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HAIFA, Israel – A key figure in Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s government called the Holocaust a hoax cooked up by U.S. intelligence operatives and claimed the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the U.S.
The outrageous claims, by Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to President Morsi who is now responsible for appointing the editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers, came as the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, and also as the U.S. continues to assess its relationship with the increasingly radical Arab state.
“The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented,” Shihab-Eddim said, leaving no room for doubt that the Egyptian government — like Iran’s — has at the very least significant elements that deny humanity’s greatest crime of all.
“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,” Shihab-Eddim said.
The ludicrous claims were especially worrisome to Israeli experts who have been watching since the Muslim Brotherhood Morsi administration took over the Egyptian government in elections last summer, following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, who maintained good relations with Israel. Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center in New York, said Shihab-Eddin’s comments were as troubling as they were ridiculous.
“Fathi goes on to claim that the 6 million Jews all really moved to the United States during the war (and oddly no one noticed) and that the number of Jews killed in the war was about the number who died in traffic accidents,” Greenfield wrote in Frontpagemag.com.
Efraim Zuroff, Israel Director of the Jerusalem-based Simon Weisenthal Center, whose mission is to defend against anti-Semitism and teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations, told FoxNews.com the remarks show a dangerous, but common, mindset.
“Obviously, if a person in that position makes that ridiculous claim it is of concern,” Zuroff said. “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.”
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