby’s trying to give Hamas some cheap, unwarranted legitimacy. It’s the same “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” garbage Stephen Jukes told his Reuters staff after 9/11.
Insulted US lawmakers now have 1 billion reasons — all resembling George Washington — not to forgive Elaraby or his country’s debt.