The debt can be rescheduled over 1,000 years
August 29, 2003 5:38 PM   Subscribe

The August 9, 2003 edition of the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi featured an interview with Dr. Nabil Hilmi, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Al-Zaqaziq who, together with a group of Egyptian expatriates in Switzerland, is preparing an enormous lawsuit against "all the Jews of the world."
For material stolen from the Pharaonic Egyptians during the Exodus ...
(link via The Daily Grail)
posted by thatwhichfalls (36 comments total)
It was my understanding that the Egyptians denied that the Jews were ever slaves in Egypt in the first place.

These guys need to work on getting their story straight. Of course, it helps that there aren't any eyewitnesses left.
posted by Jart at 6:07 PM on August 29, 2003

I hope Dr. Himli never goes to the British Museum. They've got a few Egyptian objects that'd he'd probably like to get back. CSI: Archeology Unit, coming this fall on CBS!
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:13 PM on August 29, 2003

Frank Grimes, your wish has been granted!

"on CBS this fall, [CSI producer Jerry] Bruckheimer cribs from his past shows for the look of "Cold Case," which tells the story of long-dormant cases"

No telling when they'll get arround to this one, though ...
posted by Jos Bleau at 6:52 PM on August 29, 2003

You know, I just think they might have a case!

Seriously, though, it's an interesting interview, regardless of your opinion of the motives. Judging by this interview, I definitely think we'll see friendship between Jew and Arab in our time!
posted by crazy finger at 6:54 PM on August 29, 2003

So since the Egyptian case is based on the Biblical account, do Jews get to countersue for slavery compensation and civil damages for wrongful death, pain, and suffering?
posted by blissbat at 7:11 PM on August 29, 2003

I wonder who these guys are gonna count on to get the world out about this? the media?

and if they win, where are they gonna put the money? the bank?

and lets say they decide to use their settlement to go into agriculture. what force of nature is gonna help them raise crops? the weather?

oh, I kill me!
posted by mcsweetie at 7:20 PM on August 29, 2003

Don't worry, you kill me too. We're talking audible laughter.
posted by swerve at 7:40 PM on August 29, 2003

Good for the Egyptians. Fucking jew dogs.
posted by riptide at 7:42 PM on August 29, 2003

I'm going to file a class-action suit against God.
posted by solistrato at 7:43 PM on August 29, 2003

Egyptians are fucking jew dogs? Without permission?
posted by quonsar at 7:48 PM on August 29, 2003


How do you get a jewish dog? And, why are Egyptians having intercourse with jewish canines?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:49 PM on August 29, 2003

Fucking nimrod.
posted by angry modem at 7:50 PM on August 29, 2003

Sorry. Dr. Hilm and associates do not have standing to sue.

Those properties were owned by the Ancient Egyptians, not the Hyskos, Lybian, Greek, Roman, French, Persian and Arabian conquerors that have swept repeatedly over the land.

Given the fall of the Dynastic kingdom to Alexander in 332, I am certain that any tort that these Egyptians might have had for actions against them during the Dynastic era has exceeded the statue of limitations, considering no member of the ancient Kingdom has tried to gain compensation for these acts -- and the Kingdom, now over 2500 years gone, can no longer act in its own interest.

If these torts were still valid, they would be owned not by the current residents of the Nile Valley, but by the Greeks. However, given the conquest of the Greek by the Romans, and the subsequent dissolution of the Roman Republic, first into the Empire, then into collapse, one must consider these claims expired.
posted by eriko at 7:50 PM on August 29, 2003

I can see it now: Dr. Nabli Himli v. Jackie Mason, et. al., 537 U.S. 205.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:03 PM on August 29, 2003

Nothing solves world issues like a good frivolous lawsuit. Lawyers must be the path to world peace!

/sarcasm (just in case it's not obvious enough)
posted by clevershark at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2003

*starts packing up the heirloom jeweled scarab-encrusted sporks and folding chairs*

Where do I send these?
posted by amberglow at 8:27 PM on August 29, 2003

On second thought this brings up an interesting quandary -- if the Egyptians were to admit that the Exodus took place, wouldn't the Jews have one hell of a reparations claim for the years of slavery and forced labor that led to that same Exodus?

I have a feeling that this is yet another shining example of not thinking things through before acting on them.
posted by clevershark at 8:27 PM on August 29, 2003

The original story, only partially translated by MEMRI, can be found here (in Arabic). The context of the discussion is a longwinded editorial (from the editorial, not the news, pages) ridiculing the use of Biblical precedents as the basis of claims to land by Israeli settlers and religious conservatives. The lawsuit is presented as a satirical comment on this tendency.

Whatever you think of the merits of the argument (I don't have a dog in this fight) it's not quite as sensational viewed in context (although one has to admit the graphic is pretty garish). MEMRI's framed it in a way that transfers the ridicule back to the ridiculer.

