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Wednesday, 4 Nov 2009

Egyptian Liberals and Anti-Semitism


A couple of months ago, I had a chance encounter with an old friend name Samuel Tadros, who also happens to be a liberal activist. We were always saying we were going to meet up, and finally, before he was heading to Georgetown for his postgraduate studies, we managed to meet at a cafe in Heliopolis called Fiji (They make banana gum flavored shisha. It’s fuckin awesome) for a chat. He told me back then that he was seriously disturbed by the current state of liberal activism in Egypt, and how it’s lead by anti-semetic people.

One example He gave me was Sekina Fouad, who is a writer and the VP of this new liberal party called the Democratic Front Party. Sekina originally is a socialist pan-arabist, who found no money in pan-arabism anymore, so decided to become one of the New Liberals that are a dime a dozen in cairo these days. Usually when an egyptian writer gets confronted about his or her anti-semitism, they always say that it’s not jews they hate, only Israelis. Luckily, Sekina’s writing left no doubt who she hated, with articles claiming Jewish Blood Libel myths, and other articles where she asks if Jews should be considered human. All the Nazi classics, basically. The thing is, the democratic front party is all but funded entirely by Friedrich Naumann, which is a Foundation funded by German money to support liberalism and liberal parties. So, besides the obvious problem of having a party VP spouting nazi talking points, you have german funding for it. And when Samuel confronted someone at Naumann’s Egypt’s office about it, that person told him “If we decide we won’t work with anyone who hates jews, then we probably won’t work in Egypt at all”. So, naturally, I encouraged him to expose the story, because at the very best, those people need to be exposed as frauds, and at the very least,  german tax payers would probably like to know that their money is supporting Nazi- talking points.

A couple of months later, Samuel did just that, in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. The piece he wrote with Amr Bargisi was devastating, for they detailed all the stuff that Sekina said, alongside with all the anti-semetic crap that Ayman Nour likes to write, on the eve of Liberal International, the biggest liberal parties conference to be hosted in Egypt, and an association that the democratic front party is vying to full join.

Consider the case of Sekina Fouad, a well-known journalist who also serves as the DFP's vice president. In an article published earlier this year, Ms. Fouad dismisses any distinction between Jews and Israelis, the reason for which is "the extremity of the doctrine of arrogance, distinctiveness and condescension [the Jews] set out from and seek to achieve by all means, and on top of which blood, killing, terrorizing and frightening."

She corroborates this argument with an alleged statement by "President" Benjamin Franklin, asking Americans to expel Jews since they are "like locusts, never to get on a green land without leaving it deserted and barren." Needless to say, Franklin never made any such statement.

Nor is Ms. Fouad some kind of outlier. Take Ayman Nour, who contested the 2005 presidential election under the banner of his own party and was subsequently jailed for nearly four years.

Immediately after his release earlier this year, he attended a celebration organized by opposition groups—including the Muslim Brotherhood—in the northern city of Port Said, commemorating "the first battalion of volunteers from the Egyptian People setting off to fight the Jews in 1948." The word "Jews" was stressed in bolded black lettering on the otherwise blue and red banner hanging above the conference panel. Yet far from trying to distance himself from that message, Mr. Nour got into the spirit of the conference, talking about "the value of standing up to this enemy, behind which lies all evils, conspiracies and threats that are spawned against Egypt."

The article became the talk of the conference, with both the DFP and Ayman Nour running to dispel the accusations. So Nour, who was supposed to take his first trip to Washington of 5 years in 2 days, issued a prompt response in english, denying being an Anti-Semite, and stated that while he is totally against Israeli military excursions, he is very supportive of the peace process, and against any calls for harm against Israel.

Furthermore, my statements referred specifically to Israel's conduct during the Gaza war, which in my opinion was highly objectionable.

I was distraught over the excessive loss of civilian life in Gaza, and I regret that my comments were expressed in a way that was unclear and that may have understandably offended.

Anyone examining my record can easily discern that I have always supported and upheld Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, and have strongly opposed calls of aggression against Israel.

Nice, no? But when Egyptian newspapers caught a wind of this, they were like : “what do You mean you are against calls of aggression against Israel?”, and Nour, like the two-faced idiot that he is, forgot that there is such a thing called the internet, or that there are egyptian journalists who read english, and denied completely having said that, and went as far as saying the the editors at the Wall Street Journal made those statements up, because he never said it. So, the nice people at Youm 7 newspaper, published his accusations against the WSJ alongside a screenshot of his op-ed, you know, to ensure that the world sees his duplicity for what it really is.

