Less than three weeks before his petirah, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, z’tl, singled out Egypt when discussing the fact that Klal Yisrael needs zechuyos since Eretz Yisrael is surrounded by Arab countries that hate us.
In a speech during Operation Shield and Arrow, the Rosh Yeshivah said that our existence in Eretz Yisrael is a neis. “The sea is on one side and here and here and here, all around – all the nations hate us.” The Rosh Yeshivah then mentioned Egypt – as if considering the Israeli/Egyptian peace deal – but then said “but they hate us. Our existence here is a neis.”
The statements, which were distorted in the media, sparked outrage in Egypt, leading to the publication of a clarification of the Rosh Yeshivah’s words in Arabic and English.
Following the tragic murders of three IDF soldiers by an Egyptian police officer on Shabbos, the worst attacks to occur on the Egyptian border in 20 years, the Rosh Yeshiva’s statement seems eerily prescient.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)