Published January 16, 2013
CAIRO – A spokesman for Egypt's Islamist president says Mohammed Morsi's comments nearly three years ago about Jews were taken out of context.
The Obama administration admonished Morsi over what it called the "deeply offensive" comments and called on him to repudiate them.
Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said Wednesday that Morsi told a U.S. Senate delegation that a distinction must be made between criticism of what he called the "racist" policies of the Israelis against the Palestinians and insults against the Jewish faith.
Last week video of the comments was broadcast on Egyptian television, showing Morsi in 2010 — then a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood — referring to "Zionists" as "bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians" as well as "the descendants of apes and pigs."