False Promises

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.

Here is the original article and its English translation.

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 !!

Here is the second article and its English translation

Search For the 1956 POWs Massacre in Israeli literature

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

Aharon Megged

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.

There is no doubt that Megged did not imagine that tribunal and that support to POWs murder from nothing , there is no smoke without fire, already in 1956 Israeli military correspondent then Amir Oren wrote about the Metla massacre then in Israeli newspaper “Davar“. There is no doubt that Megged was inspired by Oren’s reports where he wrote that whole chapter in that novel to represent his hero as a fool in the eyes of a military establishment.

“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

Fortunes of a fool

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.

The English translation is available in Amazon.com if you are interested in reading it.

Nawara Negm speaks about POWs

It is not the first time that Nawara Negm speaks about POWs especially now after Dostor report about Our POWs mass graves , already she criticized Rosa Al Youssef Chief in editor Abdullah Kamal for his cold inconsideration and disrespect to our POWs but this time she speaks about the undeniable evidences on these war crimes above them the Israeli confessions themselves on Video.

Tomorrow insh Allah (SWT) Dostor will continue its follow up for the report , already there is on going campaign being prepared currently to raise the matter to international and local courts.

Did Or Did Not Rabin Admitt it in 1995 ??

This is not the Egyptian Press , this is not the Arabic press , this is the French Press archives : A Libération article from 1995

Rabin reconnaît le massacre de soldats égyptiens par Israël

Rabin recognizes the massacre of Egyptian soldiers

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 Jerusalem Post :Rabin , Mubarak pledge not to let POW issue to ruin relations.

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

Mubarak and Rabin in 1995
Mubarak and Rabin in 1995

militants !!?? It was in fact Dr. Cherif Bassiouny who spoke with president Mubarak about the matter and he is no way associated with any militant group !!?? It was clearly that the media there was using the Israeli public fear from militant groups and was claiming that they were pushing the Egyptian regime , the Mubarak regime to reopen the war crimes against the Egyptian POWs file as if Biro did not brag with his crimes !!

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

Thanks for Egyptian in France for the link

Dr.Cherif Bassiouni,The Man Who Wants Justice To Our 1956 POWs

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.

Dr.Bassiouni
Dr.Bassiouni

In 1995 Maariv made an interview with Aryeh Biro , the former general and the so-called special force hero..etc in his house in Tel Aviv where he confessed that he killed Egyptian POWs in 1956 with no regret and this was just the surface for much deeper and darker war crimes as we all know

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

Source : Al Masry Al Youm

Remembering the 25th of April

Today Egypt remembered the 25th of April which is known in our national calendar as the Sinai liberation day. Today from 28 years ago the Egyptian flag returned back to Sharm El-Sheikh leaving only Taba for a long legal international dispute between Egypt and Israel to be ended only after six years on the 26th of February 1989.

Remembering the 25th of April does not include remembering how the Sinai returned back to us whether through war or through peace or those great men who returned it back but all those men who gave their blood for Sinai whether as fighters or as POWs. God bless them all.

Sharm El-Sheikh was an early witness on one of the first recorded war crimes by the IDF against the Egyptians and also the earliest exposed massacres by the testimonies of the Israelis themselves. Of course unfortunately our regime does not care enough to restore back the rights of those who were killed in 1956.

The Last 1956 Suez War POWs veterans dies

On Wednesday Mr. Abdel Samad Bally ,the last surviving 1956 Suez War POW has passed away in his village “Al Dibia” at Kafr Sheikh. He was 72 years old.

Mr. Bally had been suing the Israeli government since 2001 and the court ordered a compensation but unfortunately for unknown reason the Egyptian government appealed !!!

His son Mr. Khaled Bally is going to continue in the lawsuit,it was his father well.

The Israeli government was embarrassed from that particular case because it was thought that there were no living 1956 Egyptian POWs.

I feel sad for Mr. Bally, May God bless his soul, he died without receiving his right or even a recognition from his country !! I wish I know more about his story in captivity. I will try to find more information about him insh Allah (SWT).

RIP Mr. Bally

Links :

Adjourning the 1956 POWs case to 27th January

It is the first time to know that there is a lawsuite currently in front of the Egyptian courts concerning the 1956 Egyptian POWs who were killed by the Israeli IDF. It is a great thing. Anyhow the Compensation court decided to adjourn the lawsuite to the next January 27th,2009 .

Here are more details about the lawsuite :

  • Three families are sueing the Israeli government in specific : The prime minister and the defense and information ministers.
  • These families are the families of 1st lietenant Mamdouh Hussein and soldier Mohamed Amin and Mohamed Aliwa ; to the record this is the first time we know some of the names of the Egyptian POWs in 1956.
  • They are demanding L.E 60 Million as a compensation. 
  • The lawyer that is representing the families are Embassador Assam El-Din Hawas, the former Embassador of Egypt in Qatar ,FM assistant and the secretary general of the Egyptian society of the United nations.
  • Beside the Israeli confessions ,the lawsuite depends upon the Israeli confession aired in the Israeli TV in 1995,they should also consider the Al Jazeera report “The Way to Atlit”

This is a winning case I believe because we got the Israeli confessions themselves.I hope that the case won’t be adjourned like the rest of the POWs cases in front of the Egyptian courts.

The POW Swap record between the Arabs and Israel “The Jewish Virtual library”

BBC Arabic published a very interesting report about the POWs Swap between the Arab and Israel since 1948. It comes as part of their coverage to the POWs Swap between Lebanon represented by Hezbollah and Israel from three week ago. Of course it is worth to say that the entire report is a complete translation to the Jewish Virtual library based on the IDF numbers and records and so it should not be trusted !!

