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The Boston Globe

World

Spokesman for Morsi explains Egypt leader’s remarks

CAIRO — A spokesman for President Mohammed Morsi said Wednesday that inflammatory comments that he made about Jews before taking office had been intended as criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians but had been taken out of context. The spokesman said that Morsi respected all monotheistic religions and religious freedom.

It was Morsi’s first public response to reports that as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood he had made anti-Semitic statements about Jews and Zionists. A recently resurfaced video of a speech that Morsi gave at a rally in his hometown in the Nile Delta nearly three years ago shows him urging his listeners ‘‘to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.’’ Ina television interview he gave the same year, Morsi criticized Zionists in recognizably anti-Semitic terms, as ‘‘these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.’’

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