Egyptian activist's planned lecture in Israel sparks criticism

Egyptian activist's planned lecture in Israel sparks criticism

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Sun, 23/12/2012 - 14:25

Arab student movements at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem condemned Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil, who is due to give a lecture at the university on Sunday.

Groups representing Arab students demanded that all students boycott the lecture, entitled "Political Changes in Egypt and its Relationship with Israel."

The movements said that Nabil exploits the "honorable name of the Egyptian revolution” in his visit to “explain his positions and justify his despicable remarks against Palestinians, and our prisoners in particular.

"We firmly believe that brave women and men of the revolution condemn this disgraceful act, and only feel hatred toward him," a statement released by the student groups said.

Nabil plans to give another lecture before the conference of Jewish students on 31 December, and one more at Tel Aviv University on 2 January. He will also visit Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The Harry S. Truman Institute for Peace at Hebrew University described Nabil as a "hero from Tahrir Square," praising him for being the Egyptian voice that speaks most openly about peace with Israel.

In December 2011, a military court sentenced Nabil to two years in prison and a fine of LE200 for insulting the Armed Forces, publishing false news and compromising public security in his blog posts. He was released in January 2012 as per a decree by the previously-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which included 2,000 other civilians held by the military. 

Yara Saadi, a member of a Palestinian feminist student group at the university, told Al-Masry Al-Youm in a phone interview, "We will go to the lecture on Sunday to state our position in front of him and in front of everyone, and then we will withdraw."

"We consider Nabil a part of the normalization and bargaining that supports the theft and colonization of land, supports the suppression and displacement of the Palestinian people and ignores their rights," Saadi added. "His shameful opinions do not convince anyone who has basic information about the Arab-Zionist struggle.”

Egyptian activist Lobna Darwish said in a tweet: "The Maikel Nabil and Israel love affair is simply pathetic, shows how 30+ years of normalization didn't work, Israel has to cerebrate 1 ally."

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm