Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
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.
SOURCE: HUFFINGTON POST