Egyptian Scholar Planning Lawsuit Over Exodus Gold

By Max Gross

Published August 29, 2003, issue of August 29, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A prominent Egyptian legal scholar is preparing a lawsuit against Jews around the world over gold allegedly stolen in biblical times during the Jewish exodus from Egypt.

Nabil Hilmy, dean of the faculty of law at Egypt’s Zagazig University, announced his plan in the Egyptian government weekly, Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute — known as MEMRI — a group that specializes in translating articles in the Arab media. Hilmy reportedly told Al-Ahram that if the story of the exodus is to be believed, Jews fleeing Egypt “stole from the Pharaonic Egyptians gold, jewelry, cooking utensils, silver ornaments, clothing, and more, leaving Egypt in the middle of the night with all this wealth, which today is priceless.”

Calling the alleged heist the “greatest fraud history has ever known,” Hilmy said that he and a number of Egyptian jurists will sue “the Jews of the world” for these lost treasures, the value of which Hilmy estimates in the trillions of dollars.

“If we assume that the weight of what was stolen was one ton,” Hilmy said, its worth “doubled every 20 years, even if annual interest is only 5%… hence after 1,000 years it would be worth 1,125,898,240 million tons… This is for one stolen ton. The stolen gold is estimated at 300 tons, and it was not stolen for 1,000 years, but for 5,758 years, by the Jewish reckoning. Therefore, the debt is very large.”

Hilmy said that he and Gamil Yaken, the vice president of the Egyptian community in Switzerland, had “set up a legal team to prepare the necessary legal confrontation aimed at restoring what the Jews stole a long time ago, to which the statute of limitations cannot possibly apply.”

Hilmy said that while the defendants would not be able to repay the debt in full, Jews around the world — particularly Israelis — should pay their fair share: “There may be a compromise solution. The debt can be rescheduled over 1,000 years, with the addition of the cumulative interest during that period.”

MEMRI’s report has already created a tremendous splash in Israel, according to the organization’s president, Yigal Carmon, who oversaw the translation of Hilmy’s interview from Al-Ahram. “We had 1,200 reactions on our Web site,” Carmon told the Forward. “We sent it to [all] our subscribers — one in five reacted,” one of the largest reactions the group has ever received.

Carmon said if he had read the Al-Ahram article on April Fool’s Day he would have assumed it was a joke, but “it’s a reality. This publication is like [the Egyptian equivalent of] the Sunday New York Times insert — it’s a serious publication.”

Hilmy did not specify where he planned to file suit, but should the case ever reach a courtroom, Alan Dershowitz — a Harvard Law professor and author of “The Case For Israel” (Wiley) — told the Forward, “I’d be happy to defend the Jews.” Calling Hilmy a “clown” who “obviously knows [only] a little bit of law,” Dershowitz said that the scholar’s “ridiculous” suit invites a countersuit from the Jews over reparations for their enslavement in Egypt. Such a countersuit, Dershowitz said, could also be calculated in the trillions of dollars and would expose the oppressive life the Jews led under Egyptian slavery.

Not that Dershowitz believes that Hilmy’s case will ever be heard in court: “There’s no court that would be open to a lawsuit like that,” he said. “Maybe an Islamic court with an elbow, a foot and an ass on the scale.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.