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Monday, October 20, 2003

Niam el Baz, in Cairo

The conversation with Niam el Baz was done in Arabic, with Atidal, an Israeli Palestinian, translating for us.
A full translation of the tape was done in Israel.
The following is an excerpt.


Ni'am: Why have Israel come to this plot of land? Why haven't they taken a different plot for themselves, why haven't they conquered for themselves an empty plot?
There is an answer to that.
Ni'am: I promise you that if there had been an empty plot on the map and on it the Israelis had built a state, then I would have admired, and forgiven them. And then I would have worked and done anything. Why have they come to this plot of land?
There is an answer.
Ni'am: Tell me.
It's a joke.
Ni'am: I don't want a joke. I want an answer.
I will give you an answer as well. But first the joke.
Ni'am: All right.

Moses Our Teacher had a stammer --
Ni'am: Do you know why? Because he was the only one who God was talking to. It is a special thing that has never happened, only to him. God marked him with a sign to testify for that. In Arabic he is called Kareem Allah, Beloved of God.

OK. Here is what happened when God spoke to him:
He went up to God in the mountain and God told him, Take the people of Israel to Canada!
He went back down to the people, and the people were impatient, so he started saying, We should go to C-C-C-C-,

Atidaal: (in Hebrew) He stammered...
Yes. So the people said -- To Canaan? All right. We'll go to Canaan.
Atidaal: (laughs, and translates)
Ni'am: (laughs as well, and says with a regretful voice) Look what this
joke has done. (The three of us laugh).

Ni'am: I'm blaming the Palestinians as well, since they sold the land. And
it can happen to me in a hundred or two hundred years. In my opinion, I am protecting my legitimate rights, because it has to do with heritage. Look, you have in the Knesset a map of Israel from the Euphrate to the Nile!
Where did she take this from?!
Ni'am: What, you don't believe that Israel should stretch from the
Euphrate to the Nile? No? Are there many people in Israel who think like you?
Atidaal: There are many.
Ni'am: No, ask her.
Atidaal: No, I know that there are many members of the Knesset who think
like her.
Ni’am: Ask her.

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