War of words erupts online over Nasser's role in 1967 War

Zeinab El Gundy , Wednesday 5 Jun 2013

Muslim Brotherhood members, supporters blast late president's military performance in 1967; pro-Nasser activists respond by hacking Brotherhood Facebook page

Gamal Abdelnasser
Late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser

A war of words has raged since early Wednesday between members and supporters of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on one side and non-Islamist activists on the other over the 46th anniversary of the 1967 War between Egypt and Israel.

Since early Wednesday morning, the 'We are Muslim Brotherhood youth' Facebook page has posted commentary attacking and mocking late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser and his military performance during the Six-Day War.

"A good Six-Day War morning defeat, dear Nasserites," one page administrator wrote. Another referred to "Nasser's lies, and how he deceived the people through media."

Local media at the time falsely claimed that Egypt was winning the war before Abdel-Nasser announced the defeat.

On his official Facebook page, Essam El-Arian, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, noted the fact that the war's anniversary this year coincided with Lailat Al-Mi'rag, a Muslim holiday.

"It's a strange coincidence that the happy anniversary of Lailat Al-Mi'rag falls on the same day as the painful anniversary of the Six-Day War defeat, which was due to dictatorship and corruption."

Brotherhood members also launched a hashtag on Twitter – #Nakasa (meaning 'setback,' a reference to the war) – holding Nasser responsible for the 1967 debacle.

The account includes several photos showing Egyptian prisoners of war being humiliated at the hands of the Israeli army in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

The anti-Nasser comments and photos prompted anger among some Egyptian social-media users, who saw them as insulting to Egypt and those who died in1967.

Several commentators attacked the Brotherhood, comparing the group to the Israelis. 

The Facebook page of the anti-President Morsi 'Rebel' campaign, for its part, slammed the Brotherhood's attacks on Nasser. "Do not say any bad words about your master, Nasser," the page declared.

Activist Taqadum El-Khatib, a member of the National Association for Change movement, said on Twitter: "When the defeat in the Six-Day War happened, Muslim Brotherhood members were happy and called it divine punishment on Nasser for what he had done by torturing and imprisoning Brotherhood Members," he said.

Meanwhile, 'The pulse of the Muslim Brotherhood' Facebook page, which is run by group members, was hacked by pro-Nasser activists, who posted the late president's photo on the page.

"Down with the supreme guide," they wrote in reference to the Brotherhood's leader, and "Our date is 30/6," in reference to planned protests against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood scheduled for 30 June.

On 5 June 1967, war erupted between Egypt, Syria and Jordan on one side and Israel on the other. The latter quickly defeated its Arab enemies, invading and occupying the Sinai Peninsula, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan heights. 

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