Cairo, 21 Shafar 1434/03 January 2013 (MINA) – 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, according to a report published in Al Arabia News monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) Wednesday.
The remark by Essam al-Erian, the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, was an attempt to explain a previous statement to the effect that Jews who once lived in Egypt should return to their home country and leave Israel to the Palestinians.
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 newspaper.
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 other Israeli media outlets.
Earlier this week Israel’s Channel 10 welcomed Erian’s 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 the Egyptian Al-Wafd newspaper.
“It is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation,” Erian was quoted as saying in an interview with the local Dream TV network on Thursday.
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. (T/R-020/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)