As for Sekina, well, not every story has a happy ending. The Swedish delegation confronted the DFP about Sekina’s writings, to which she used the cliche’d response of “but I meant the Israelis, not the Jews”, and then brazenly accused the other parties of not being true to liberalism if they use her own anti-semetic articles to accuse her of being anti-semetic. And you know what? It amazingly  fuckin worked. The LI conference all voted for admitting the DFP into their association, with the exception of the swedish delegation, who seem to be the only delegation with half a brain and some principles. Kudos to Sweden, boo to the rest of the fuckin world! And while we are at it, let me take this moment to remind you that those are the people who present themselves as the viable alternative to the Islamists and the egyptian leftists.

No wonder we are fucked!

Update: In a bizzare twist in a story that keeps getting more..ehh..bizzare, while Ayman continues to deny that the op-ed sent to the WSJ is the real Op-ed and was tamperd with by the evil editor who wants to ruin him in Egypt, he also forgot that he uploaded it on his account on the Bikya Masr website, with the refrence to rejecting calls of agression towards Israel. You know, the WSJ is walking away smelling like roses on this one. Please WSJ, sue him. It would be awesome!

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48 Responses to “Egyptian Liberals and Anti-Semitism”

  1. Amr Bakly Says:

    Excellent ya Mood, Really Love It

  2. EgyPeter Says:

    Duplicity, double speak and hypocrisy…this IS Egypt!!

    It cracks me up how much Egyptian ‘liberals’ hate Israel/Jews (don’t let the terminology trick you). If that’s the case how do the ‘conservatives’ feel….lol.

    I guess in their defense, what would happen to your political career if you came out and advocated for true peace and friendship with Israel? That would be the INSTANT death of any political aspirations right there.

    There is no liberalism in Egypt. It’s just varying degrees of extreme conservatism…

  3. Mo-ha-med Says:

    I have no sympathy whatsoever to the “Libs” of the Fouad type. But man, for heaven’s sake. The WSJ piece was weepy, exaggerated, and reflected a deep ignorance of the Egyptian political discourse. It also contained a shameless dose of score settling. Tadros and Bargisi embarrassed themselves and proved to be no better than the ones they were attacking.

  4. ahmed Says:

    I fail to see any evidence of what you say about Sakina. could you please provide articles of what she wrote ?

  5. EgyPeter Says:

    Good news!! Liberalism is alive and well – more women in Egypt are donning the Niqab these days, because the higab is certainly not enough…

    Others hail it as the right way to fulfill religious duties or as the best way to protect women from sexual harassment, although a recent study showed veiling had little effect on harassment rates in Egypt.

    “When a man cannot see a woman, then what is he going to harass her for? Nothing,” said Abu Donya, a taxi driver, whose views are shared by many Egyptians. “So imagine if all women wear niqab, things would be better,” he said.

  6. memz Says:

    :) i am happy to seeing you, Tadrus, and Bergasi, calling them on their BS

  7. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandmonkey: Take two!

  8. Adam B. Says:

    Is it really political suicide in Egypt to talk of lasting peace with Israel…?

    Boy, we have a long way to go! :-/

  9. Adam B. Says:

    By the way, I’ve been pondering this disagreement of definition…

    Why the heck is it that americans use the words “liberal” and “socialist” interchangeably? I mean, they’re practically opposites! Liberals in Europe are pretty much the far right, in the sense that they speak for a free market as opposed to the planned economy of socialists. Even social liberalism (towards which I lean) support a free market and the freedom of the individual, with only a partial socialist focus on basic humanitarian support such as wellfare and health care to some degree or another. A world apart from the state-controlled economies of socialist states…

    On the same note, it’s always amusing to see european socialists fawn over Obama every opportunity they get; they’re practically on opposite sides of the political spectrum!!! :D

  10. Adam B. Says:

    “owning Iran”…

    LOL!!! :D

  11. Karen Says:

    You can use the term liberal and socialist interchangeably here in Canada too. And it is on the left (and extreme right) that you can find most anti-semites as well.

