You can oust your leaders too, Egyptian journalist tells Israelis

‘If Bibi and Lapid aren’t doing their job, remove them,’ Hebrew-speaking reporter Himda Hamdi abu-Sayyaf urges Israeli TV viewers in Tahrir Square interview

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Egyptian journalist Himda Hamdi abu-Sayyaf speaks on Israeli TV (photo credit: screen capture: Channel 10)
Egyptian journalist Himda Hamdi abu-Sayyaf speaks on Israeli TV (photo credit: screen capture: Channel 10)

If the Israeli public is disappointed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, then citizens should speak up and bring down the government, Egyptian protester and journalist Himda Hamdi abu-Sayyaf said.

For the masses protesting, Mohammed Morsi “isn’t only a president, he’s the worker of the Muslim Brotherhood” and needs to be replaced, Sayyaf, an Egyptian journalist told Israel’s Channel 10 in fluent Hebrew while broadcasting from above the crowds at Cairo’s Tahrir square.

Sayyaf said she wasn’t afraid to be speaking in Hebrew at Tahrir “or anywhere else in Egypt,” and said that she was an Egyptian utilizing her additional language to its fullest.

“I watch and follow what happens in Israel,” the Egyptian journalist said as she addressed the Israeli audience Tuesday evening. “I call upon not only Israelis, but any nation not being treated by its government the way it should be, not to be silent about it.”

“If Bibi [Netanyahu] and Lapid aren’t doing their job, remove them, bring someone who will do for you what you want,” Sayyaf urged. “If they made you promises and didn’t keep them, don’t be silent.” The Egyptians, too, were subject to many unfulfilled promises, which is why “we’re bringing down the government now.”

“There were ballots and results,” Sayyaf agreed when asked about Morsi being elected through democratic elections. However, she stated, “any president, anywhere in the world, gets his legitimacy from the people. If the people take away this right, he can’t remain in control.”

Sayyaf said that having a president step down after millions took to the streets was “the pinnacle of democracy in other countries.” No Egyptian, she replied when asked, “was afraid of his [own] army. Our military, it and the people are one hand… The people, in practice, are the army.”

“I don’t think the Muslim Brotherhood are so stubborn and stupid” as to attempt any use of force, Sayyaf said. The Brotherhood “knows our army won’t just watch such a thing happen, and will act against anyone who imagines he could hurt our nation. We’re not Syria, and never will be.”

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