News

Egyptian Parliamentarian Tawfik Okasha Under Fire Following Private Meeting With Israeli Ambassador

Egyptian Parliamentarian Tawfik Okasha Under Fire Following Private Meeting With Israeli Ambassador

16267

A number of Egyptian parliamentarians have tabled requests to “punish” their controversial colleague Tawfik Okasha for inviting Israel’s ambassador to Egypt to a private meeting in his home to discuss “several local and regional issues”, state-owned Ahram Online reported.

The Members of Parliament have requested that Okasha be referred to an ethics committee or for him to be stripped of his membership altogether, Ahram Online quoted novelist MP Youssef El Qaeed as saying.

Israeli ambassador Haim Koren had visited Okasha’s home in Daqahliya last week, where the two reportedly discussed a variety of issues, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Although Okasha claimed that he had informed Egyptian authorities of his planned meeting beforehand, many parliamentarians decried his actions as “a violation of the Egyptian people’s campaign aimed at halting any moves towards normalisation with Israeli officials.”

At Sunday’s parliamentary session, MP Kamal Ahmed also reportedly threw his shoe at Okasha as the latter entered the hall, prompting parliamentary speaker Ali Abdel Aal to expel both MPs from the session.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Boycotts Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign slammed the parliamentarian’s actions as a “normalization” of Egyptian-Israeli relations and a “crime against the Egyptian people”. In a statement posted to its Facebook page, the campaign noted that Okasha’s “unprecedented” move to invite Koren to a private meeting contradicts the controversial parliamentarian’s usual stance on Israel.

Okasha’s invitation was a surprise to many – including the Israeli ambassador – particularly as the parliamentarian and TV host has been highly outspoken against a “Zionist conspiracy” against Egypt and has  frequently referred to the January 25 2011 revolution as a part of said conspiracy.

In statements to Israel’s Army Radio, Koren said, “When an Egyptian MP is interested in promoting the shared interest of Israel and Egypt, of course we welcome the initiative and try to figure out what it is about.”

Although Egypt was the first Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel with the signing of the 1979 Camp David peace treaty, many Egyptian politicians have taken a stand against the further normalization of relations with Israel.

Egypt to Announce Nominee to Succeed Al-Araby as Arab League Chief 'Within Days'
Egypt's National Table Tennis Team Emerges Victorious at Bahrain Championship

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Egypt’s Christians Live in Good Conditions, Freely Exercise Rituals: Angela Merkel

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 27, 2017

Egypt Parliament Rejects Calls to Abolish Death Penalty

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 27, 2017

Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali Becomes First Muslim Actor Ever to Win an Oscar

Aya NaderFebruary 27, 2017

Egyptian MP Files Motion to Extend Presidential Terms from 4 to 6 Years

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 26, 2017

700 Sentenced to Year in Prison in ‘Rabaa Dispersal’ Case for ‘Insulting Judicial System’

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 26, 2017

British Foreign Minister Visits Egypt Amid Calls to Shed Light on Human Rights Situation

Seif GhallabFebruary 25, 2017

More than 300 Coptic Christians Flee Egypt’s North Sinai

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 25, 2017

Tourists Visiting Egypt Face Increased Visa Fees

Egyptian StreetsFebruary 25, 2017
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.