Bible study meets modern litigiousness in a story that may one day yield a riveting courtroom drama.
Ahmad al-Gamal, an Egyptian columnist for Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi, advocated in the newspaper on March 11 that Egypt sue the State of Israel for damages caused by the 10 Biblical plagues:
“We want compensation for the plagues that were inflicted upon [us] as a result of the curses that the Jews’ ancient forefathers [cast] upon our ancient forefathers, who did not deserve to pay for the mistake that Egypt’s ruler at the time, Pharaoh, committed,” the cranky journalist wrote, according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
According to the Biblical Book of Exodus, the Egyptian king prevented Moses from liberating the Jews and leading them out of Egypt.
The plagues that summarily struck Egypt in consequence included the Nile turning into blood, an outbreak of lice, diseased livestock, boils, and so on, culminating in darkness and the deaths of all Egyptian firstborn males. The telling of the tale features prominently in the Jewish observance of the spring holiday of Passover.
“For what is written in the Torah proves that it was Pharaoh who oppressed the children of Israel, rather than the Egyptian people,” Gamal continued, “[But] they inflicted upon us the plague of locusts that didn’t leave anything behind them; the plague that transformed the Nile’s waters into blood, so nobody could drink of them for a long time; the plague of darkness that kept the world dark day and night; the plague of frogs; and the plague of the killing of the firstborn, namely every first offspring born to woman or beast, and so on.”
Gamal also pressed suing Israel for the “precious materials” used by the ancient Israelites in order to construct their desert tabernacle.