Egypt's Morsi says his Jewish slurs misunderstood
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday vitriolic remarks he made against Jews and Zionists in 2010 had been taken out of context and said he was not against the Jewish faith.
"As I have said before the quotes were taken out of context... I am not against the Jewish faith, I am not against Jews who practice their religion," Morsi told a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Morsi asserted in the September 2010 video that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are "a waste of time and opportunities" as Arabs and Muslims get nothing out of engagement with "the descendants of apes and pigs."
On Wedensday Morsi defended himself, stating, "I was talking about the practices and behavior of believers of any religion who shed blood or who attack innocent people or civilians. That's behaviour that I condemn."
"I am a Muslim. I'm a believer and my religion obliges me to believe in all prophets, to respect all religions and to respect the right of people to their own faith," he added.
Berlin was alarmed by video that emerged in recent weeks showing Morsi making the vitriolic remarks against Jews and Zionists when he was a senior official of the Muslim Brotherhood. Germany's Nazi past and strong support of Israel make it highly sensitive to anti-Semitism.