A leader of Egypt’s top secular party says the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were “made in the USA,” the Holocaust is “a lie” and Anne Frank’s memoir is “a fake” — comments sure to roil the post-revolution political debate in the Arab world’s most populous country.
Ahmed Ezz El-Arab, a vice chairman of Egypt's Wafd Party, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with The Washington Times last week while in the Hungarian capital attending the Conference on Democracy and Human Rights.
He denied that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II.
“The Holocaust is a lie” Mr. Ezz El-Arab said. “The Jews under German occupation were 2.4 million. So if they were all exterminated, where does the remaining 3.6 million come from?”
Mr. Ezz El-Arab also attacked the authenticity of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which he said he studied as a doctoral student in Stockholm. “I could swear to God it’s a fake,” the Wafd leader said. “The girl was there, but the memoirs are a fake.”
Established in 1919 and disbanded in 1952, the Wafd Party was refounded in 1983 under reforms instituted by then-President Hosni Mubarak to allow token opposition to his dominant National Democratic Party.
“For four years, in alliance, we can build a constitution based on certain principles that guarantee human rights, citizenship, no religious trend whatsoever,” Mr. Ezz El-Arab said. “Once this is established, everybody can go to the ballot box and try his luck.”
“He’s a hateful character, so whatever he says can be criticized,” the Wafd leader said. “What he says about the Holocaust is true, but he doesn’t say it because it’s true. He says it out of hatred to the Israeli state.”
“It’s a shame that the West — the cradle of liberalism — should have a criminal law incriminating any discussion of any historical fact,” Mr. Ezz El-Arab said. “It’s a sacred cow. The ‘6 million’ is a sacred cow.”
“The vast majority of Egyptians think the Holocaust never happened,” Mr. Bargisi told The Times. “The fact that his presence in the party hierarchy hasn’t caused any objections tells you something about the farcical nature of Egyptian politics.”
“He could not have the know-how or the ability to do it,” he said, even though he called the dead al Qaeda leader “an American agent.”
“If he had the ability, one plane only landing on the Knesset would give more effect,” Mr. Ezz El-Arab said.
Mr. Ezz El-Arab spoke of “the intelligent American elite that is ruling” and said it had responded to the “disaster” of President George W. Bush by electing Barack Obama president: “Obama is a nice face that has been brought up, the black rabbit taken out of the American hat when it was needed.” (AUDIO: on President Obama)
Mr. Ezz El-Arab also claimed that, during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, “American soldiers with double Israeli nationality and Jewish religion” stole Jewish antiquities from the Babylonian exile period and had them reburied in Jerusalem to cement the Jewish historical claim on the city.
“It’s not a kind of monument robbery for selling in the black market,” he said. “The things they took from Babel, they took with the intention — to my judgment — of digging it under the Aqsa mosque [site of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount] so that when it’s discovered, they say, ‘Here was the temple.’ ” (AUDIO: on ‘double Israeli nationality’)
Despite the claim, Mr. Ezz El-Arab said he thinks that there once was a Jewish temple in Jerusalem and that Israeli Jews deserve to stay put.
“The Jews are there,” he said. “Good or bad, they are there. You cannot as a human being think of exterminating 6 million or 5 million or whatever. That’s crazy.”