The New Arab

#SisiSupportsIsrael: Egypt's UN vote for Israel sparks harsh criticism

A peace treaty in 1979 ended the state of war between Egypt and Israel [Twitter]

Date of publication: 3 November, 2015

Blog: Following Egypt's first ever vote in favour of Israel in the UN, social media users have come down hard on the Egyptian government.
Egyptian social media users have lashed out at their government after Egypt's UN representative voted on Friday in support of Israel's bid to join the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Affairs [COPUOS].

Egypt's diplomats explained that the vote was inevitable, as it also included three Gulf countries which Egypt wished to support.

"Egypt's commitment to support the Arab countries' candidates for the committee was the main factor behind voting for the resolution," said Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Ahmed Abu Zeid, according to local media.

Oman, Qatar and the UAE - along with Israel - have now become members of COPUOS, with 117 countries voting for their inclusion and 21 abstentions.

Kuwait, Iraq, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia , Syria, Mauritania, Qatar and Yemen all abstained from voting on the resolution - though Oman and the UAE ratified it along with Egypt.

Egypt's Socialist Popular Alliance Party released a statement condemning the vote, calling it "a terrible crime".

"No Egyptian can accept any reasons given by the regime to justify this shameful position. We will accept nothing less than a public apology to Egyptians and the families of Egyptian martyrs," the statement read.


The left-wing party added that the vote was an "outright renunciation" of the principles of the January 25 revolution.

Following the vote, the Saudi Arabian representative expressed the Arab Group's reservations over Israeli membership.

"The Arab Group would like to put on record its reservations towards Israel joining this committee because of our lack of confidence in its peaceful intentions in outer space and its lack of transparency in its space activities," said Manal Hassan Radwan.

Radwan added that Israel's refusal to join any treaties on non-proliferation and its military nuclear programme were also causes for concern.

The Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions [BDS] movement in Egypt released a statement on Facebook declaring its rejection of Egypt's vote in favour of Israel, as well as the state's justification.

"We are sending an apology to our brothers in Palestine and all the occupied Arab countries, affirming our support for the Palestinian uprising. We call on all the Egyptian people to reject and condemn this situation to confirm their support for the Palestinian people," the BDS statement read.

Social media users in Egypt strongly condemned the vote, creating the Arabic-language hashtag #SisiSupportsIsrael to express that the government was not representing the wishes of ordinary Egyptians.

"There is nothing called Egypt votes for Israel, it's called the Egyptian regime votes for the Zionist entity," tweeted human rights activist Malek Adly.

"At the beginning of the month we celebrated our victory over Israel and at the end of the month we called for expanding peace with them. Now we are voting for them," said Ahmed Khatab on Twitter.

Mohammad Qahwa asked: "So long as we are such good buddies with Israel then why is [Sisi] wasting the people's money on arms deals?"

Poet Abd al-Rahman Youssef said: "Sisi supports Israel because he is a Zionist from head to toe."

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