Egyptian blogger Sherif Gaber made headlines last week when he posted a video on his Facebook page titled: “Why do you hate Israel?”
The young Egyptian has been on the run in his country since The Suez Canal University reported him to the authorities for setting up an anti-Islam Facebook page in 2013. This happened after he openly argued with a professor at the University during a lecture about homosexuality. A couple of months after this incident, he was arrested but was released after forty days and a $130 bail.
In February this year, Gaber decided to go into hiding after a second arrest because he feared for his life.
In the video, Gaber questions whether the Jewish immigration during the first part of the last century really was, as the Palestinians claim, ’colonization.’ He notes that Egypt was subjected to real colonization during the Muslim conquest in 640 CE when Egypt was converted to a Muslim country after being Christian (Coptic) for centuries.
Gaber also compared Israel’s success in high tech, science, and military technology to the backwardness of Arab countries and accused Arab regimes of robbing its citizens.
Gaber studied Islamic law and the history of religion until 2011, but when he watched the gruesome images of the stoning of a woman in a video on social media, he started to “wonder if Islam holds water,” he said during an interview with the Israeli news site Ynet.
Gaber says that “Israel is the best country for women in the Middle East.”
“If you’re a woman, the safest country for you in the Middle East to live in is Israel,” he asserted.
The Egyptian blogger told Ynet that the education of children in Arab countries lies at the root of the hatred of the Jewish state.
“I understood that the problem is with Arabs’ education, that for many years fed children insulting thoughts about Israel. When I started speaking with Israelis, they were better than my family. I despised myself for having hated Israel without justification.”
He concluded his video with a few thoughts about the character of the Arab-Israeli conflict that flies in the face of what many in the West still think:
“In fact, the controversy between Arabs and Israel is no longer because of the land and who deserves it; actually Arabs don’t care so much about that; all this anger and violent resentment has nothing to do with anything but envy, and deep inside that anger and hate you’d actually find great admiration of such a country.”
Via his Facebook page, Gaber maintains contacts with many Israelis who give him strength to continue with his campaign for other relations with the Jewish state. He told Ynet that he mainly receives threats from Muslims on his FB page, but Israelis sent him blessings.
He left his Israeli Facebook friends the following message:
“Be proud of yourselves Your neighbors see you as the great Satan and despite that you still manage to hold back your strength and maintain your goodness and the too-good treatment of those who wish you death.”