Top Aide to Egyptian President Morsi Says Holocaust Was a Hoax by the U.S.

An important figure in Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's administration has called the Holocaust a hoax put together U.S. intelligence operatives, and claims that the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the United States.

These outlandish claims were made by Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to Morsi who is charged with appointing the editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers. He made these remarks as the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, and as the U.S. continues to figure out its relationship with the increasingly radical nation.

Shihab-Eddim said:

“The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented.
U.S. intelligence agencies in cooperation with their counterparts in allied nations during World War II created it [the Holocaust] to destroy the image of their opponents in Germany, and to justify war and massive destruction against military and civilian facilities of the Axis powers, and especially to hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb.”

Efraim Zuroff of the Israel Director of the Jerusalem-based Simon Weisenthal Center responded to Shihab-Eddim's remarks, saying:

"The sad truth is that these views are relatively common in the Arab world and are the result of ignorance on one hand and of government-sponsored Holocaust denial on the other hand.”

The remarks concern Israeli experts who have been keeping an eye on Egypt ever since Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood administration took over the government in elections last summer.

President Morsi has also come out against Jews in the past. In 2010, Morsi stated that Jews are "the descendants of apes and pigs", but he insists that they were taken out of context. Nevertheless, archivists say that Morsi made similar statements repeatedly before he rose to power.

Anti-Semitic statements and Holocaust denial appear to be part of the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine.

Fears are now rising that anti-Semitism, anti-Israel rhetoric, and Holocaust denial will only increase in Egypt as Morsi faces strong resistance to his rapid imposition of more stifling legislation.

Zuroff says that the statements made by Morsi's top aide should inspire other nations to reevaluate their relationships with Cairo's new government.

The United States continues to give Egypt financial and logistical support, and the U.S. recently began shipping a foreign aid package to Egypt which includes 20 F-16 fighter jets and 200 Abrams tanks.