CAIRO: A Muslim Brotherhood MP has sharply criticized a letter and Jewish prayer book that was sent to President Hosni Mubarak by an Israeli rabbi to be delivered to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, saying “Egypt is not Israel’s post office.
Elmeldin Al-Sakhawy said on the Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc website, “Whether we agree or disagree with the political leadership in Egypt, we feel that Israel is making a mockery of this leadership, which is humiliating for Egypt and its great people.
“Egypt is not Israel’s post office, he added, “and will not be even if Arab – including Egyptian – leaders continue to implement the Zionist American agenda for the region.
Al-Sakhawy’s ire was triggered by a letter given to Mubarak last Sunday during Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Cairo.
Accompanying Netanyahu on his Cairo trip was the Israeli Interior Minister and chairman of the ultra-conservative Shas party, Eli Yeshai. He carried with him a letter to Mubarak from the party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, in which he requested that the Egyptian leader do everything in his power to secure Shalit’s release as soon as possible.
“It is clear to me that due to your stature and experience, the organizations that have not abandoned the sword would not leave you empty-handed and you can help expedite his release, the letter said.
There was also a prayer book with the letter which Yosef asked Mubarak to try and deliver to Shalit. Israeli soldier Shalit has been a captive of Hamas for three years now and Egypt is attempting to negotiate a prisoner exchange between the two.
Yeshai told the Israeli newspaper Maariv that Mubarak promised to do all he could to have the prayer book reach Shalit, and ordered the book to be delivered to the negotiating Egyptian authorities to attempt to deliver it to Shalit.
A statement from the Israeli embassy on the meeting said, Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked President Mubarak for Egypt s assistance and efforts to advance the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.