    With regards to the Arab world, it seems like a lot of their so-called peace activists aren’t really for peace for everyone in the region. They would just like to see the Jews removed from the area or “wiped off the face of the map” (ie. murdered). That is their solution to all of the problems over there. Only thing is that that isn’t going to happen, so they need to try something very new like accommodation and compromise. Sadly, I don’t think it is part of their history and culture. And the wars will continue…

  12. sophia Says:

    What the hell has happened to Egypt? Did you know that in ancient Egypt women were legally equal to men? While Greek women were property, Egyptian women could own property. So if you went back 3000 years, you’d be progressing!!

  13. Craig Says:

    I mean, they’re practically opposites! Liberals in Europe are pretty much the far right…

    Adam, socialists hijacked the word “liberal” to describe themselves back in the 1950, because there isn’t anything more unpopular in America than socialism except communism. What you call “liberals” in Europe would be what we call “libertarians” in the United States.

  14. louigi Says:

    It’s like George Carlin said: “If your born to this world you get a ticket for the freakshow. If you’re born in the USA you get a front seat.”

    “I have no stack in what happens anymore. Im just watching”

    Check out his videos on youtube

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  16. Ahmad Awadalla Says:

    I really like the post. I love the simplistic sarcastic style as well. I just wonder why are journalists and people like Samuel are so adamant to reveal the hypocrisy of those liberals. To show they’re not a viable alternative? What would the alternative of the alternative be? Is there any hope for Egypt to change?
    Thanks. :)

  17. tedders Says:

    “socialists hijacked the word “liberal” to describe themselves back in the 1950″

    Have to disagree with you on this one Craig. Nazism, communism, socialism all come from the left, or liberalism.

    Adam and Karen might be interested in this short video also (of course this is in relation to the US and it’s form of government). Pay particular attention from around the 45 second mark to about the 2 minute mark and from the 9 minute mark till the end. Society has much more to fear from left than it does from the right side of the political spectrum.

  18. Craig Says:

    Nazism, communism, socialism all come from the left, or liberalism.

    Liberalism isn’t inherently either right or left, Tedders. It’s just a belief in personal liberty. None of the ideologies you mentioned are liberal :)

  19. Adam B. Says:

    ted @ 15:

    I’ll have to agree with Craig on this one – liberalism has nothing to do with being on the left; quite the opposite if anything.

    Communism (and to a lesser degree socialism) glorifies the community and condemns individuality. Everything should be done for the good of the whole, not the individual. Inherently, there’s nothing bad or “evil” in this, but in practice the theory doesn’t work – humans just aren’t worker ants. I know it’s a very simplistic idea and nowhere near covers all aspects of the issue, but Smith’s “invisible hand” wins out over planned economics pretty much every time.

    Liberalism (at least the economic version, which is the most important, and which most republicans oddly enough swear to) on the other hand, swears to this “invisible hand”, and argues that given the liberty to shape their own life, people will get the best out of their time on earth individually AND as a community. It’s not right wing per se, at least if you define right as the remnants of the old hierarchical system, where the nobles and later the industrialists controlled the masses. Actually, talking about left and right is an outdated way of looking at politics and has been so for most of our lives…

    Libertarianism, Craig, is a much vaguer term than what is usually associated with liberalism (although they are certainly connected). In todays world, a libertarian is usually seen as someone with very tolerant view on how the individual can act on a social level – some might even interchange the term with hedonist. However, the true definition of the term spans much much wider and can encompass everything from anarchists and even communists (in the original no-state sense) to propertarians and hard-core industrialists. Liberals are fairly easy to define; libertarians not so much.

    I see myself as a social-liberal (with emphasis on liberal) in that I believe in the freedom and efficiency of the individual, but I do support a modicum of welfare, such as a reasonable unemployment benefit system, free education and full public health-care for the good of the entire society. I see myself as a libertarian in that I believe the individual should be allowed to live their lives and express themselves freely within reasonable boundaries, ie. if they don’t actually hurt anyone or restrict the individual rights of others.

  20. tedders Says:

    I think we’re using our term liberal differently here: Political liberalism, Economic liberalism, Cultural liberalism. Classical liberalism, Modern Liberalism, Social liberalism all mean a long history and mean different things to different people, their definitions seem to change with time and circumstances. In my humble opinion, when speaking of ones ranking in the political spectrum, being labelled a “bleeding heart liberal” is the ultimate insult. Historically liberalism doesn’t seem to hold the same stigma as I attach to it.

