Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi AFP/File

An Egyptian historian has fingered the Muslim Brotherhood as being responsible for the country's Jews fleeing Egypt.

The history professor, Khaled Fahmi, made the remarks during an interview which aired on Al-Nahar TV on January 3, 2013. They were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

"The Muslim Brotherhood bears much of the responsibility for the fleeing of the Jews from Egypt," Fahmi said. "All the writings of the Muslim Brotherhood... If you grab a copy of their Al-Nazir newspaper [from the late 1930s], the editor-in-chief of which was Salah Al-Ashmawi, you will see that there were many anti-Jewish articles – articles that did not distinguish between Zionism and the Jews. An article published in 1938 accused the Jews, among many other things... The article was titled 'The Danger of the Jews to the Islamic and Christian world.' It accused the Jews of being the cause of British colonialism in India. It claimed that the real colonialists in India were the Jews, not the British."

According to Fahmi, "The conflict in Palestine also left its mark on Egypt. There were big skirmishes in 1945. The Jewish synagogue in the Mosky neighborhood was burned down, grenades were thrown, grenades were thrown, and people died."

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.

"Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians' right of return," he said. "Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine."

Erian 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.

In response to Erian's comments, the Islamic Jihad terrorist group vowed to fight Jews if they return to Egypt, saying they deserve to be killed.

A video recently released by MEMRI shows that Morsi himself in 2010 rejected negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and referred to Jews as "apes and pigs".