"I was sent to Israel as an intelligence officer. I wasn’t there to really be an ambassador," said former Egyptian Ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Bassiouni, in a lecture held in Egypt's National Library in Alexandria over the weekend.
Bassiouni went on to describe his memories of Israel as "bitter" and denied striking any friendships during his tenure term as envoy to the Jewish state. He did, however, mention Shas' Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as an acquaintance.
The former ambassador criticized Israel for its maltreatment of Israeli Arabs, saying "there is no such thing as 'Israeli society' – they're immigrants from all over the world."
The mass immigration from the former Soviet Union to Israel, he continued, has resulted in Israel having some 40 new – "very dangerous" – nuclear scientists at its disposal; but Israel, he noted, has failed to make the transition easy form them.
Bassiouni's comments, which have also been published by several Arab newspapers, also addressed local politics, as he said a person of Middle Eastern descent cannot be elected as prime minister – disregarding the high office held by former President Moshe Katsav and the current office held by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.
Reviewing the current political situation in Israel, Bassiouni said that both Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Mofaz – who are both campaigning for the Kadima chairmanship – are "unfit", adding "I don’t care who gets elected, I just want to know who can revive the peace process."
As for the comatose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Bassiouni said he was "a sleeping corpse…alive only thanks to machines."
Bassiouni chose to end his lecture with a juicy tidbit, confirming the rumors suggesting former Egyptian President Gamal Abd al-Nasser's brother-in-law – Ashraf Marwan – was indeed on the Israeli intelligence's payroll.