Now despite knowing the ministerial position of Ben Eliazer , yet I do not understand why or how Qatar officially receives him with all his bloody history !! This man should be arrested for war crimes but anyhow Qatar received before Omar El-Bashir if I am not mistaken !!
Many Egyptians know that President Hosni Mubarak had a cameo in an old black and white Egyptian film in 1950s but most Egyptians ignore the fact that President Mubarak was captured as a POW in a war. Contrary to what you may think he was not captured as a POW in our wars 1956 and 1967 , President Mubarak was captured in the Sand war between Morocco and Algeria in 1963.
During that war Egypt was supporting Algeria against Morocco politically and militarily , it is not clear up till now the participation of Mubarak and whether he was transferring weapons or he was leading a squad of Egyptian and Algerian pilots , probably the later story is the correct one as it is supported by the Moroccans themselves. Lieutenant Hosni Mubarak and his group were captured in Moroccan Aïn Chouatèr area .
As soon as notorious general Mohamed Oufkir knew about the capture of Egyptian and Algerian pilots , he ordered their immediate transfer to Marrakech for interrogation otherwise he would cut off the head of his officers !! God only knows what those young men had seen on the hand of that man. In the same year King Hassan exchanged our POWs in president Nasser’s presence at the African summit in Bamako.
There is no clear reason why this has not been mentioned in our official media or in Mubarak’s official biography despite the facts the Moroccans do not hide it and we have good relations with them and President Sadat who preceded President Mubarak was in jail in twice for two grave charges and he did not hide at all. Some people claimed that this incident did not find its way to the Egyptian public because the regime loves to hide the Nasserite regime mistakes which is untrue because during the Sadat’s era we knew much more grave mistakes and sins the Nasser regime had committed against the Egyptian and Arabic public.
The capture period is very hard for any solider and God only knows what Mubarak and his follow Egyptian pilots had seen on the hands of General Oufkir till their return back to Cairo so it is natural that that experience had left its remarks on Mubarak and re-shaped even on a little scale part of his personality. President Mubarak as a human knows very well what it means to become a POW and and how it feels to fear on your life and your constant wonder on whether you will return home or not ; this is why it is shocking to know how the Mubarak regime is treating our 1956 and 1967 POWs file.
In 1995 after the shameful confessions of IDF commanders of committing war crimes against our POWs in 1956 Suez War and what followed it affecting our mutual relations then , French Libération continued to cover the matter internationally revealing things we did not know about then back in Egypt for some reason. In August 1995 the French newspaper published a small newspaper based on an interview with an Israeli official , Elie Dayan who was the Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs with an unnamed Egyptian newspaper that Israel was ready to pay compensation to families of the 900 Egyptian prisoners massacred by Israeli soldiers during the wars of 1956 and 1967 and that those acts did not represent the Hebrew State…etc.
I do not recall that interview but I believe the French newspaper could have quoted Al Ahram newspaper. It is very important statement for sure and I do not have to bet that in the original interview Dayan said the following : “Israel is ready to pay compensation for the 900 Egyptian prisoners if they were proven to be murdered by the IDF” because after few days we found in the same newspaper a small news saying that Shimon Perez , the new Prime minister then promised to open an investigation in to the matter in order to calm down the Egyptian angry public then despite the Israel’s Attorney General back then “Michael Ben-Yair” had ruled that there was no basis for prosecuting soldiers for wars crimes or offenses as he had described it in 1956 and 1967 war because of a 20 years limitation on homicide charges !! The attorney general did not considered the crimes against our POWs as war crimes !!
Literature is known to be the mirror of the society and its share from its social and political defeats and triumphs especially when it is inspired by real events like wars.
In 1960 one of Israel’s finest authors and playwrights Aharon Megged wrote a novel called “The fortunes of a fool” which
was published in 1960 , the novel is about the Suez war and its reflection on the hero of the novel , the fool who suffers in his social life to the degree that he wishes to kill himself finding a final resort in a terrible war.
In the 310 pages novel there is a whole chapter dedicated to the military tribunal of that fool hero who refused to follow his commanders’ orders and kill the Egyptian POWs he was guarding where there is that interesting dialogue between the judge and the fool hero showing how the Israeli military establishment supported and approved ((still does)) the murder of unarmed Arab POWs.
“The fortunes of a fool” was translated in to English in 1962 in the United States. I do not know if it has been translated
in to Arabic or not despite the fact that other Megged’s have been translated in the Arab world as an example to the contemporary Israeli literature. This novel shows the importance of reading and translating the Israeli literature which is another window to understand the Israeli and Zionist mindsets. I knew about this novel from a 2009 op-ed by Dr. Ibrahim El-Bahrawy ((professor of Hebrew in Ain Shams university)) who was among the first to introduce examples from Israeli literature to the Egyptian and Arabic readers since early 1970s.
