The White House on Tuesday strongly condemned comments that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was reported to have made in 2010 when he was a Muslim Brotherhood leader and which were widely regarded as anti-Semitic in nature.I am looking forward to seeing the reaction in the Arabic media to this.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the language Morsi had used was "deeply offensive" and that US officials raised concerns with the Egyptian government on the matter.
Nearly three years ago, Morsi, as an Islamist political leader, delivered a speech urging Egyptians to "nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred" for Jews and Zionists. In a television interview months later, he described Zionists as "these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs."
Carney noted, however, that Morsi, as president, had helped broker an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza and had promised to uphold Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.
The president also labeled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as "a waste of time and opportunities" as Arabs and Muslims get nothing out of engagement with "the descendants of apes and pigs."
The comments were discovered in translated interviews published earlier in the month by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
In the first interview, aired on Lebanon's Al-Quds TV on September 23, 2010, Morsi denounced the Palestinian Authority as a creation of "the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people." Therefore, he stressed, "No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track."
"Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war," Morsi said, "This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs."
In the result, according to MEMRI, Morsi called on Arabs and Muslims worldwide to "employ all forms of resistance against...those criminal Zionists, who attack Palestine and the Palestinians."
"Pressure should be exerted upon them," Morsi continued, so that Jews should "not be given any opportunity [to] stand on any Arab or Islamic land."
In a separate interview translated by MEMRI, aired on the same network on March 20, 2010, Morsi affirmed that "The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine.... What they took before 1947-8 constitutes plundering, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognize their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists."
Morsi concluded that the Arab-Islamic world "want[s] a country for the Palestinians on the entire land of Palestine...[and] all the talk about a two-state solution and about peace is nothing but an illusion." The Jews, he said, "have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history. They are hostile by nature.... The Zionists understood nothing but the language of force."
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