Aide to Egyptian President Morsi claims Holocaust a U.S. hoax
HAIFA, Israel – A key figure in Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's government called the Holocaust a hoax cooked up by U.S. intelligence operatives and claimed the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the U.S.
The outrageous claims, by Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to President Morsi who is now responsible for appointing the editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers, came as the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, and also as the U.S. continues to assess its relationship with the increasingly radical Arab state.
“The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented,” Shihab-Eddim said, leaving no room for doubt that the Egyptian government -- like Iran's -- has at the very least significant elements that deny humanity’s greatest crime of all.
“U.S. intelligence agencies in cooperation with their counterparts in allied nations during World War II created it [the Holocaust] to destroy the image of their opponents in Germany, and to justify war and massive destruction against military and civilian facilities of the Axis powers, and especially to hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb,” Shihab-Eddim said.
The ludicrous claims were especially worrisome to Israeli experts who have been watching since the Muslim Brotherhood Morsi administration took over the Egyptian government in elections last summer, following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who maintained good relations with Israel. Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center in New York, said Shihab-Eddin's comments were as troubling as they were ridiculous.
“Fathi goes on to claim that the 6 million Jews all really moved to the United States during the war (and oddly no one noticed) and that the number of Jews killed in the war was about the number who died in traffic accidents,” Greenfield wrote in Frontpagemag.com.
Efraim Zuroff, Israel Director of the Jerusalem-based Simon Weisenthal Center, whose mission is to defend against anti-Semitism and teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations, told FoxNews.com the remarks show a dangerous, but common, mindset.
“Obviously, if a person in that position makes that ridiculous claim it is of concern," Zuroff said. "The sad truth is that these views are relatively common in the Arab world and are the result of ignorance on one hand and of government-sponsored Holocaust denial on the other hand.”
The latest Holocaust denial from a senior Egyptian figure comes hot on the heels of the much-publicized comments made by President Morsi in 2010, that Jews are “the descendants of apes and pigs,” remarks that Morsi insists were taken out of context. Despite Morsi's claims, archivists subsequently said the Egyptian leader made similar statements repeatedly before he rose to power.
Mohammed el-Baradei, a leading figure in Egypt’s secular opposition and formerly the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke out against Morsi’s remarks and his assertion that his comments had been misinterpreted.
“We are all aware that those statements were not taken out of context and that this discourse is very common among a large number of clerics and members of Islamist groups, El-Baradei said. "Apart from the remarks themselves, I am calling upon the person who made them to courageously admit either the real stance he and the Muslim Brotherhood and their followers adopt, or how mistaken they had been for all those years.”
Anti-Semitic statements and denial of the Holocaust are seemingly part and parcel of the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine. Among many examples of the vitriol espoused by senior figures from the parent organization of the terrorist group Hamas, one of their spiritual leaders and a popular Islamic television figure, Youssef Al-Qaradawi said, “I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad [Israel] and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom.”
Al-Qaradawi further stated in a 2009 broadcast about the Holocaust, “He [Hitler] managed to put them [the Jews] in their place. This [the Holocaust] was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”
With Morsi facing significant resistance to his rapid imposition of more stifling legislation in Egypt, fears are rising that Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, and anti-Israeli rhetoric will increase in a country that continues to receive significant financial and logistical support from the U.S. The Obama administration recently began shipping a foreign aid package to Egypt that includes 20 F-16 fighter jets and 200 Abrams tanks.
Zuroff said the sinister statements by a top Morsi aide should give other nations pause for thought in evaluating their relationships with the new government in Cairo.
“Government-sponsored Holocaust denial is the most dangerous...as opposed to attempts by individuals to convince people that the Holocaust did not take place," Zuroff said. "When it comes with a strict Islamic interpretation and one which is basically anti-Semitic, then it becomes much more dangerous.”
WH GIVES F-16’s to Egypt/Muslim Brotherhood
Four F-16 fighter jets left the U.S. this morning, bound for Egypt as part of a foreign aid package critics say should have been scrapped when the nation elected a president who has called President Obama a liar and urged that hatred of Jews be instilled in children.
A source who works on the Naval Air Force Base in Dallas confirmed the departure of the state-of-the-art fighter planes to FoxNews.com. Sixteen F-16s and 200 Abrams tanks are to be given to the Egyptian government before the end of the year under a foreign aid deal signed in 2010 with then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally..
Critics, including several in Congress, say it doesn't make sense to follow through with the package, given that new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, elected last summer, has given decidedly mixed signals about relations with the U.S. While he has toned down his rhetoric since his election, in 2010 - the same year the aid package was struck - Morsi attacked Obama for supporting Israel.
“One American president after another — and most recently, that Obama — talks about American guarantees for the safety of the Zionists in Palestine," Morsi, then a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said on Egyptian television in reaction to Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo. "[Obama] was very clear when he uttered his empty words on the land of Egypt. He uttered many lies, of which he couldn’t have fulfilled a single word, even if he were sincere — which he is not.”
In the comments translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Morsi went on to urge that children be taught to hate Jews.
“Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them," he said. "They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue.”
Lawmakers told FoxNews.com that even if Morsi has softened his stance, it makes no sense to arm his Islamist government with weapons that could one day be used against Israel or even Egyptians.
“It is appalling that the Obama administration would send F-16s and 200 military tanks to Egypt in the wake of the instability, [and the] anti-American and anti-Israel atmosphere," Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas), told FoxNews.com.
The U.S. government ordered the planes for Egypt from Lockheed Martin in 2010, as part of an annual aid package that regularly topped $1 billion. But the very next year, a popular revolution began which ultimately resulted in Mubarak's ouster and imprisonment, and the election of Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. In November, Morsi tried to claim dictatorial powers, but was forced to back down from his claim after massive protests against the move.
Many worry that arming such a volatile Egypt will endanger Israel.
"My hope and prayer is that someone in this administration will wake up and smell the burning of [Israel's] future and rescind the supply of planes and tanks," Gohmert said. "If they do not, then perhaps there will arise leaders within our Congress with newfound courage to stop the lunacy."