Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed yesterday that no Jews were expelled from Egypt under the rule of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, according to Al-Masryalyoum. Publicly disagreeing with Essam El-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, who in December called for the Jews expelled by Nasser to return to Egypt, Abbas claimed that the Jews left Egypt “willingly” and “as a result of Zionist conspiracies.”
In 1956, the Egyptian Ministry of Religion issued a decree stating that “All Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state.” Around 25,000 Jews were expelled from Egypt that year, and by the 21st century, there were less than 100 Jews in the country.
Abbas said that any talk about Jews having “a right to obtain compensation” is not true. He also criticized Arab countries for not donating significant funds to the PA, as they are in “a very difficult situation,” according to Abbas.
Erian’s comments were not popular in Egypt. He resigned, allegedly because he was “occupied with other work.” But Israeli analysts said there was no doubt he was pressured to quit. The Islamic Jihad movement had called for Erian’s resignation, and Mohamed Abou Samra, the leader of the movement said that “Jews will destroy the economy and foment sedition. Islamic Shariah says they deserve to be killed.”