Sunday, September 24, 2006

Marrying Israelis

On the other hand, some in the Egyptian opposition are now coming out against the threat of marrying Israelis:
"'This phenomenon is alarming,' said MP Hamdeen Sabahi, who heads the Al Karama (Dignity) opposition party.

"'Many young Egyptians, desperate for a job, just cross the border to Israel to work there. They eventually get married to Israeli girls and have children,' he told Gulf News...

"Sabahi added that children born as a result of Egyptian-Israeli marriages later became Egyptian citizens.

"'A situation in which children are raised inside the Zionist state fed on hatred of the Arabs, is full of peril to national security,' he argued."

"Sabahi believes that the best solution to the problem is 'to bar children of Israeli mothers and Egyptian fathers from getting Egyptian nationality.'

"'Young Egyptians must also be stopped from going to Israel,' says Sabahi."

The first thing that struck me upon reading this was that these Egyptians were probably marrying Palestinian Israelis rather than Jews. I'd also guess Sabahi's fears are shared by many in Israel, who would see Egyptians and their children as an addition to the demographic threat to Israeli Jewishness, unless these Egyptians are marrying Israeli Jews and the children are being raised Jewish. Another angle is to note that this shows again the one-sided portrayal of Israel in much of the Arab world, since it's far from clear the children would be raised on hatred of Arabs given the variety of opinions of Arab culture available in Israel and the presumption that someone who would marry an Arab wouldn't really be that racist.


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