Govt distances itself from comments on return of Egyptian Jews

Govt distances itself from comments on return of Egyptian Jews

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Tue, 01/01/2013 - 20:55

President Mohamed Morsy's administration is not responsible for recent comments by a Muslim Brotherhood leader encouraging the return of Egyptian Jews from Israel, spokesperson Yasser Ali stressed Tuesday.

Ali refused to comment on Freedom and Justice Party deputy Essam al-Erian's 27 December statement predicting the demise of Israel within 10 years, and calling on Jews living there to return to their original countries, including Egypt.

"These statements represent a personal point of view," Ali said, adding that the president's advisers do not speak on behalf of the administration.

Shura Council spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy also said Erian's comments do not represent either the council or the Freedom and Justice Party. The party recently made Erian majority leader of the Shura Council.

“Those are private comments he made as a politician, and they do not reflect the council’s position, but rather his personal view. The council’s  official spokesperson is its speaker,” Fahmy said during an interview with Al-Hayat satellite channel Tuesday.

“Jews did not leave Egypt forcibly during President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s time, they departed willingly and with the help of organizations serving the Zionist entity. Jews took part in wars against Egypt and killed Egyptians in 1956, 1967 and 1973. Hostility is their creed,” Fahmy claimed.

The presence of Egyptian Jews in the occupied Palestinian territories contributes to the Zionist occupation of Arab lands, and every Egyptian has the right to live in his country — nobody can deny that, Erian had said during an interview on privately owned Dream TV satellite channel Thursday.

“Why did Nasser expel them [the Jews] from Egypt?” he asked, claiming that Nasser’s decisions contributed to the occupation of other Arab lands.

"Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity," said Erian.

Erian reiterated his call Tuesday while speaking to reporters from independent newspapers at the Freedom and Justice Party’s office. He said encouraging Jews to return to Egypt would prompt Russia and Ethiopia to do the same, thus hastening the resolution of the Palestinian crisis.

“This is like a dream," he said, "yet it can come true."

Lawyer Mohamed Salem filed a complaint with prosecutors on Saturday against Erian, demanding he be stripped of parliamentary immunity and interrogated for his remarks which, Salem said, endanger the country's sovereignty and unity. He also accused the Islamist leader of disseminating false information by suggesting that Arab and Egyptian Jews in the occupied lands, who left Egypt during Nasser's presidency, are to be blamed for the occupation.