Morsi’s anti-Semitic remarks irk Washington

Morsi’s anti-Semitic remarks irk Washington

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Morsi’s anti-Semitic remarks irk Washington

Mohamed Morsi. AFP photo

The United States has condemned vitriolic anti-Semitic remarks attributed to Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi before he was elected to office, and urged him to make his views clear.

“The language that we’ve seen is deeply offensive,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Jan. 15, adding “we think that these comments should be repudiated firmly.”

According to a TV clip released by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, Morsi is seen referring 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.

Morsi, the leader of the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was elected last year as country’s first democratically president.

‘He should make clear the respects of the people’

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

“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,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

The two administration officials stressed 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 does, Nuland said.