WASHINGTON (JTA) – Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s past slurs against Jews are "deeply troubling" the White House said, and he should make clear his tolerance for non-Muslims.
"We strongly condemn the remarks that then Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi made in 2010," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in the daily reporters’ briefing on Tuesday. "The language that we have seen is deeply offensive."
In appearances in 2010, Morsi, then a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and before the upheaval that would unseat the Hosni Mubarak regime, called Jews "bloodsuckers" and "descendants of apes and pigs."
The remarks surfaced earlier this month in video aired by an Egyptian satirist who has targeted Morsi’s Islamism and in a release by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Morsi was elected president last June.
Carney said the Obama administration has raised its concerns with the Morsi government.
"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," he said, while noting that Morsi was abiding by the 1979 peace treaty with Israel and had helped bring about the cease-fire ending last month’s war between Israel and Hamas.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum called on Morsi to repudiate his past remarks.
"Anti-Semitic remarks are inappropriate for any religious or political leader at any time," the congressionally mandated museum said. "As a world leader, President Morsi has a particular responsibility to renounce anti-Semitism and recognize that it has no place in political discourse."