Egypt Independent

Former Israeli ambassador to Cairo attacks judiciary; defends Carmen Weinstein



In an article to the Jerusalem Center for General Studies and Politics, the former Israeli ambassador to Cairo, Zvi Mazel, accused Egyptian judiciary and press of anti-semitism against 80-year-old Carmen Weinstein, president of the Egyptian Jewish Community Council (JCC).

Mazel asserted that Weinstein’s sentence of three years in jail, with bail set at LE10,000, reflects bad faith. Weinstein was sentenced in absentia for defrauding the Egyptian businessman, Nabil Badei. Weinstein did not appear in court to defend herself. Mazel also condemned the Egyptian and Arab press for publishing the news on its front pages.

Badei accused Weinstein of selling him Jewish properties for LE3,000,000, then refusing to transfer ownership, as required by law.

Mazel asserted that no other public figure in Egypt would receive a similar verdict. He suggested that political figures close to the National Democratic Party (NDP) had conspired against Weinstein, after attempts to seize real estate belonging to the Jewish community in Egypt failed. He asserted that official documents were falsified in order to jail Weinstein after she defended the community’s right to their property.

Mazel is one of the Israeli diplomats most critical of Cairo, and has a strong relationship with Weinstein. He was invited to the inauguration of Maimonides synagogue last March.

The Heliopolis Appeal Court, which handed Weinstein the sentence in March, said Weinstein had sold Badei a building which did not belong to her, and refused then to return his money. Later, she sold the buildings to others.

According to the Israeli Hebrew-language daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli Ambassador to Cairo, Yitzhak Levanon was instructed not to intervene.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.