An Egyptian columnist is apparently calling on his government to sue the state of Israel over the 10 plagues that struck ancient Egypt as described in the biblical book of Exodus.
Columnist Ahmad Al-Gamal in the newspaper Al-Yawm Al-Sabi detailed the reasons why Egypt should sue Israel for damage caused by the plagues, which included locusts, frogs, darkness and the killing of all firstborn children. Israel should also compensate modern-day Egypt for materials they used to build the Holy Tabernacle in the desert, he wrote.
"We want compensation for the [Ten] Plagues that were inflicted upon [us] as a result of the curses that the Jews' ancient forefathers [cast] upon our ancient forefathers, who did not deserve to pay for the mistake that Egypt's ruler at the time, Pharaoh as the Torah calls him, committed,” he wrote, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “For what is written in the Torah proves that it was Pharaoh who oppressed the Children of Israel, rather than the Egyptian people.”
His column was published on March 11 but was more recently translated into English by MEMRI.
Al-Gamal went on to detail the plagues as described in the Bible.
“They inflicted upon us the plague of locusts that didn't leave anything behind them; the plague that transformed the Nile's waters into blood, so nobody could drink of them for a long time; the plague of darkness that kept the world dark day and night; the plague of frogs; and the plague of the killing of the firstborn, namely every first offspring born to woman or beast, and so on,” he wrote.
"We want compensation for the gold, silver, copper, precious stones, fabrics, hides and lumber, and for [all] animal meat, hair, hides and wool, and for other materials that I will mention [below], when quoting the language of the Torah. All these are materials that the Jews used in their rituals. These are resources that cannot be found among desert wanderers unless they took them before their departure," he added.
The columnist also advocated suing Turkey for the Ottoman occupation, France for Napoleon’s invasion and Britain for its colonial rule from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.
As with anything in this vein, it's always possible Al-Gamal was trying his hand at satire.
Jerusalem Online pointed out that “most modern Egyptians are not the descendants of the ancient Egyptians … Thus, who are the modern Egyptians to request on behalf of the ancient Egyptians?”
“The ICC [International Criminal Court] would likely drop such a case due to the Statute of Limitations laws,” Jerusalem Online wrote, while the Times of Israel quipped: “The courts are unpredictable these days, but Gamal may need to wait for an 'act of God' for his requests to become reality.”
(H/T: Times of Israel)