H/T Bad Faun
James P writes:
Subject: Egyptian liberal democracy in action!A Holocaust denier and a 9/11 Truther–who could ask for a more benign political figure in the new, democratic Egypt? Hooray for freedom and democracy!
Here’s the article from the Jerusalem Post that James sent:
Anne Frank a ‘fake,’ says ‘liberal’ Egyptian leader
By OREN KESSLER
A leader of Egypt’s most influential secular party on Wednesday dismissed the Holocaust as a “lie,” the Diary of Anne Frank as a “fake” and the September 11 attacks as “made in the USA.”The comments by the vice chairman of the putatively liberal Wafd Party pour cold water on lingering hopes that post- Mubarak Egypt could serve as an exemplar of a modern, progressive democracy in the Arab world’s most populous state.
“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.”