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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Just a little Egyptian hypocrisy on free speech (updated)

Bikya Masr has an article decrying Israel's "Nakba law":

The Nakba Law, upheld in a constitutional court in January of 2012, symbolizes a major setback for the proponents of free speech. The absurd idea that historical perception can be regulated by the state is self-defeating: time and time again such efforts have strengthened the very forces they aimed at eliminating.

For the proponents of such a bizarre and reactionary law, the danger lies not merely in emboldening the opposition, but also in setting a dubious precedent that almost certainly will one day work against them. “Every time you violate– or propose to violate –the right to free speech of someone else,” the late Christopher Hitchens said, “you in potentia are making a rod for your own back.”
Of course, the law doesn't inhibit free speech; it says that the state of Israel does not need to fund "alternative narratives" that are meant to call into question its very right to exist. But it will not stop anyone else from saying or publishing whatever they want.

So yesterday I wrote a comment to the article pointing that out.

Then I added a small experiment. I asked if the author could please point me to anywhere an Egyptian discusses the end of the Yom Kippur War, where the Egyptian Third Army was surrounded by Israeli forces and on the verge of being destroyed before Egypt begged for a cease fire.

Of course, Egypt regards that war as a complete military victory - and never talks about the end of the war.

Take a guess as to whether Bikya Masr published my comment.

Which tells you all you need to know about free speech in Egypt.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, they did put my comment up. (h/t sshender)