Egyptian Jews: Essam el-Erian, Muslim Brotherhood Official, Urges Jewish Expats To Return

By SARAH EL DEEB 01/03/13 01:55 PM ET EST

CAIRO — A leading Muslim Brotherhood member and adviser to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi created a stir in Egypt when he called on Egyptian Jews in Israel to return home because Egypt is now a democracy and because the Jewish state won’t survive.

Essam el-Erian’s remarks in a TV appearance put the Brotherhood, which holds power in Egypt, on the spot as opponents – and some allies – jumped on the comments to denounce the group. Morsi’s office this week disassociated the president from the comments, saying they were el-Erian’s personal opinion.

The criticism ran an unusual gamut of Egyptians’ attitudes toward Jews, Israel and the Brotherhood itself.

Some denounced the Brotherhood for trying to put up a veneer of tolerance by inviting Jews to return while Egypt’s other religious minorities, particularly Christians, are increasingly worried about persecution under the new Islamist rulers and an Islamist-slanted constitution.

Others saw the comments as a sort of outreach to Zionists, considered the enemy, and as a new example of how the Brotherhood has had a hard time melding its longtime anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish rhetoric with its new responsibilities since coming to power. Under Morsi – who hails from the Brotherhood – the government has continued cooperation with Israel, upheld the two countries’ peace deal and Morsi last month helped mediate a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.

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1 reply

  1. Muhammad Morsi has to amend the constitution first, giving religious rights to every one in Egypt. he should deal with Christians a nd Jews as did Hazrat Umar ibne Khattab when taking over keys of Jerusalem.

    There should be guarantee of complete liberty for every one.Morsi is not walk on the path of Khumaini sahib or Mulla Umar.

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