In general, MEMRI's translations tend to be accurate but conveniently selective in this way. Too bad there aren't many independent sources for translation of the Arabic-language press, which, if not exactly notable for the vitality of its pro-Israel faction, represents a little broader, and broader-minded, spectrum of opinion than some would have you believe.
Al-Ahram tends to be something of an Egyptian government organ, it's true, but for all that is not the worst news organization, as measured on the Fox Network scale. The English-language weekly is a pretty capably written and edifying read, in fact.
posted by hairyeyeball at 8:44 PM on August 29, 2003

I think this is a hoot. Basing one's legal claims on ancient history written in an unreliable book deserves mocking.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 PM on August 29, 2003

Peace will come when forks are traded with space.
posted by romanb at 10:11 PM on August 29, 2003

Are the Egyptians part of this "Religion of Peace" I keep hearing about?
posted by dhoyt at 10:53 PM on August 29, 2003

hairyeyeball: Thanks for the information- that clears up a lot and I agree with the "plaintiffs" that using the Bible for legal claims of any nature is ridiculous, if that is indeed what they mean to illustrate here.
posted by crazy finger at 11:06 PM on August 29, 2003

hairyeyeball: Thanks from me as well. I always worry about translations that show a particularly shocking story with nothing else to bolster them from an organisation that I have never heard of, especially in the middle east.

Unfortunately my arabic is not up to reading the whole article....
posted by lerrup at 11:37 PM on August 29, 2003

Are the Egyptians part of this "Religion of Peace" I keep hearing about?

No. The peaceful religion of Isis was crushed in Egypt long ago by the followers of one of those bloodthristy sky-god cults.
posted by homunculus at 11:44 PM on August 29, 2003

Are the Egyptians part of this "Religion of Peace" I keep hearing about?

No. The peaceful religion of Isis was crushed in Egypt long ago by the followers of one of those bloodthristy sky-god cults.
posted by homunculus at 11:44 PM PST on August 29

posted by the fire you left me at 12:31 AM on August 30, 2003

Luckily Jewish lawyers have been preparing for this case for years:
On one occasion the Egyptians lodged a complaint against the people of Israel before Alexander the Great . They said to him : Is it not written: 'and the Lord gave the people favor in the eyes of Egypt' and they complied? Now give us back the silver and gold which you took from us ... He said to them: I too will bring you proof from the Torah, for it is written: 'And the sojourn of the Israelites who dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years'. Give us compensation for the labor of 600,000 men whom you enslaved in Egypt for four hundred and thirty years ... They searched but could find no answer-Sanhedrin 91a
posted by PenDevil at 2:51 AM on August 30, 2003

This is STUPENDOUSLY beyond the statute of limitations - right?
posted by RubberHen at 3:08 AM on August 30, 2003

Finally, an example of Islamic humor. There is hope. Haven't come across any since the publication of the Nasruddin stories years ago. Maybe there is even an Islamic version of The Onion hiding somewhere.
posted by donfactor at 3:55 AM on August 30, 2003 is as close as it gets to the Onion (sans adverts). The old issues were better, but still a laugh :)
posted by Mossy at 5:18 AM on August 30, 2003

actually, i always wondered where the golden calf came from...was that "borrowed" too?

Also, are there any contemporary Egyptian documents or any historical records about any of this, or the entire period we were there at all? Any mention of the plagues, or when we were invited into Egypt in the first place? Or of Moses living as a prince in the pharoah's palace?

(our Maxwell House Haggadahs have nothing about gifts or stealing or gold and silver or cooking utensils at all) : >
posted by amberglow at 5:40 AM on August 30, 2003

riptide, you are being talked about in meta.
posted by ashbury at 5:50 AM on August 30, 2003

It is because of such morons as Riptide that I less and less frequently post or comment at Metafilter...if he means this in humor, it is tasteless; if he means it in a serious manner, he a sick asshole.
posted by Postroad at 7:47 AM on August 30, 2003

your old gold, dusty diamonds, scrap scarabs...

I offer 40% on the Shekel.

(I also have a deal on a used camel from a Bedouin in Sausalito with only 2 or 3 deset journeys)
posted by clavdivs at 8:35 AM on August 30, 2003

Where are they going to find a good lawyer?
posted by delmoi at 7:09 PM on August 30, 2003

Seriously though, the Argument for the Jewish state of Isreal is just as shaky as this lawsuit...

Are the Egyptians part of this "Religion of Peace" I keep hearing about?

What's un-peaceful about suing someone?
posted by delmoi at 7:15 PM on August 30, 2003

i wonder what the judean people's front will have to say about this....
posted by quarsan at 12:25 PM on August 31, 2003

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