Egyptian writer Alaa Aswany slammed for 'interview with Israeli army radio'
Aswany denied speaking to any Israeli reporters, saying the interview was conducted with his London-based agent Charles Buchan to coincide with the release of the Hebrew translation of his novel Gomhouriyat Kaana ("The Republic of False Truth").
Banned in Egypt, the novel tackles the bloody events of the 25 January 2011 Revolution.
"I have not given any… statements to Israeli media. The reported interview was with my literary agent in London on the release of the Hebrew translation of my novel The Republic of False Truths. Every Israeli journalist should have mentioned the source when reporting the interview," the author said.
Buchan was expected to give the recorded quotes to the interested radio outlets, according to Aswany.
However, in the interview with his agent, US-based Aswany, currently a persona non grata in Egypt for his "anti-regime" stance, told the agent: "I will be very glad to talk about my novels in any language and Hebrew is not an exception.”
Ever since Israeli journalist Jacky Hugi announced the interview on social media, Egyptians - both supporters and opponents of the Sisi regime - denounced the move and criticised Aswany.
Best known for his first novel Omaret Yacoubian ("The Yacoubian Building"), a novel made into a film in 2006, Aswany's works have been translated into 37 languages and sold in about 100 countries. He has also been awarded local and international prizes.
Aswany has been slammed on social media by Egyptian talk show hosts loyal to the regime over the alleged Israeli interview.
Israeli journalist, Hugi, posted several tweets reminding Egyptians of the military cooperation between Egypt and Israel and posting a picture taken of army officers from both sides together in South Sinai.
Egypt normalised relations with Israel in the 1970s. At a diplomatic level, Egypt treats the self-proclaimed Jewish state as a friendly country with which it has strong ties in different fields, particularly security.
However, ordinary Egyptians have always viewed Israel as an oppressor of the Palestinian people and a former occupier of the Sinai Peninsula.
Nonetheless, in 2015, Egypt's parliament, known for being loyal to Sisi, sacked MP Tawfik Okasha for hosting the Israeli ambassador at his home over dinner.