It is one thing that Ibrahim was giving a lecture in Tel Aviv, from angry prospective, but talking about normalization with Israel was what really infuriated the Arab public opinion against him – Photo compiled by Egypt Today/Mohamed Zain It is one thing that Ibrahim was giving a lecture in Tel Aviv, from angry prospective, but talking about normalization with Israel was what really infuriated the Arab public opinion against him – Photo compiled by Egypt Today/Mohamed Zain

Saad Eddin Ibrahim under fire for visiting Tel Aviv

Thu, Jan. 4, 2018
CAIRO – 4 January 2018: A group of students at Tel Aviv University heckled at Egyptian-American academic Saad Eddin Ibrahim for coming to speak there on Tuesday evening, calling him a "traitor" for perpetuating "normalization with Israel."



Ibrahim was lecturing on how to preserve Israeli-Egyptian relations when the group of students suddenly interrupted him and hurled insults at him as they left.


"Traitor, shame on you!"


"What you are doing is shameful, this is called normalization and you are a traitor," an Arab-Israeli student shouted at him.

The three-day seminar, organized by the Tel Aviv University, marks 100 days since the 1919 Revolution in Egypt, a countrywide revolution against the British occupation of Egypt and Sudan, and the revolutions that followed it in Egypt and other countries.

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Still shot from the seminar's footage

“This is called normalization and you are a traitor, traitor, traitor! Long live the Palestinian people and long live the people of Egypt.”

“Shame on you,” the enraged group told Ibrahim. “You gave up on your nationalism, you traitor. You’re working for normalization and are selling out the Egyptian people and the entire Arab world. It’s a disgrace. The people of Egypt renounce you and people like you.”

It is one thing that Ibrahim was giving a lecture in Tel Aviv, from angry prospective, but talking about normalization with Israel was what really infuriated the Arab public opinion against him.

It was Ibrahim's third time visiting the Jewish state.

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Still shot from the seminar's footage

Egypt's political elite also severely criticized Ibrahim for calling for normalization with Israel and for visiting Tel Aviv.


Intellectuals, political elite vexed


Lawmaker and TV show host Mostafa Bakry criticized Ibrahim for visiting Tel Aviv, which he deemed utter normalization with the Jewish state.

Bakry told Egypt Today that Ibrahim admitted before that he is receiving funds from the University of Haifa.

"The traitor, Saad Eddin Ibrahim today joined his Zionist brothers in a seminar organized by the Tel Aviv University," Bakry wrote on Twitter. "This traitor should be tried for challenging Arab's feelings," Bakry wrote in another tweet.




Chairman of the General Union of Arab Writers, Habib Al Sayegh, said in a statement issued by the union that the Palestinian case is on top of Arab's priorities, therefore, the union denounces Ibrahim's visit to Tel Aviv.

Youssef Al-Qaeed, a high-profile novelist, also told Egypt Today that Ibrahim's timing of the visit is "very serious" and that the visit itself is "unfortunate".

Prominent columnist Farida El-Shobashy also said that she refuses – by all means – any visit to Israel that she described as "not a country of peace" and is founded on religious basis.


Who is Saad Eddin Ibrahim?


80-year-old Saad Eddin Ibrahim is an Egyptian American sociologist and author. He is deemed one of Egypt's leading human rights and democracy activists.

Ibrahim was a strong critic of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Ibrahim founded the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo and the Arab Organization for Human Rights. He has been criticized for accepting international funds to promote civil society and election monitoring in Egypt, and for suggesting that the United States should condition its aid to Egypt on improvements in the country's human rights record.

In December 2007, Ibrahim worked with the Arab Democracy Foundation in Doha.

In August 2008, Ibrahim was sentenced to two years in prison for "tarnishing Egypt's reputation" according to court verdict.

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Ibrahim was sentenced to two years in prison for "tarnishing Egypt's reputation"


In 2001, Ibrahim was sentenced to seven years in prison for the same charges, until he won an appeal that got him released in 2003.
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