Dutch Jewish journalist Leon de Winter says he refuses to pay taxes to a government that supports the current Cairo government headed by President Mohamed Morsi.
Remarks made by the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president in a 2010 Arabic-language interview with Al-Quds television, recently translated into English, included the declaration that Jews are the “descendants of apes and pigs.” The vicious slur is among radical Islamist clerics, including those who broadcast virulent anti-Semitic sermons on Egyptian television. Video clips of the sermons are translated by MEMRI, the Middle East Research Media Institute, which monitors Arabic-language broadcasts.
In a recent editorial Winter bluntly labeled Morsi a “seasoned anti-Semite, the leader of a religious-political group that cannot be described as anything other than an Islamic-Fascist movement.”
He went on to write that Morsi is very clear when he speaks in Arabic to his own people, “and not [in English] with [U.S.] President [Barack] Obama on the phone.”
Winter wrote that he refuses to pay taxes to the government of the Netherlands, where he lives, because it is part of the European Union – which has continued its financial support to the Egyptian government – knowing full well it places him at risk of arrest and imprisonment. “So be it,” he wrote. “The shame is not in my refusal, the shame is with our political elites… We finance a movement in Egypt that dreams of the death of the Jews and the downfall of the West.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney meanwhile condemned Morsi’s remarks at a briefing Tuesday in Washington D.C., calling them “deeply offensive.” He commented that the vicious language was not unusual for Arab leaders in the region, but that the Obama administration considered actions to be louder than words.
“We strongly condemn the remark that then-Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi made in 2010. The language that we have seen is deeply offensive. We completely reject these statements, as we do any language that espouses religious hatred. This discourse–this is a broader point–this kind of discourse has been acceptable in the region for far too long and it’s counter to the goal of peace. President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths, and that this type of rhetoric is not acceptable or productive in a democratic Egypt. Since taking office President Morsi has reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to its peace treaty with Israel in both word and deed, and has proven willing to work with us towards shared objectives including a ceasefire during the crisis in Gaza last year. These commitments are essential to our bi-lateral relations with Egypt as well as for stability in the region.”
Last week Morsi met with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi at the presidential palace in Cairo, as Tehran continues its attempts to tighten relations with Egypt. Iran has generously supplied Gaza terrorists via routes that travel through Egypt, with funding, technology and weaponry — including medium and long-range missiles that were fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during Israel’s recent counter terror offensive, Operation Pillar of Defense.