    When I hear the term “liberalism” it means the arrogance of left leaning politicians that want to increase the role of government and limit my freedoms. Ideologies that want change just for the sake of change without having the intellectual ability to predict the real consequences that will come with their insights.

    I may be technically incorrect here, maybe some one can help educate me if I am, but I think of Marx as a liberal, he was appalled at the plight of the worker. He had a glorious and passionate vision of change for a better future, but he really had no clue how to pull it off in any realistic way. And we all know how badly his little thought experiment has gone, some people still haven’t figured it out.

    When I used the term liberal, I meant (in the narrow definition) it as the antithesis of conservatism. After doing a bit more research on the term I believe I’ll limit my use of “liberal” to avoid confusion in the future.

    The main point I was trying to make was that communism, socialism, fascism all come from the left side of the political spectrum. Total government historically limits freedom and liberty of the masses, we need less government, not more.

  21. Craig Says:

    Have to disagree with you on this one Craig. Nazism, communism, socialism all come from the left, or liberalism.

    The antithesis of “conservative” is “progressive”! Liberalism doesn’t necessarily entail any change! I agree with you though, that it’s not worth arguing over. The word in the US does not mean what it used to mean, and nobody is going to be able to change that :)

  22. Craig Says:

    Sorry, Adam, I don’t agree that Libertarianism encompasses any flavor of anarchist. I think that’s just another word game that people use (similar to the game socialists started playing with “liberal”") just because the term “anarchist” evokes so much negative emotion in people. I wish people would just own their ideologies instead of trying to disguise them! If an political philosophy is so unpopular people don’t want to call it what it is, then maybe they should think about evolving their views? Just a thought! If anarchists successfully hijack “Libertarian” then actual liberals are just going to have to come up with some other new variation of the concept!

  23. EgyPeter Says:

    More good news on “There is no compulsion in Islam”

  24. tedders Says:

    “The antithesis of “conservative” is “progressive”!”


  25. Anon Says:

    The whole Anti-semitic installation does not reflect a liberal notion so, those who defend it are not so different from those who hate the other be it Jews, Muslims, Christians,etc.

    @Egypter: Stop turning every thing into a religious issue. Do you seriously believe with all the shit weve seen during the past week with the NDP and the insecurities we have regarding the future of this country this is the time to twist things like that? How is Islam relevant to what the gov is doing? did you see Muslims gathering and demanding him to convert? More important, how did the writer of that silly article know the so-called muslim youngsters reported him? And funny enough it then says the one who turned him was christian so, how come Islam or Muslims are involved here? and btw have you read Azzazil? Its fiction and this might be news to the Christians of Egypt but this is not the first novel to point out vague issues or question matters of the religion or the church. Did you stop to think for a second that this is a ploy by his attorney to get him out? We all know how those taken for expressing their opinions are subject mostly to emergency law which means you probably dnt know where they are or when they will be released.

  26. tedders Says:

    Wow Anon, you don’t think these are serious matters? People jailed for no reason other than pissing off some pharisaical religious intolerant?

    [quotes from the article]
    ” Insulting religion is considered a crime in Egypt, although typically the law is only enforced when Islam is criticized. ”

    ” While Zidane’s critique of Christianity garnered him awards throughout the Arab world ”

    ” the deeper issue was that Nazeer upset Islamic authorities by criticizing the increasing Islamization of Egyptian civil society and irked church leaders by lamenting political involvement of the Coptic Orthodox Church. ”

    “And funny enough it then says the one who turned him was christian so,”

    Did you even read the article?

    He’s in jail because he’s pissed off the Muslim and Christian authorities. I don’t see this as an us (Christians) verses them (Muslims), but a us (citizens of Egypt) verses them (out of control government and security apparatus), how screwed up is that?

    Just my two cents worth, I’d be more worried about my civil rights being abused by the government regardless of the lame excuse for doing so. My Dad always said, one excuse is as good as another.

  27. EgyPeter Says:

    Just feel sorry for this kid. Got thrown in prison for having a link to a site that criticized Islam. Sounds like a spiritual kid and is being coerced to convert in prison on one side, and thrown under the bus by his local church, on the other, well, according to this article. It’s all sorta like the Karim Amer situation all over again.