This old video below goes back to 2007 in the 40th anniversary of the Six Days war and it shows Ex-Sergeant Amin Ramadan who speaks about his experience in captivity at notorious Atlit along his friend and co-worker for 40 years Goma’a Hassan who is still suffering from physical injury hunting him down since the Atlit days. I talked about this video in 2007 as a report that was published in Al Jazeera international , I did not know that it was based upon a video that aired on the channel but it is never too late.
One may wonder how the Egyptians treated Israeli POWs , Maj. Gen. Hassan Al-Gandali, a former chief of operations of the Egyptian army, said there were a number of Israeli POWs in Egyptian camps in 1973. “We were very much concerned about their welfare, though we were aware of the way the Israelis had dealt with our POWs under their custody,” Hassan said.
“As I was the chief of operations, I accompanied Egyptian Defense Minister Musheer Ahmad Ismail to the camp in which Col. Esaf Yagouri and 150 prisoners were kept. On seeing us the prisoners looked so terrified as they seemed to think that we were going to send them to the firing squad in return for what Israel had done to the Egyptian POWs in the past. On the other hand, Musheer told them that he did not blame them for obeying the orders of their superiors though it was to occupy a territory belonging to another country. ‘However, you will be treated in line with the Geneva Conventions. So you have nothing to worry about,’ Musheer said.
“Then he asked the commander of the camp about the sick POWs and took special care of them. He also ordered the camp commander to take the POWs for sightseeing in Cairo, including a trip to the pyramids and a boat ride on the Nile. After a few moments of disbelief the prisoners broke into a deafening applause. This is how the Egyptians treat their prisoners of war.”
According to that old article which was based upon quotes of Israeli foreign minister and the current President now Shimon Perez to Radio Israel late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin admitted the Israeli responsibility for the IDF crimes in both Suez War and six days war in a meeting with President Mubarak in Washington D.C in 1995 during the Oslo 2 agreement.
Again this is a French newspaper not an Arabic newspaper.
I tried to search in international archives regarding this incident and I found out that the Israeli Press said the opposite as usual :
From that small excerpt you will see how the Israeli media fools the Israeli public claiming that “The Mubarak government has been under pressure from Islamic militants in Egypt” to readdress the issue !!?? What Islamic
If you check the dates you will find it goes with what Dr.Bassiouny had revealed that Mubarak met with pressure from the States and Israel to close the file , may be Rabin admitted Israel’s responsibility in that meeting by off the record and wanted to be in that way in front of a comprise or may be he had admitted and let Clinton pressure Mubarak to close the file and let it not to ruin the so-called neutralized relations.
Neutralized relations are not built over the war crimes which will surface again one day.
Again the first links are from a French newspaper quoting Radio Israel which for long time was considered from the reliable sources of information in the Middle East. Of course if we search now in Radio Israel archives we will not find any record for that news in 1995.
My only hope regarding this incident if it took place for real that someone in the Egyptian delegation would have the courage to say that it took place and Rabin admitted Israel’s responsibility for the murder of our POWs in 1956 and 1967
Dr. Cherif Bassiouni is a well known name in the war crimes investigations after all he was the man who headed the Chairman, of the Security Council’s Commission to Investigate Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Former Yugoslavia still it is unknown to most people that this man was behind the first Israeli confession of its kind : The murder of our POWs in the Suez war by the IDF.
It turned out that Dr.Cherif had a very important role in this case , in fact the most important if I may say. The 1956 POWs case is a life case for Bassiouni who fought in the Suez War and when he knew about the POWs in 1967 he began to study our wars with Israel more and more. He chose the Suez war because he knew it well plus of course he lived it. For 20 years he began to search till he found out that the IDF had killed 41 military at the Metla path and 39 laborers 6 kilometers away from the path.
Dr.Cherif went to our minister of Foreign affairs then in 1995 Amr Moussa with huge file that could be the basis of a strong war crimes case , Moussa immediately took the file and Bassioui and met with President Mubarak who demanded an immediate action. Mubarak demanded late Rabin to investigate these claims ((as if Rabin would have done it)) but Rabin refused claiming that if Egypt officially opened its POWs rights, Israel would go and claim its POWs’ rights in 1973 ((nothing happened actually to their POWs in 1973 War)) and Clinton too had interfered in the matter causing it to be closed officially forever leaving for the citizens in front of the state’s courts as we all know.
This is Dr.Cherif’s testimony and I believe if we can contact the man again now , he will not refuse to help us as citizens to restore back our POWs rights even if we try and fail , trial is enough