The Coptic issue was under the supervision of President Abdel Nasser. After his death, president Sadat insisted on handing out the Coptic issue to the state security service because he believed that the Copts were dangerous to Egypt’s security. “From this time onwards, the persecution and humiliation of the Copts took priority for the state security service,” says Medhat Kelada, Coptic activist and PR for Copts United advocacy. — from this article
It is good to be reminded that Sadat — that’s Saint Sadat — was not quite so saintly as the American press, and such people as Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski, made him out to be.
Indeed, it is time to revisit the whole myth of Anwar Sadat, which is based, partly, on an unwillingness to actually look at what Sadat got, and what he didn’t give, in those hideous Camp David Accords. At Camp David Carter, the vicious holier-than-thou antisemite, incessantly hectored, in every way he could (sometimes with that sweet smile that Carter loves to assume), Prime Minister Begin. His administration effectively manipulated the press so that it set up Sadat as the Man Of Peace, and Begin (and the other Israelis) as those who Stood In The Way. Carter must still be very proud of all that he achieved.
I don’t expect that such people — the carters and the brzezinskis — will ever recognize what damage they did to Begin and Israel’s negotiation position in hailing Sadat, and building him up as a veritable Prince of Peace. He was nothing of the kind, but simply someone who wanted to get everything he could from Israel (and he got not only the entire Sinai, which is hardly historic Egyptian territory, but $16 billion in oilfields, and airfields, and much else that Israel had built), while offering nothing tangible, and nothing that Egypt in the end would be forced by anyone to honor.
Israel had every right under the laws of war to keep the Sinai. Yet it gave to Egypt the entire Sinai. Under customary international law, under even Resolution 242, it had no obligation to give up the entire Sinai. Under that customary international law, the successful defender of a war brought by an aggressor is not required to give up the territory that was used as the launching pad for such aggression. In May 1967 Nasser noisily declared that he would go to war against Israel. He demanded, and got, the removal of the U.N. troops in the Sinai. He blockaded the Straits of Tiran, throttling Israeli trade with Asia. He put the Egyptian army and navy and air force on a war footing, and moved troops up into the Sinai. He repeatedly and publicly described the coming war with Israel, sometimes to hysterical Cairene crowds of hundreds of thousands. Israel, by all the rules that have been observed in the aftermath to other wars — to World War I and World War II, for example — was perfectly entitled to hold onto some, or even all of the Sinai. And even under the “secure and defensible borders” requirement of Resolution 242, it might have made a good case for holding onto much of the Sinai. Instead, Israel gave to Saint Sadat territory that he, and much of the world, treated as “sacred Egyptian territory,” even though most of it did not become part of Egypt until the 1920s. (See, on this, the discussion in the Diary of Col. Richard Meinertzhagen, and his map of the Sinai.)
The picture above of Saint Sadat wearing the swastika-themed tie on his trip to Jerusalem went largely unnoticed, but it did not go unnoticed by everyone. Professor Paul Eidelberg long ago mentioned that tie in his pamphlet about Sadat and the whole farce leading up to and including the Camp David Accords that some still myopically consider as a great “victory” for peace. It was not. It was a great, and imposed (and self-imposed) “victory” for the vanquished Egyptians, who managed to have the victor, Israel, put into the position of suing for peace. It was the most bizarre, and disturbing, spectacle — bizarre, and disturbing not least because so few recognized it as such.
It is hard still for some to see this about Sadat, Saint Sadat.
But when the Egyptian Copts testify as to his malevolence toward them, perhaps some in this country will begin to re-think their great and baseless admiration for Sadat. He was only admirable by comparison with the usual stratokleptocrats who ran Egypt, the demagogue Nasser before him (with his pan-Arabism being merely a subset of pan-Islamism, suitable for that earlier, pre-OPEC pre-Muslim-immigration-to-Europe age), and the quietly corrupt thick-necked Mubarak, with his celebrated Family-and-Friends Plan.
Sadat was a devout Muslim. Of course he was no friend of the Copts. Has everyone forgotten how the Coptic Pope, Shenouda II, went into voluntary internal exile as a sign of protest against the policies of the Sadat regime? No one made anything of this, no one paid any attention to this, because it didn’t fit the pre-fabricated narrative of Saint Sadat.
Time to revisit that narrative.