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      Islamic Cleric Charges: Morsi is a 'Zionist'

      An Islamic cleric who opposes the Muslim Brotherhood described Egyptian President as a “Zionist” who shares security interests with Israel.
      First Publish: 3/3/2013, 5:00 AM

      Mohammed Morsi
      Mohammed Morsi
      AFP photo

      An Islamic cleric who opposes the Muslim Brotherhood described Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on Friday as a “Zionist” who shares security interests with Israel, Al Arabiya reports.

      Speaking to protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Nasr, leader of the Front “Ozharyoun with civil state,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was coming to Egypt to support “Morsi the Zionist.”

      “They are all relatives, the Brotherhood and the Jews are one; Israel's security is part of the Brotherhood's security and the security of the Brotherhood is part of Israel's security,” Sheikh Nasr said, according to Al Arabiya.

      He described Kerry as a “Jew and the son of a Jew,” saying the American top diplomat would be received with mobs hurling eggs and tomatoes at him upon his arrival to Egypt.

      “As for myself, I have a special gift for him and for anyone who supports the regime of the Brotherhood’s regime,” Sheikh Nasr said, before removing his shoe and raising it in front of the crowd, reported Al Arabiya.

      Sheikh Nasr called for “continued struggle” until the establishment of a civil state in Egypt. “Europe and American and Brotherhoods are conspiring against the Egyptian Revolution to abort it because they know that if Egyptians take the right path of civilization they will create,” he claimed.

      The cleric also criticized Morsi over recent reports that his government is considering a proposal to auction the exploitation of key historical sites and monuments, including the pyramids, by foreign tourism firms.

      While Morsi has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo administrations, he has mostly given Israel the cold shoulder since taking office.

      In November, Morsi recalled the Egyptian ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.

      Last October, Egypt rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries, after the Jewish State expressed interest in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart.

      At the same time, recent reports indicated that Egypt will be sending a security delegation to Israel for the first time since Morsi took office.

      A Muslim Brotherhood official and a senior aide to President Mohammed Morsi recently caused an uproar in Egypt over his remarks that Egyptian Jews should leave Israel and reclaim their properties back at home.

      The official, Essam al-Erian, said during a television interview that "it is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation."

      He added that the Jews should return immediately 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."

      Erian later sought to dispel the controversy he caused by saying that the "ideology of Zionism" had ended in failure and predicting that Israel will cease to exist within a decade.

      He subsequently resigned from his position, with analysts saying that there was no doubt that he was pressure to quit after inviting back to Egypt the descendants of Jews who were thrown out of the country, or who fled due to anti-Semitic violence.