    And here’s to hoping that Egypt figures out the way forward post Hosni, it’s gonna be a mess…

  28. CarpetCaptain Says:

    Anon: You need to read the article. The Church (which last time I checked is Christian but feel free to correct me) is equally at odds with the kid. He managed to piss everyone off and even irked the Church by trying to embarass them out of politics.

    Also feel free to correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t forced conversion have a religious undertone? Isn’t jailing someone for having an opinion on the ridiculously excessiv religious direction of the state also a religious matter since the second article of the constitution mandates Sharia as the source of all laws.

  29. Adam B. Says:

    ted @ 20:

    Marx was a liberal only in the sense that he wanted the working masses free of the oppression of the industrialists; he was never an individualist, which lies at the heart of any definition of liberalism. Marx didn’t see people as individuals, with individual needs and wants; he saw people as part of a greater community, the needs and wants of which had to go before those of the individual. Despite his good intentions (life was really crappy for the vast majority of people during the industrialization!), his economical reasoning was basically flawed, and his view on human nature rather infantile – his idea was doomed from the beginning, and like you, I’m impressed that there are still so many people around the world that refuse to realize this.

    I’m pretty confident I know what you mean when you (and other americans) use the word “liberal”. I was just wondering where the mess-up came from, and why you refrain from using more appropriate terms, like socialism, etc…

  30. Adam B. Says:

    Craig @ 22:

    The problem is that Libertarianism is such an undefined term – search for a definition, and you won’t find two that are the same. In that sense, libertarianism can easily encompass anarchism, in that you can’t have the latter without the former.

    I totally agree on people standing up to what they believe – who cares if “socialist” is a swearword in the US; if that’s what you are, then say it!

  31. EgyPeter Says:

    Tedders – Very astute of you to pick out the shoddy/obviously bigoted journalism we get in Egypt.

    Even the ‘good’ articles are a joke and wouldn’t even pass for high school quality here in the states. Forget journalism, ALL things in Egypt move strictly down a one-way street.

    And you’re right CC – the 2nd amendment of Egypt’s broken constitution needs to be expunged. Actually, they could probably rip the whole damn thing up and start from scratch

  32. Don Cox Says:

    ” It’s just varying degrees of extreme conservatism”

    Or Fascism. I don’t think conservatives are necessarily anti-Semitic. After all, the Ultra-Orthodox Jews are extreme conservatives.

    But I can’t think of a Fascist movement which was not anti-Semitic.

  33. brooklynjon Says:


    Extreme conservatives in what sense? Socially, sure. Politically, they’re all over the map.

    “But I can’t think of a Fascist movement which was not anti-Semitic.”

    The military junta of Myanmar is, to the best of my knowledge, not overtly antisemitic. They’ve got their hands full with buddhist monks.


  34. brooklynjon Says:


    “Liberals” in the USA believe in using the state to redistribute resources from rich to poor. There is often a social aspect of that, in which everyone except straight white men is considered a downtrodden minority, and meritorious of special treatment. Since most Liberals are secular, there is usually a certain antagonism towards religion. However, it is certainly possible to be liberal and religiously observant. And it is possible to be liberal but socially conservative.

    “Conservatives” in the USA tend to want to use the power of the state to promote their agenda. That may be a socially conservative agenda (preventing abortion), or a geopolitical agenda, or an ideological agenda (making the world safe for democracy and capitalism), or a commercial agenda (making the world safe for Chiquita Bananas).

    Libertarians believe that the government is an intrusive monster that must be contained at all costs. They are probably more comfortable with the conservatives than the liberals, but they don’t like the statist tendencies of either. They tend to annoy both sides by reminding them that we have a constitution, and that there is very little that our government does these days that doesn’t violate it.

    American Liberals are pretty much the same as “Socialists” elsewhere. But the “Socialist” label became counterproductive in the middle of the 20th Century, so they changed their name while keeping the same policies. You could call this marketing, or you could call this subterfuge, but is there really much of a difference between those two things?


  35. tedders Says:

    “(making the world safe for Chiquita Bananas).”

    Well who’d be against that? LOL

    That’s where peanut butter and nanner sandwiches come from!!!!

    Even socialists have to like a peanut butter and nanner sandwich every now and then!!!

