Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has told a group of U.S. senators that he is being smeared in the American media which is run by Jews. His remarks, reported in the Cable foreign affairs journal, were made to a delegation led Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) which included Sens. Chris Coons(D-DE), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY).
According to the report, the senators stopped in Cairo for a 90-minute meeting with Morsy that â€œdevolved into an uncomfortable set of exchanges as the senators pressed the Egyptian president to explain his 2010 comments describing Jews as â€˜bloodsuckers who attack Palestiniansâ€™ as well as â€˜the descendants of apes and pigs.â€™
â€œAfter the meeting, McCain issued a statement saying that the senators â€˜voiced our strong disapproval of the statementâ€™ and that the senators and Morsy â€˜had a constructive discussion on this subject.â€™ Morsy’s spokesman issued a statement after the meeting saying that Morsy believed in religious freedom and â€˜the need to distinguish between the Jewish religion, and those who belong to it, and violent actions against defenseless Palestinians.”â€™
But inside the meeting, the discussion over Morsy’s 2010 remarks was much more heated than either side publicly acknowledged afterwards, according to Coons. Addressing the comments was the first item on the senators’ agenda, and the discussion did not go well, he told The Cable in an interview.
“We tried to give President Morsy an opportunity, now that he is the president, to put his comments in a different context because he was claiming that he was taken out of context. On their face they seemed to be very offensive and inappropriate,” Coons said. “It was a difficult conversation.”
Morsy told the senators that the values of Islam teach respect for Christianity and Judaism, and he asserted repeatedly that he had no negative views about Judaism or the Jewish people, but then followed with a diatribe about Israel and Zionist actions against Palestinians, especially in Gaza.
“He was attempting to explain himself … then he said, â€˜Well, I think we all know that the media in the United States has made a big deal of this and we know the media of the United States is controlled by certain forces and they don’t view me favorably,’” Coons said.
The Cable asked Coons if Morsy specifically named the Jews as the forces that control the American media. Coons said all the senators believed the implication was obvious. “He did not say [the Jews], but I watched as the other senators physically recoiled, as did I,” he said. “I thought it was impossible to draw any other conclusion.”
“The meeting then took a very sharply negative turn for some time. It really threatened to cause the entire meeting to come apart so that we could not continue,” Coons said.
“[Morsi] did not say the Jewish community was making a big deal of this, but he said something [to the effect] that the only conclusion you could read was that he was implying it,” Coons said. “The conversation got so heated that eventually Senator McCain said to the group, â€˜OK, we’ve pressed him as hard as we can while being in the boundaries of diplomacy,’” Coons said. “We then went on to discuss a whole range of other topics.”