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U.S. Tells Morsi to Repudiate Anti-Semitic Comments

Wed, January 16, 2013

Close to two weeks after the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released video clips from 2010 of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi spewing blistering anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred on Egyptian TV, the Obama administration and the U.S. State Department called the comments “deeply offensive.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “We believe that President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is unacceptable in a democratic Egypt.”

Echoing these sentiments, State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “We completely reject these statements as we do any language that espouses religious hatred. This kind of rhetoric has been used in this region for far too long. It’s counter to the goals of peace.’’

Morsi made the statements on Egyptian television on two separate occasions in 2010 when he was the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. MEMRI, a well-respected research organization, put together the video from its archives and released it close to two weeks ago.

The video was ignored by the mainstream media until Monday when The New York Times wrote an article about it, in which the newspaper suggested a litany of excuses for Morsi’s comments.

The next day, the White House and State Dept. excoriated Morsi and asked him to repudiate the views he expressed.

In the video, Morsi refers to the “Zionists” as “blood-suckers” who attack Palestinians, saying they are “the descendants of apes and pigs.” Morsi further says Jews have been trouble “throughout history,”  “they are hostile by nature” and asks Egyptians to ‘‘nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred.’’

Morsi also calls America “the enemy.” While endorsing Hamas, Morsi tells his audience that the Palestinian Authority “was created by the Zionist and American enemies.” He rejects any negotiations with Israel saying that the war against Israel must continue until Israel is eliminated. Any negotiations with Israel, he says, should end “once and for all.”

See RI.org Morsi in Video Refers to America as ‘Enemy’

Morsi further states that no Muslim government or population should have any ties to Israel. In addition, he says, “All the talk about a two-state solution and about peace is nothing but an illusion.”

The revelation of Morsi’s comments come at a diplomatically sensitive time for America and Egypt. Egypt is scheduled to receive 20 F-16 jets and 200 Abrams tanks, as part of a foreign aid package promised to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, an American ally. 

Morsi has promised to uphold Egypt’s existing peace treaty with Israel, although various press reports give indications to the contrary. The White House has indicated that adherence to the peace treaty is a condition for U.S. relations with Egypt.

Nuland announced that the U.S. has already relayed its concerns to Egypt about Morsi’s remarks and said that Congress is watching the Egyptian president carefully.

Last September, Congress slashed $550 million from the Obama administration’s proposed $1 billion package of aid to Egypt.