  36. Adam B. Says:


    I had a reasonable grasp of the basic definition of “liberals” and “conservatives”, but thatnks for the explanations nonetheless. :)

    As for libertarians, I don’t agree with such a strict definition – you’re welcome to your view of course! An example would be David Niven, who despite his obvious conservative manners in certain aspects of life, considered himself a libertarian in regards to his views on peoples’ rights to live their lives the way they wanted to. What you’re describing is ONE possible way of being a libertarian; one among many, as I see it…

  37. Osiris Kane Says:

    @Egypeter: whats with the fundy Islam/ down with anti semitism shit..?

    dont tell me its news to you that you might think our “alleged Racism” is deep rooted in our political systems…but before you go ranting as to how brutal and intolerant we might be…why not look at more advanced systems in the world and ask them…at least we never had any relatively democratic political experience in our 7,000 years of experience…we can always blame it on that, but what about the democratic state of Israel…arent they anti something too? isnt it become the trend nowadays to be intolerant of Islam anywhere in Europe? Marwa el Sherbini anyone? so dont pick on the little guy ( Egypt in this context), who cant even talk on his own behalf.. and i would also like to second what was said about we got bigger fish to fry, I promise you we will look into it right away, as soon as we know what will happen with us in a few years time…as soon as we can guarantee both the haves and have nots standards acheived and taken for granted in any decent country Eons ago…

  38. EgyPeter Says:


    Osiris Kane, your rant is horribly incoherent. I don’t understand what you are trying to say or what your point is. I just got bit and pieces of anti-semitic bullshit strewn around a bit.

    And what about Marwa? No doubt, it was a horrible crime. The guy who committed the crime got the justice he deserved. Just like that douche that went jihadi in Ft. Hood – justice will be served. But when was the last time in Egypt has justice been served – that is, for non halal blood?

    Or for the persistent threat of false imprisonment on the grounds of…yep, the terribly offensive and quite dangerous and always violent crime of…Christian prayer?

    Can’t help but wonder what would happen in a western country. Or hell, just about any half ass developed country, if muslims were arrested for prayer? What if the US barged in on that mosque responsible for that deviant Hassan form Ft. Hood and arrested all the congregants. CAIR would have their panties’ in a bunch!

    So, do you see the ridiculous duplicity in it all? The hypocrisy? Oh, and did Egypt ever get around to naming that street in honor of Marwa in Cairo??

  39. EgyPeter Says:

    My point is – all I want is justice and equality in Egypt for ALL Egyptians, you surely can’t fault me for that, can you?. I want respect for Human Rights. I want the current constitution to be dispensed as kleenex and the Ottoman era Hamoyouni Decree, which requires governmental decree for repairs of toilets, let alone the construction of churches, dispensed as toilet paper.

    And now whether it is cute little Mubrak, the inept Elbaredi, the Gestapo chief Suliman, Nour or Donald Duck, this needs to be Egypt’s top priority, not the destruction of the Zionist entity and fatwas on hymen devices.

  40. tedders Says:

    Well said EgyPeter. Egypt has much more to worry about from internal fanatical religious groups and other Muslim countries than they have to worry about Israel.

    Why no mention in the MSM about the Saudis fighter jets bombing Yemen?

    On November 5th, just a few days ago, the Saudis sent fighter jets over to Yemen and indicriminately bombed civilians. Didn’t hear much of it, did we? Silent majority, where are you, your brethern are being slaughtered? (Yes that’s a jab at the libtard journalists that rant about every Israeli act of defense) “Saudi jets dropped bombs on crowded areas including a local market in the northern province of Saada,”

    As usual when Muslims kill Muslims there’s nary a peep from the MSM but if Israel sneezes all the fake journalists stay up all night spinning the truth into a nice piece of propaganda.

    Except for the civilian casualties suffered, it seems like a good thing that Saudi is willing to go take care of some of their own security needs. Seems like they might be more sympathetic toward Israel and her security concerns. Might be a turning of the corner in relations it seems, Saudi has more to worry about from internal fanatical religious groups and other Muslim countries than they have to worry about Israel. Of course I’m always the optimist!

  41. brooklynjon Says:


    What you’re describing (with David Niven) is a personal philosophy, as opposed to political philosophy. In the US, at least, political libertarianism is all about antipathy to the state, with the caveat that there are a few select legitimate spheres in which governments should be involved. This classically includes a military, a system of civil justice, and such. Political libertarians may or may not believe that anyone can do whatever they want, but they generally believe that it’s not up to the state to decide what people can do.