The report which was translated by Shady El-Kashaf from Gaza traces back the most POWs Swap since the 1948 war,I will summarize it below till year 1967 because already I am having my doubts regarding some numbers concerning the Egyptian POWs , the report claims that the number of the Egyptian POWs were more than the Israeli POWs ,which is untrue according to my humble knowledge in 1973,also it did not mention the number of the Egyptian POWs that actually returned in 1967.

First of all you must know that several Arabic research centers say that Israel captured nearly 800,000 Palestinians and thousands of Arab civilians and soldiers POWs according to the official numbers since the beginning of the conflict where as the Arabic armies captured more than one thousand Israeli POWs not to mention the the Palestinian and Lebanese militias captured many Israelis whether dead or alive. As you can see with my all due respect ,on the contrary to the Israeli propaganda we lost more than they did according to the IDF numbers.

Second This is based on the official records , which means with Israel infamous record in human rights of Arab POWs you expect that there are thousands of Arab POWs who were killed and never found their ways to the records as numbers not even names.

Now the POW Swap started in 1948 between Egypt and Israel , then in 1968 for the first time Israel swapped its POWs with POWs from the PLO in the first recognition to this group and  the last one after 60 years in 2008 ironically was between Hezbollah representing Lebanon and Israel. 1948 then 1968 then 2008 , 8 is very special number far as I see.

Here is a history line to the POWs Swap:

  • Year 1948 :

After the war between the Arab armies and Israel , the Arabs captured a total of “885” Israeli POWs as follows : The Egyptian army “156” Israeli POWs , The Jordanian army “673” Israeli POWs , The Syrian army “48 Israeli POWs” and the Lebanese army “8 Israeli POWs where as the Israelis captured a total of “7116” Arab POWs !! They do not call it Nakba in the Arab world from nothing !! The Arab POWs were as follows: “5021” Palestinian POWs , “1098” Egyptian POWs, “57”Syrian POWs,”36″ Lebanese POWs,”28″ Saudi POWs, “25”Sudanese POWs,”24″ Yemeni POWs and “17” Jordanian POWs .

Israel swapped its POWs with each country alone. The first swap was with Egypt on 27/2/1949 in the famous Fallujah agreement then with Lebanon from 3/3/1949 till 4/4/1949 then the rest of the Arab countries involved. Syria was the last Arab country to swap POWs on the 21/9/1949

  • Year 1954 :

on 30/9/1954 Egypt captured 10 sailors from the ship “Bat Galim” in the Suez Canal,they were released according to the orders of the security council on 1/1/1955.

In December 1954 the Syrians captured 5 Israeli soldiers that were on a secret mission in the Golan heights, one of them “Uri Ilan ” committed suicide in his prison and his remains were sent back to Israel on the 14/1/1955. The other four were swapped for “41” Syrian POWs on 30/3/1956.

  • Year 1957 :

After the Suez War Egypt and Israel had POWs to be swapped.It started on the 21/1/1956 and ended on the 5/2/1956. Israel released “5000” Egyptian POWs for 4 Israeli POWs in the Egyptian Capture , of course there is no mention about the infamous massacre of Sharm El-Sheikh.

  • Year 1961

After the break of the Union ,on the 17/3/1961 the IDF Golani special forces made a military operation on the borders with Israel near Kibbutz “Ein Gev” where they captured two soldiers that were returned later.

  • Year 1963

Another swap operation between Syria and Israel on the 21/12/1963 , Syria released 13 Israeli POWs for 15 Syrian POWs

  • Year 1967

The mother of POWs problems and scandals not to mention defeats

The Arab armies and countries  involved in the war that time Egypt,Syria,Jordan,Lebanon and Iraq managed to capture only 15 Israeli POWs.

Egypt captured 11 Israeli POWs among them 6 Israeli marine commandos who were captured during a fiasco attack on the harbor of Alexandria , it is not our topic here but the one who caught them was actually a kid , it was a terrible operation by all means.

Then there were two pilots from the IAF and the rest were members in a spy ring.

Iraq captured two pilots who were targeting the airport H in west of Iraq ,those two were swapped for 428 Jordanian POWs !!

Syria Captured only one !!

Lebanon Captured only one !!

The IDF captured on other hand a total of 6708 Arab military and civilian , no order they killed our POWs when they thought that they were too much !!

The IDF captured civilians and military members ; here are the numbers for each country :

  • Egypt: 4338 soldiers and 899 civilians. “different from what is mentioned here
  • Jordan : 533 soldiers and 336 civilians.
  • Syria : 367 soldiers and 206 civilians.

The swap started on 15/6/1967 through the red cross and the UN and ended on the 23/1/1968.Jordan and Iraq were the first countries and Egypt was the last one.

Iraq swapped two Israeli IAF pilots Capt. Itzhak Glantz-Golan and Capt. Gideon Dror who attacked the H3 Air basese in West of Iraq for 428 Joranian POWs.

Syria swapped a pilot and 3 dead bodies for 572 Syrian POWs.

It is worth to mention that they only mentioned the number of the Israeli side captured from Egypt but they did not mention how many were exchanged for the Israeli POWs , the 11 POWs including the some member of Lavon terrorist espionage ring

  • Year 1968 :

Jordan on the 2/4/1968 Israel swapped 12 Jordanian POWs for a body of missing solider from the Karameh battle

Again I will stop here because the content of the blog here is concentrating on the 1956 and 1967 ,you can find the rest of the report in the link above