ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, staged a massive anti-Israel rally
outside of Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque following Friday prayers, the Associated Press reported.
The anti-Israel rally, the first of its kind by the Muslim Brotherhood since the Islamist party took power from Egypt’s military nearly a year ago, protested Israel’s recent brief detention of the Mufti of Jerusalem and its purported airstrikes in Syria.
During the rally, demonstrators chanted, “The people want the destruction of Israel,” and a leading Muslim Brotherhood member got up and shouted over the microphone, “We will repeat it over and over, Israel is our enemy,” according to the Associated Press. Additional chants from the crowd urged the Egyptian army to launch a war against Israel to “liberate Palestine.”
While Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has repeatedly told Western officials that he will uphold his country’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, earlier this year a video of Morsi emerged where he described Zionists as “bloodsuckers” and “descendants of apes and pigs” in 2010.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s ultraconservative Salafi party, al-Nour, boycotted the anti-Israel rally. Instead, the Salafis urged Morsi to wage jihad.
“The fighters in Jerusalem, Afghanistan, Gaza, Palestine, Mali and Damascus need the sacrifices of money and souls rather than demonstrations and stances,” Egyptian Salafist leader Sheikh Murjan Salem al-Jawhari said, Al-Arabiya reported.