Jan 2, 2013
Jan 2, 2013
In a perceived attempt to temper controversial remarks made earlier in the week, a senior Egyptian official who also serves as an adviser to President Mohammed Mursi said on Tuesday that Israel will cease to exist within a decade.
During an interview with private Egyptian television channel ONTV, Erian, the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, attempted to explain a previous statement he had made, in which he invited Egypt-born Jews to their home country and leave Israel to the Palestinians.
But in the latest of a series of inflammatory comments from the Brotherhood official, Erian said: the “ideology of Zionism” had ended in failure and that “Palestine’s occupiers” should leave to make way for the return of Palestinians.
“Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians’ right of return,” he said. “Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine.”
All but a handful of the Egyptian Jewish community, once 80,000-strong, left the country after the Israel-Egypt wars of 1948, 1956 and 1967, many to Israel, notes the Telegraph.
Erian’s latest comments have alarmed Israel, with the official Israel Radio expressing “disappointment.”
According to Egypt private-owned newspaper “Youm 7,” Israel Radio blasted Erian, saying Israel has never questioned the legitimacy of the Egyptian state, and expects to be treated equally by Egypt, with which it has a peace treaty.
The backlash from Israel Radio was an altogether different response from Israeli media when Erian made his first comments earlier this week.
Israel’s Channel 10 had welcomed Erian’s initial remarks inviting Jews to return to Egypt.
“After thousands of years since Egyptian Jews left Egypt, finally someone has called for their return,” the channel said, according to a report from the Egyptian Al-Wafd newspaper.
Erian was quoted as having said during an interview with the local Dream TV network on Thursday: “It is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation.”
He added that Jews should return to Egypt to “make way for the Palestinian people” and said, “Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion.
“Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity,” Erian added.