First Published: 2013-01-16


US denounces Morsi’s anti-Semitic video remarks


Washington urges Egyptian President to retract vitriolic anti-Semitic remarks made during 2010 TV interview.


Middle East Online

He called Israelis blood suckers and war mongers, and descendants of pigs and apes

WASHINGTON - The United States on Tuesday condemned vitriolic anti-Semitic remarks attributed to Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi before he was elected, and urged him to clarify his views.

"The language that we've seen is deeply offensive," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding "we think that these comments should be repudiated, and they should be repudiated firmly."

According to a TV clip released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Morsi refers in a 2010 interview to "occupiers of Palestine" as "blood suckers and war mongers, and descendants of pigs and apes."

"We must resist them with all forms of resistance. A military resistance in Palestine against these Zionist criminals assaulting the land of Palestine and Palestinians," he says in the remarks to Quds Channel three years ago.

He also denounces Middle East peace talks saying "the Palestinian Authority was created by the Zionists and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people," according to a translation from the Washington-based MEMRI.

Morsi, who was a leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, came to power last year as the Arab nation's first democratically-elected president.

His election, and a later apparent power grab which he then reversed under pressure, has raised eyebrows in the West, which is fearful his rise could signal a political shift in the country which has been a cornerstone of regional peace.

Nuland said Washington had already raised its concerns about the television clip with Cairo, and stressed again that Congress, which has blocked part of $1 billion in extra US aid, was watching the new Egyptian leadership carefully.

"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," she told journalists. "It's counter to the goals of peace."

"President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable or productive in a democratic Egypt," added White House spokesman Jay Carney.

The two administration officials stressed, however, that since coming to office, Morsi had reaffirmed Egypt's commitment to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

He had done so "in both word and deed, and has proven willing to work with us toward shared objectives, including a cease-fire during the crisis in Gaza last year," Carney said.

Washington would judge Morsi by both what he says and what he does, Nuland added.

"What he has been doing is supporting that peace treaty, continuing to work with us and with Israel on common goals, including in Gaza. But we'll also judge him by what he says."

According to a further clip seen by the New York Times, Morsi earlier in 2010 addressed a rally in which he urged Egyptians to "nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred" for Jews.


New report accuses Syria of chemical attack in Qmenas village

For second day, Iraq forces clash with ISIS in Kirkuk

Battles rage in Yemen despite three-day truce

Turkey PM warns EU: Turkey has alternatives!

Food crisis reaching critical levels north of South Sudan

Turkey hits Kurdish group in Syria again

Kremlin aims to 'liberate' Syria with Assad in power

Egypt court upholds 20-year sentence for Morsi

Islamic Jihad stages show of force in Gaza

UN says 'crimes' in Aleppo are 'of historic proportions'

IS sniper kills Iraqi journalist in Kirkuk

US official says coalition should target IS in Raqa after Mosul

Moscow extends Aleppo ceasefire

Italy PM says officials should have voted against UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

Syrian ‘Toy Smuggler’ accused of fraud

UN: IS may use civilians as human shields in Mosul

Armed men attack refugee boat off Libya

US says will work with Turkey to deal IS 'lasting defeat'

Moscow ‘highly concerned’ at jihadists’ refusal to leave Aleppo

Four Palestinians arrested by their security forces for settlement visit

Mauritania president says no change to two-term limit

UN delays Aleppo evacuations due to lack of security assurances

Oman denies reports of arms smuggling to Yemen

Israel looking to buy three more German submarines

83 migrants rescued off Cyprus

Under pressure in Mosul, IS fighters attack Kirkuk

Air strikes hit Yemen rebels despite ceasefire

US officials: Iran boosting arms sales to Huthis via Oman

Iraq forces make gains against IS near Mosul

Arab coalition accuses Yemen rebels of breaching truce

Italian PM blocks EU sanctions threat against Russia over Aleppo

Pentagon chief in Turkey for talks on tensions with Iraq

Israeli occupation troops kill Palestinian teenager

Iraqis flee IS-held Mosul for war-torn Syria

Five years after his death, Kadhafi's 'Green Book' is ridiculed in Libya

Iraq issues warrant for former governor of Mosul

EU leaders threaten sanctions against Assad allies

Syria army urges residents to evacuate Aleppo during ceasefire

British warships shadow Syria-bound Russian naval force

Turkey unexpectedly keeps interest rate steady

British PM urges united EU response to Russia over Syria 'atrocities'

UN gets ‘green light’ from all parties for Aleppo evacuations

Iran president: we must be hospitable to foreign businessmen

British Al-Jazeera reporter freed in Somalia

Turkish planes raid US-backed Kurdish militias