A report in the Israeli media claims that Tel Aviv is involved in fuelling the religious tensions between Muslims and Christians in Egypt. The aim, according to the article in Haaretz newspaper, is to tarnish Egypt's image and international public opinion, in Europe particularly.
According to the article, Israel used a Canadian activist of Egyptian origin, Majid Shafi, who lobbies for an improvement in Christians' rights in the Middle East. Haaretz published a wide-ranging report on the status of Copts in Egypt, including an interview with Shafi who claimed that Egypt's Coptic community is persecuted by the Egyptian authorities. The report added that Mr. Shafi – who is described as a priest – was extremely well-received during his recent visit to Israel, sponsored by the Israeli Foreign Ministry; the Foreign Minister is, of course, Avigdor Lieberman, who is well-known as an "Egypt-hater". The report noted that Shafi met with a number of high-ranking Israelis during his visit to Israel, including the President of the Knesset, the Mayor of Jerusalem and senior officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
The newspaper quoted Shafi's allegations that he was abused and persecuted in Egypt after he converted to Christianity. He also mentioned that he was arrested and tortured before he escaped via Israel to Canada, having been granted political refugee status during his stay in Israel. The Israeli newspaper report contained narratives of Christian allegations of torture in Egyptian prisons.
Haaretz said that Shafi neither attacks Israel nor criticizes the methods used by the Israeli occupying forces in the occupied Palestinian territories. On the contrary, he apparently defends the forced displacement of Palestinians by the occupying forces. The report notes that Shafi seems to have "double standards" in this respect.
Source: Quds Press