A storm is brewing here over the Foreign Office’s anticipated acceptance of Gen. Saad el-Shazly as the new Egyptian Ambassador to Britain. Informed sources told the Jewish. Telegraphic Agency yesterday that approval of Shazly’s appointment is expected next week despite the general’s known association with British neo-Nazis when he served in London as a military attache in 1963 and the recent revelation that he was the author of a pamphlet issued to Egyptian troops during the Yom Kippur War exhorting them to kill captured israeli soldiers.
The JTA was told that the Foreign Office wants to avoid what it describes as a major political row with Egypt even though it is “somewhat annoyed” with Cairo for having announced the designation of Shazly before his accreditation was confirmed, a move contrary to standard diplomatic practice. The Foreign Office had refused to confirm or deny that Shazly was the Egyptian Ambassador-designate even after the news was out in Cairo. But on Friday, a Foreign Office spokesman finally admitted that an application for accreditation of Shazly had been received from the Egyptian government.
ASSOCIATION WITH NEO-NAZIS CITED
The announcement prompted Michael Fidler, a Conservative MP and past president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, to send a letter of protest to Foreign Secretary Sir Alex Douglas-Home. The text of Fidler’s letter, made available to the JTA today, said in part: “It would be infamous if Gen. Shazly, with his record eleven years ago in London of close association with the National Socialist Movement and/or other fascist organizations in Britain should now be permitted to come here in such capacity. The entire British community would be shocked to think that a person who could act in this fashion should now be coming again in this capacity.”
Fidler enclosed a copy of a news item from the Daily Express “which quotes more recent sentiments expressed by Shazly in connection with the killing of Jews–whether Israeli prisoners of war or other.”
The notorious Shazly pamphlet was brought to the attention of members of Parliament of all parties and British veterans and student groups last week by Moshe Barneah, secretary of the Israeli branch of Amnesty international. He noted that thousands of them were distributed to Egyptian soldiers by the Army information Service with instructions signed by Shazly who was chief of staff of the Egyptian Army at the time of the Yom Kippur War.
The instructions ordered Egyptian soldiers to “kill mercilessly” all Israeli POWs. “Hit them, kill them wherever you find them as they (the Jews) are a nation of treacherous character. They pretend to give up only to kill you in treacherous ways,” the pamphlets said. A spokesman for the Egyptian Embassy here “strongly denied” yesterday that the former Egyptian chief of staff had at any time given orders to kill Israeli POWs. The spokesman claimed that such orders bearing Shazly’s Lame were forged by Israeli veterans organizations.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.