Morsi removed affirmation of Arab peace plan from U.N. speech

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi omitted from his United Nations speech an affirmation of the Arab League peace plan that was in the advance text of his address, JTA has discovered.

Morsi’s remarks, as prepared for delivery and distributed by the Egyptian mission to the United Nations on Sept. 26, included an endorsement of the Saudi-initiated Arab plan, which would exchange pan-Arab recognition of Israel for Israel’s return to the 1967 lines and a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue.

It also included a recommitment to Egypt’s prior international agreements, which include the 1979 peace accords with Israel.

Morsi removed these two elements in his spoken remarks, instead endorsing Palestinian statehood without noting whether his vision would accommodate Israel.

The discrepancy emerged in a JTA analysis this week; Morsi’s speech, delivered on Yom Kippur, had not drawn much Jewish attention.

Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who assumed the presidency in June, has made a point of not mentioning Israel in his public pronouncements.

He drew Jewish criticism in mid-October for appearing to say "amen" while nodding when an Imam pleaded to God to "deal harshly" with the Jews.

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