“We reject those comments that have racist implications and deny historical and geographical truths,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Such words provoke the anger not only of the Palestinians but also of any person with conscience. (…) They also undermine the efforts to achieve calm between Palestinians and Israelis,” the Foreign Ministry stressed.
Speaking on Sunday at a tribute to the late Jewish extremist Jacques Kupfer, Smotrich said that “the Palestinian people are an invention that is less than 100 years old. (…) We own this land,” said the leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, known for its racist and anti-Arab stances.
“Who is the first Palestinian king, what is their currency or their history? There is no such thing, they are just Arabs who were in the Middle East and came to the Land of Israel at the same time that the Jews immigrated,” the politician said, repeating the thesis of the Israeli extreme right, ideas rejected by historians and experts.
Smotrich recently defended the destruction of the Palestinian town of Hawara late last month, sparking a wave of international criticism that forced him to back down and say his words were misinterpreted.
The Times of Israel newspaper revealed a few days ago that Washington even considered denying him entry to the United States, where he was boycotted by US officials during his stay in the country.
After the electoral victory of Benjamin Netanyahu, last November, at the head of a right-wing alliance, Smotrich claimed the Ministry of Defense. However, Netanyahu was forced to reject the request in the face of numerous international criticisms and gave him Finance in compensation, after tense negotiations.