Egypt’s former defense minister and presidential candidate, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is actually Jewish, according to Egyptian journalist Saber Mashhour. Mashhour’s comments were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Mashhour claimed that “Al-Sisi was born in the Jewish Quarter. His father was an Arabesque dealer who traded with his Jewish neighbors.”
Egypt is arguably the most anti-Semitic country in the Middle East. Making a claim that a political opponent has Jewish origins may be calculated to undermine the opponent’s support among a large portion of the population.
Al-Sisi is perceived as being far more cooperative with neighboring Israel than was the previous Egyptian leader, Islamist Mohammed Morsi. Morsi supporters have been critical of Al-Sisi for his crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as for his security coordination with Israel against Islamists in the Sinai.