Egyptian Justice Minister Ahmed el-Zend invoked antisemitic tropes in cursing the terrorists behind a bomb blast in Cairo that killed state prosecutor Hisham Barakat earlier this week.
“God Almighty will treat [the perpetrators] as he treats the Jews; they will wander through the land, a day will come where no country will accept them and they will not find a home, since there are no homelands for vileness and wickedness,” said Zend on Lebanese Sada el-Balad TV, according to Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.
In response, Jewish rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to demand an apology from the justice minister, who was actually appointed in May this year after his predecessor was forced to resign over class-prejudicial comments.
“Mr. President, in view of Egypt and Israel’s shared interests in the war against terrorism and the long history of the Jewish relationship with Egypt, we feel that the Justice Minister must apologize for his offense to the Jewish people – a statement we believe discordant to Egyptian policy and disrespectful to your own government,” wrote Dr. Shimon Samuels, the center’s director for international affairs.
The Egyptian state prosecutor was killed on Monday when his motorcade was hit by a bomb in the Cairo neighborhood of Heliopolis, in what has been one of the most tumultuous weeks in Egypt since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military, with multiple terrorist attacks in the Sinai peninsula and the slaying of several Muslim Brotherhood leaders in a Cairo apartment.