A senior Muslim Brotherhood official has said that Israel will cease to exist within a decade, the latest in a series of inflammatory comments by figures close to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, The Telegraph reported Tuesday, January 1. Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, was trying to lay to rest a controversy over an interview he gave last week, in which he invited Egyptian-born Jews to return to the country. In an interview with the Saudi-backed newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Erian said that the “ideology of Zionism” had ended in failure and that “Palestine’s occupiers” should leave to make way for the return of Palestinians. Although Erian remains an important adviser, both he and spokesmen for Morsi insist his recent comments were made in a personal capacity. Nevertheless, they will raise concern about continuing anti-Semitism, widely accepted in Egyptian media.