An Egyptian presidential spokesman said Wednesday that video from 2010 showing now-President Mohammed Morsi calling Jews “the descendants of apes and pigs” and “bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians” has been taken out of context.
His remarks were condemned by the Obama administration this week.
“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,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
Speaking with a congressional delegation that included Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Morsi said he was referring to “racist” Israeli policies, not Jews in general.
“President Morsi assured the delegation that the broadcast comments were taken out of an address against the Israeli aggression against Gaza,” Morsi’s spokesman Yasser Ali said. “He also assured them of his respect for monolithic religions, freedom of belief and practicing religions.”
But another segment of video from 2010 that has been uncovered by the Middle East Media Research Institute shows Morsi– then a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood– taking aim directly at President Obama.
Morsi said, according to MEMRI translators:
“One American president after another – and most recently, that Obama – talks about American guarantees for the safety of the Zionists in Palestine. [Obama] was very clear when he uttered his empty words on the land of Egypt. He uttered many lies, of which he couldn’t have fulfilled a single word, even if he were sincere – which he is not.
“Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue.”
Here is the video:
Morsi was presumably referring to President Obama’s June 2009 speech in Cairo when he claimed Obama “uttered his empty words on the land of Egypt.”
Amid what have some have called “apologies” for America, Obama sought a new friendship with Egypt at the time:
“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
If Morsi hasn’t had change of heart since 2010, when he called Obama liar and urged Egyptians to “nurse” their children on a hatred of the West, the United States might be in for some trouble with our post-Arab Spring peace partner.
Despite it all, McCain said the congressional delegation will push for an additional $480 million in assistance to help Egypt’s faltering economy.