The State Department announced earlier this week that Samira Ibrahim would be among 10 recipients of the International Women of Courage award presented by Secretary of State John Kerry and first lady Michelle Obama on Friday.
But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday the U.S. would hold off on awarding Ibrahim while officials investigate the tweets, which include support for attacks against U.S. diplomatic installations and praise for a terrorist assault against Israeli citizens in Bulgaria.
Ibrahim, who has already arrived in the U.S, says her account was hacked, though the comments stretch back several months.
The Weekly Standard broke the story, and detailed the offensive tweets:
On Twitter, Ibrahim is quite blunt regarding her views. On July 18 of last year, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed a suicide bombing attack, Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”The idea that her Twitter account was hacked is, frankly, ludicrous.
Ibrahim frequently uses Twitter to air her anti-Semitic views. Last August 4, commenting on demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, she described the ruling Al Saud family as “dirtier than the Jews.” Seventeen days later she tweeted in reference to Adolf Hitler: “I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.”
Ibrahim holds other repellent views as well. As a mob was attacking the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, pulling down the American flag and raising the flag of Al Qaeda, Ibrahim wrote on twitter: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.” Possibly fearing the consequences of her tweet, she deleted it a couple of hours later, but not before a screen shot was saved by an Egyptian activist.
Just today, apparently after having been warned that her vicious tweets might cause her trouble during her visit to the U.S., she has written on twitter: “My account has been previously stolen and any tweet on racism and hatred is not me.” However, in the past she never made any mention of her account being “stolen.” The record of her anti-Semitic tweets is still available online.
Tonight, her first reaction to the award being postponed was this:
رفضت الاعتذار للوبى الصهيونى فى امريكا عن تصريحات سابقة معادية للصهيونية تحت ضغوط من الحكومة الامريكية فتم سحب الجائزة #سميرة_ابراهيمAh, you see, she's not anti-semitic! She is merely a victim of the Jewish - er, Zionist Lobby!
I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America under pressure from the U.S. government for previous statements hostile to Zionism
Seriously, anti-semitism in Egypt is so endemic, that this sort of thing is inevitable. But the West usually sweeps Arab anti-semitism under the rug, so the times that it gets mainstream exposure causes a collective gasp - and then gets ignored again until the next time.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Arab intellectuals or pundits to criticize Ibrahim in any Arabic-language media. On the contrary, the "Zionist Lobby" excuse is far more likely.