White House press secretary Jay Carney said today that the administration has faith in Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s commitment to peace with Israel despite Morsi’s anti-Semitic comments that have most recently emerged.
In a 2010 interview first aired on Lebanon’s Al-Quds TV, Morsi calls Jews the descendants of apes and pigs and denounced the Palestinian Authority as a creation of “the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people.”
“Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war,” Morsi said, “This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”
In a speech the same year, Moris urged Egyptians to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for Jews and Zionists.”
When asked if President Obama believes Morsi should retract his statements or offer an apology, Carney said they “strongly condemn” the remarks.
“President 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,” Carney said.
“Since taking office, President Morsi has reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to its peace treaty with Israel, 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,” he continued. “These commitments are essential for our bilateral relations with Egypt, as well as the stability in the region, but we will always speak out against language that espouses religious hatred or encourages the use of violence. And we have raised our concerns over these remarks with the government of Egypt.”
When asked how Egypt under Morsi can be trusted by Israel to hold up its end of the bargain, Carney reiterated “we strongly condemn these comments.”
“We work with President Morsi towards shared objectives, because he is the elected leader of Egypt. He has demonstrated in word and deed his commitment to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, and that’s significant,” he said. “And he obviously worked with us to resolve — or to achieve a peace settlement in — a cease-fire, rather, in the Gaza conflict last year.”