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Egypt’s main newspaper issued a retraction yesterday after receiving complaints following a WorldNetDaily article exposing the publication of a two-part series that denied the Holocaust and claimed Jews invented “lies of genocide” to extort the West and make possible the establishment of the Jewish state.

Al-Liwaa al-Islami issued a statement that the Holocaust series it published expressed only “the opinion of the writer, which is subject to discussion, agreement or rejection.”

The article in question, “The Lie About the Burning of the Jews,” was written by Dr. Rif’at Sayyed Ahmad, director of the Jaffa Research Center in Cairo and columnist for the paper.

Ahmad wrote that to justify the founding of Israel, “the Zionist movement … resorted to means that are closer to lies and myths more than reality and truth.” Among them, he wrote, was “the lie of burning the Jews in the Nazi gas chambers during World War II.”

“What interests us here is that this lie [about] the burning of the Jews in the Nazi crematoria has been disseminated throughout the world until our time in order to extort the West and make it easier for the Jews of Europe to hunt [sic] Palestine and establish a state on it, in disregard of the most basic principles of international law and the right of peoples to independent life without occupation. [This lie] was raised [also] so that [the Jews] would receive financial, technological and economic aid from the West…” Ahmad wrote, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

Several Christian and Jewish leaders who read the article and contacted WorldNetDaily were put in touch with Al-Liwaa Al-Islami editor Muhammad al-Zorkany and demanded his newspaper print an immediate retraction.

Al-Zorkany, who issued a statement distancing Al-Liwaa Al-Islami from the article, said he hadn’t expected Ahmad’s column to cause such controversy.

Ahmad, though, refused to take back his words.

“The issue should be the holocaust that the Palestinians are going through, not the Jews,” said Ahmad, who heads a think tank specializing in Palestinian and Lebanese Islamic movements. “The West has a serious problem of double standards.”

Israeli politicians and American Jewish leaders said they are concerned about allowing Egypt, which uses state-controlled media to routinely vilify Israel, to set up a security apparatus along the Gaza border after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s planned withdrawal in 2005. And they cite Egypt’s failure to stop construction of weapons-smuggling tunnels from its country into the Rafah refugee camp as proof the country can’t be trusted.

Last year, the same newspaper ran a piece that claimed Jews use Christian and Muslim blood to bake matzos for Passover, and state-controlled Egyptian television aired a miniseries depicting “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an age-old anti-Semitic story that claims Jews run the world by proxy.

“These despicable lies expose Egypt as a distributor of vicious, dangerous anti-Israel propaganda, just like the PLO,” Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told WorldNetDaily.

“So they issued a statement about one article, big deal. The problem is more systemic than that. The lies will continue,” said Klein.

Related stories:

Egypt newspaper: Holocaust a lie

Arab TV: Jews ate Christian’s blood

Columnist: Jews use human blood in baking

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