(JTA) The head of Egypt’s Jewish community said in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper recently that Zionism is racism.

“Zionism is a racist movement that discriminates between people on the basis of religion,” Magda Haroun told Al-Masry Al-Youm in an interview that was translated and published Tuesday on the website of the Egyptian Independent. “The failure to draw a distinction between Judaism as a religion and the Israeli state is the result of ignorance, which is to blame on social science curricula and teachers.”

Haroun was elected head of the Egyptian Jewish community in April, shortly after the death of Carmen Weinstein, who had led the community for more than 20 years.

Approximately 40 Jews live in Egypt, mostly elderly women, split between Cairo and Alexandria.

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