  42. Adam B. Says:


    That’s the whole problem; there IS no Libertarian political philosophy… Libertarianism can stand for so many things that you would be hard pressed indeed to fit it all into one cohesive unit. Libertarianism is, as you say, often anti-government in nature, but it could just as easily be pro-government in that the government could be seen as the sole defender of individual rights. That’s why I personally prefer to view Libertarianism as a “personal philosophy”, as you put it.

    You may very well have a more restricted, everyday definition of Libertarianism in the US – I’m just saying that such a restriction of the term can be misleading when communicating with non-americans, as can the equation between liberals and socialists…

  43. Craig Says:

    Adam, you asked about the usage of terms in the US. A couple of us have tried to explain that to you, and you’re arguing with us about it. Seems pointless, no? :)

  44. Adam B. Says:


    A bit, yes…

    I was, in fact, asking why the americans use the terms incorrectly, no what they meant by them. However, all your answers have certainly made me wiser on the how’s and why’s and I appreciate that! :)

  45. Faisal Says:

    There is a difference between saying “Jews” and “Israel”. (I’m not saying you did or did not say this Sandmonkey, I am just commenting on some of the comments).

    I am not the first, nor the last, person to point out that words “anti-semitic” and “new anti semitism” are being used to label both people who are in fact “anti-semitic” (in the popular understanding, and not the anthropological meaning, of the word) and those who criticize/swear at/express anger towards/etc Israel.

    As for the Egyptian public figures mentioned in your post, they’re idiots and the WSJ should sue, if what has been said about Ayman Nour is true – I have not done my research, for no one reason than these politicians should learn that they Egyptian politics hardly lacks duplicity and general stupidity. If they claim to be the voice of political dissent in the country, they should at least make their positions clear and unambiguous on issues that the Egyptian public (rightfully or wrongfully and for whichever reason) have more-than-average interest in and feel strongly about.

  46. Rollie Kenmore Says:

    Egypt is like the Porto Rico of the Arab World…

  47. Cynthia Farahat Says:

    1- Why is Mr. Bargisi still a member of Al-wafd party, which is one of the most radically pro-Sharia law and anti-Semitic parties of Egypt, that many Egyptian liberals such as myself refused to associate with for exactly the same reason?

    2- Why would EULY and Samuel Tadros be against the memberships of the Democratic Front Party in Liberal International (LI) and DFP Youth Organization in IFLRY, if the Democratic Front Youth Organization, and the Alghad Youth Organization they were almost the only members of his organization EULY except for a few independent liberals like myself?
    Why didn’t he refuse the membership of these parties in his organization? Why the double standards? Huh?
    And Samuel Tadros is LYING he did NOT have a meeting with FNF.

    3- Why didn’t EULY communicate its legitimate concerns for almost two years about anti-Semitism with its own members before communicating with international organizations and thus taking a sudden stand against their own members? Is it possibly because that maybe because they are members and leaders in the radical anti-Semitic Wafd party that might have been encouraged them to sabotage this the membership of DFP at LI?

    4- Why didn’t EULY communicate its concerns with its major partner and donor Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) that has a clear position on anti-Semitism AND HAS COMMUNICATED THEIR CONCERNES WITH THEIR PARTERNERS WHILE SAMUEL TADROS AND EULY WERE BUSY WORKING WITH THE DEMOCRATIC FRONT PARTY, 90% OF EULY’S events were with the DFP Youth Organization, why on earth didn’t they communicate their concerns with the people THEY SEE EVER DAY?

    I have am a co-founder of the Liberal Egyptian party which was the most out spoken organization in the history of modern Egypt against Anti-Semitism and Sharia law and unlike these people, we were banned from being a political party in Egypt for it, as well as I rejected leadership of many of Egyptian political parties these people who pretend to be against anti-Semitism worked for!!!!!

    This was all about pushing the agenda of the Wafd, they were never concerned with anti-Semitism, let’s compare biographies, this would expose it best.

  48. Word And Deed Says:

    Also- “Libertarian”, in America, is a completely different Party than “Liberal(ism)”. Libertarians believe in freedom from over-reaching Government rule, just as Conservatives do. There are some similarities between Libertarians and Conservatives in their beliefs about Government, but not many in their personal lifestyles. There are VERY FEW similarities between Conservatives and Liberals.

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