After touting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood colleagues as moderates, both the New York Times and the Obama administration were shocked into acknowledging a vastly different reality this week.
Each condemned comments Morsi made in a 2010 interview, recently unearthed and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Zionists, Morsi said, are “blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”
The vision of a peaceful, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “an illusion,” he said.
“Therefore, these negotiations must stop once and for all. Everybody must turn to the support of the resistance, which is the option chosen by the Palestinians and by us all – the Arabs and the Muslims, Palestinians and others. We must all realize that resistance is the only way to liberate the land of Palestine.”
MEMRI posted the video and its translation January 4, but it generated little attention until writers Richard Behar and Jeffrey Goldberg called attention to it. “Surely, if the president of virtually any other country in the world had defamed an entire people in such a way — only a couple years before they got the top job, to boot — it would have at least gotten a few column-inches,” Behar wrote. “Yet Morsi gets a free pass.”
The Times published a story Monday by Cairo Bureau Chief David Kirkpatrick and an editorial Wednesday criticizing the statements. But in both cases, the newspaper failed to show that Morsi’s views were no aberration. Rather, they are part of a continuum of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel incitement that dates back to the organization’s original ideologues.
The information is in the Times‘ own archives, but apparently nobody looked. Instead, the editorial weakly aimed for a context to explain Morsi’s hate speech away, and threw in outrageous moral relativism. “The problem goes deeper than just Mr. Morsi, however. The remarks were made at a time when anti-Israel sentiment was running high in Egypt and the region after the three-week Gaza conflict in 2009 between Israel and Hamas,” the Times editorial said. “The sad truth is that defaming Jews is an all too standard feature of Egyptian, and Arab, discourse; Israelis are not immune to responding in kind either.”
Well, no on both counts. Casting Morsi’s statements somehow as a reaction to Israel’s 2009 war with Gaza ignores the fact that Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders routinely offer conspiracies blaming Jews for Egypt’s problems. They call for jihad to liberate Palestine in times of peace and times of turmoil. And no Israeli leader, or state-sanctioned media, has come close to responding in-kind.
To his credit, Kirkpatrick’s story identifies a second 2010 video in which Morsi urges Muslims “to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews…”
But the article fails to show the deeper context. This kind of speech is nothing new for the Muslim Brotherhood. Sayyid Qutb, one of the group’s luminaries, even wrote a book called “Our Battle with the Jews.” He cited the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and blamed Jews for Muslim problems.
“From such creatures who kill, massacre and defame prophets one can only expect the spilling of human blood and dirty means which would further their machinations and evilness,” he wrote.
Examples in the Times‘ own news archive and in other outlets show that Morsi and fellow Muslim Brotherhood leaders adhere to Qutb’s anti-Semitism, which is, and always has been, a hallmark of the Brotherhood’s ideology.
Read more at IPT
- The Real Mohamed Morsi (counterjihadreport.com)
- New clips quote Morsi calling Obama a liar, urging Muslims to nurse hatred of Jews (timesofisrael.com)
- US says Morsi backtrack on anti-Semitic remarks lacking (timesofisrael.com)
- Egypt’s Morsi says speech against Jews taken out of – Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
- BBC Corrects Report on Morsi Video (commentarymagazine.com)