Thursday, July 07, 2011
Ahmed Ezz al-Arab denies the Holocaust, thinks Anne Frank's diary is a fake, and has some bizarre theories about Jews burying Babylonian treasures on Temple Mount. Why should we pay attention to this crackpot? Because al-Arab is a leader of the 'secular, liberal' Wafd party, Egypt's oldest and the second most influential after the Muslim Brotherhood. The Jerusalem Post has this report:
“The Holocaust is a lie,” Ahmed Ezz el-Arab told The Washington Times in an interview.
“The Jews under German occupation were 2.4 million. So if they were all exterminated, where does the remaining 3.6 million come from?” Ezz el-Arab said he accepted that the Germans had killed “hundreds of thousands” of Jews, “but gas chambers and skinning them alive and all this? Fanciful stories.”
Ezz el-Arab dismissed The Diary of Anne Frank, which he said he studied as a doctoral student in Sweden, as a forgery.
“I could swear to God it’s a fake,” he said. “The girl was there, but the memoirs are a fake.”
The deputy chairman also questioned the accepted account of the September 11 attacks. Osama bin Laden “could not have the know-how or the ability to do it,” he said, calling the al-Qaida leader “an American agent."
“If he had the ability, one plane only landing on the Knesset would give more effect,” he said, naming the Mossad, CIA and America’s “military-industrial complex” as the actual perpetrators of the terrorist attacks.
Continuing the bizarre tirade, Ezz el-Arab said American soldiers “with double Israeli nationality and Jewish religion” stole Jewish antiquities from the Babylonian exile period and reburied them in Jerusalem to cement their 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 Aksa Mosque so that when it’s discovered, they say, ‘Here was the temple.’“ Mubarak’s ouster has stoked concerns in Israel that the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty could be abrogated. Ezz el- Arab, who chairs Wafd’s foreign relations committee, said there was “no chance at all” of that happening. “Egypt will not go to war unless it’s attacked,” he said.
The interview was conducted on the sidelines of the “First Annual Conference on Democracy and Human Rights,” hosted in Budapest late last month by the Tom Lantos Institute and Center for Democratic Transition. Lantos, a longtime Democratic congressman from California who died in 2008, survived a forced-labor camp in his native Hungary and lost his mother and other family members to the Nazi occupation.
Approximately 450,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
Ezz-el Arab identified with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial, which he said was founded on antipathy toward Israel.
“He’s a hateful character, so whatever he says can be criticized,” the Wafd leader said.
“[Nevertheless], 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.”
Iran – with which Egypt recently reinstated ties – hosted a Holocaust-denial conference in 2006 to protest the ban in many European countries on questioning the Nazi genocide.
“It’s a shame that the West – the cradle of liberalism – should have a criminal law incriminating any discussion of any historical fact,” Ezz el-Arab said. “It’s a sacred cow. The ‘Six Million’ is a sacred cow.”
A former Wafd youth leader told the newspaper that while Ezz el-Arab himself does not have a major constituency in Egypt or within the party itself, his views on the Holocaust are common.
“The vast majority of Egyptians think the Holocaust never happened,” Amr Bargisi said. “The fact that [Ezz el- Arab’s] presence in the party hierarchy hasn’t caused any objections tells you something about the farcical nature of Egyptian politics.”
The Wafd Party is one of Egypt’s oldest, established in 1919 and disbanded after the 1952 military coup that ended monarchic rule. The party was reestablished in 1983 under reforms Mubarak set in place to allow nominal opposition to the decades-long rule of the National Democratic Party.
Today – espousing a secular nationalist platform based on multi-party governance and human rights and featuring a cross and an Islamic crescent on its logo – it arguably represents the country’s most influential political bloc after the powerful Muslim Brotherhood.
Read article in full