My Thoughts on Egypt
By Rev. Rocky Ellison
Radical hatred is not new to Egypt. The slaughter of the Hebrew Innocents was an act of radical hatred (Exodus 1:12-22). The decision to hunt down the Hebrew slaves and murder them, rather than let them taste freedom, was an act of radical hatred (Exodus 14:5-6). It is popular today to deny there were ever Jewish slaves in Egypt. Even if one sets aside the Biblical accounts, acts of radical hatred are carved in Egyptian stone. The Merneptah Stele (alternately Merenptah) (1235 – 1225 BC) claims “Carried off is Ashkelon; seized upon is Gezer; Yanoam is made as that which does not exist; Israel is laid waste, his seed is not”. The stone marker celebrates that warfare against Israel has been successful. Depending on interpretation it either celebrates the genocide of Israel (his seed no longer exists). Or, it laments that genocide was ineffective (While Israel is destroyed, unfortunately his seed is not).
I spent the Summer of 1987 in Egypt, with the United States Air Force, at Beni Suef airfield. I was able to see radical hatred in person. We were confined to the protection of the air base, with only one outing the entire Summer. We were placed on a bus and taken to Cairo. Egyptian jeeps with machine guns went both ahead of, and behind, us. There were fears that radical Egyptians might begin shooting at the bus if they knew Americans were on board. We were taken to a bazaar and allowed to shop for souvenirs. All of the other customers were forced from the bazaar when we arrived. There were fears radical Egyptians might attempt to stab us if they discovered we were Americans. Our trip to see the Sphinx and a pyramid was handled in similar fashion. We were isolated to protect us from our Egyptian hosts. They Egyptian government was the source of the isolation – they feared for our safety amidst radical hatred.
Now, we see the advent of a government which will support and encourage radical hatred; a government which will not protect those who are different – American, Christian, Jew, etc… This will be a government which will turn a blind eye to the slaughter of innocents. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. This isn’t something new; it’s more of a return to traditional roots.