Egyptian President Calls Jews 'Sons of Apes and Pigs'; World Yawns

Earlier this month, the Middle East Media Research Institute posted video taken in 2010 of Egypt's current president, Mohamed Morsi, calling Jews the "descendants of apes and pigs."

The Jerusalem Post provided this summary of his remarks:

"... Morsi denounced the Palestinian Authority as a creation of "the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people." Therefore, he stressed, "No reasonable person can expect any progress on this track."

"Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war," Morsi said, "This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know - these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs." (You can watch Morsi deliver these remarks here.)

Richard Behar, at Forbes, watched what happened once these atrocious remarks were made public:

I studied the Pigs-and-Apes story's journey and trajectory through America over the past week with Sue Radlauer, the Director of Research Services here at Forbes. We gave it seven days to see if any of the so-called "mainstream media" -- a pejorative phrase that too-often obscures more than it reveals -- bestowed the hate speech even a few sentences of back-page ink.  Nothing.

Of course, the demonization of Jews is commonplace and de rigueur in the Arab media (although most Americans wouldn't know that because they are not being made aware of it). But what makes this omission in Big Media especially egregious is that Morsi -- sometimes spelled Morsy or Mursi -- went even further than genetically pairing Jews with lower beasts. As you can see and hear for yourself in the Morsi Tapes, he called for an end to any and all negotiations for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians - droning on that all the land belongs to the latter. He called for a boycott of American goods because of its support for Israel. (Of course, he didn't bother mentioning that American taxpayers have provided nearly $70 billion of aid to Egypt, since it made peace with Israel in 1979, and the spigot continues for now.) He even went so far as to label the Palestinian Authority an entity "created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests."

Egypt is the largest Arab country. Morsi is its president. It seems noteworthy that the president of Egypt recently deployed a traditional Islamist, anti-Semitic formulation to describe Jews. Why, then, hasn't it been noted more widely? One possibility is, to borrow a phrase, the soft bigotry of low expectations. Another: Anti-Semites have done such a thorough job of convincing the media that anti-Semitism doesn't exist that when it does pop up it causes a paralyzing form of cognitive dissonance. I'm open to other explanations, so send them my way. 

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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