Egyptian political scientist Ammar Ali Hassan is demanding that the world’s Jewish population contribute to returning to Egypt “the treasures they stole from us,” with interest, during the Biblical exodus led by Moses.
In an interview with Egypt’s Channel 1 in July, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute and posted by The Jerusalem Post, Hassan alleged that the world’s Jewish population owed Egyptians the value of various golden treasures taken from the land during the great exodus. He claimed that the exodus was biblical fact sufficient to use against the Jewish peoples of the world to reclaim gold stolen at the time, but he does not single out any specific Jewish population, or Israel’s government, as owing that debt. He added as “evidence” that many works of art and literature portray Jewish people as thieves prone to avarice, chalking up the stereotype to truth rather than brute racism.
“When they left they stole Egypt’s gold and treasures,” he explained in the interview. “Many of the studies on Jewish financial conduct in the history of Egypt, as well as in the history of humanity as a whole…Take, for example the character of Shylock in the ‘Merchant of Venice,’ by Shakespeare.” Hassan insisted that Shylock, a fictional character from medieval Italy, “is a replica of the Jew who lived in Egypt.”
“We demand that they return the treasures they stole from us, including the interest they denied the Egyptian economy for many decades,” he concluded.
Hassan was once a vocal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and appears to continue to be a political Islamist and anti-Semite. He also continues to promote many congruent virtues of the party’s philosophy, despite airing differences publicly with the group. He rescinded his support of the Egyptian political party during the tenure of President Mohamed Morsi, claiming the new Islamist constitution was a “catastrophe” and accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of misleading well-meaning Islamists like himself.
The Egyptian government under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has taken significant strides to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood party. Having proposed that the Muslim Brotherhood would be “finished” should he win the election as a candidate, the Sisi administration has arrested and sentenced many Muslim Brotherhood members for crimes committed during the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, including upholding a death sentence for Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie. The crackdown on the Islamist group has triggered significant discontent among Islamists against the Sisi government.