IPT: by Joel Himelfarb
According to senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official Essam el-Erian, Israel “will be destroyed within a decade.” In an interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, Erian said the 80,000 Jews who fled Egypt since Israel’s founding to escape violence and persecution should come back. He urged former Jewish residents of Egypt to “leave historic Palestine (i.e., Israel) and return to the land from which they came.”
“The Jews are occupying the historic Land of Palestine and are an obstacle to the Right of Return of the Palestinians,” added Erian, vice chairman of the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party, majority leader in Egypt’s upper house of Parliament and an advisor to President Mohamed Morsi.
“The Jewish occupiers of this territory” can “go out to other places they consider best for them,” Erian said in the interview, translated by the newspaper Israel Hayom. “The Zionist ideology ended in failure and this project (Israel)” is “fated to collapse in coming years,” he said.
Erian blamed Israel for Arab nations’ weapons purchases and longstanding failure to democratize.
“The Zionist project in Palestine came to prevent the existence of democracy in the Arab countries, and to prevent the presence of Arab unity and development in the Arab region,” he said. “It came to deplete the wealth of the Arabs by making them stockpile weapons.”
“There will be no such thing as Israel; it will be called Palestine,” Erian stated. “We tell all those who came and occupied Palestine to return to their countries.”
Erian repeatedly has supported Hamas and likened Israelis to terrorists. In a July 2011 interview with journalist Michael Totten, Erian termed Hamas “a resistance group fighting for freedom and the liberation of their land from occupation.” He said their land “is occupied by the real terrorists (Israelis)” and that suicide bombings did not constitute terrorism because Hamas is fighting “for liberty.”
In a 2011 interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Erian again called Hamas a “resistance group” fighting “for freedom and liberation of their lands.” He also said the West “must revise their knowledge about Hamas, [so] that war and terrorism will come to an end. And mixing cards and putting (designating) Hamas and other resistance groups among terrorist groups, this was a fatal mistake of the West.”
But Erian’s anti-Jewish slurs and advocacy for a terrorist organization haven’t been enough to deny him entry to the United States. The Egypt Daily News reported that he traveled this country last month with an Arab parliamentary delegation and was scheduled to participate in a hearing about the United Nations’ role in “peace building” and “conflict resolution” in the Middle East.