Bassiouni. The spy?
Rabbi Yosef. That 'weird guy'
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Harsh statements made by former Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Mohammed Bassiouni managed to anger not only the many Israelis who viewed him as a loyal friend to Israel but also Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
A series of conversations held last weekend with senior Egyptian governmental officials in Cairo revealed that the presidential palace is outraged at Bassiouni after he quoted information Mubarak relayed to him in a private talk during a public speech he gave in Alexandria.
Bassiouni said that when he brought Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, to meet Mubarak, the latter was angry at him and bluntly said, “What are you doing bringing me this weird guy?”
The Egyptian intelligence headquarter is also enraged at Bassiouni, who impermissibly revealed that he was an agent of the Egyptian Intelligence in Israel during the years he served as ambassador and claimed that former Egyptian President Gamal Abd al-Nasser's brother-in-law Ashraf Marwan, whose pseudonym in London has not yet been brought to light, was a double agent.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry is furious with Bassiouni, claiming that he unjustly harmed predominant public figures in Israel who were regular guests at his residence.
In his speech, Bassiouni complained that “I didn’t have any friends in Israel and all 21 years of service in Tel Aviv were passed with suffering and in bitterness."
“If Bassiouni had such a hard time in Israel, and his 21 years of service were solely years of suffering and bitterness, why did he push to extend his service? Why didn’t he request to finish and go back home?
“On the contrary, each time they tried replacing him with a new Egyptian ambassador, he was the one who enlisted a ‘lobby’ in Israel and pleaded that they would extend his service,” said a senior diplomat at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.