Posted: June 19, 2002
A group of Egyptian academics and intellectuals convened a meeting June 16 to discuss the "eradication of the Jewish State." The meeting was held in Cairo at the headquarters of the Press Syndicate and organized by "Egypt for Culture and Dialogue," an organization of Islamic and leftist activists.
Speakers discussed what was described as the imminent downfall of Israel, as well as the overthrow of moderate Arab regimes.
"Israel will collapse, it is doomed, but what is necessary is the collapse of the Arab system," Hassan el-Sayed, an Islamic activist, told the meeting, according to The Associated Press.
Other academics, in papers presented at the meeting, accused Israel of "racism" and called for other measures to speed the demise of Israel.
"This entity will collapse on its own, we should escalate its downfall," said Adel el-Gogri, a columnist for the Egyptian daily newspaper, Al Ahrar.
The meeting was held without any official condemnation from the Egyptian government. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 and remains one of the key U.S. allies in the region.
ADL leaders in Israel called on the Egyptian government to denounce such proceedings as cynical and counterproductive to peace.
"I think that the silence on the part of the Egyptian government to such ideas emanating from such groups is deafening, even if the group is private or religious," said Laura Kam-Issacharoff, a Jerusalem-based spokeswoman for ADL. "Hearing such thoughts is certainly not surprising, but it is disheartening nonetheless."