March 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM ET
An Egyptian activist slated to be honored on Friday by First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry was sent home in a last-minute decision by the State Department.
Samira Ibrahim traveled to Washington D.C. for the Women of Courage awards, where she was to be recognized for her fight against sexual abuse at the hands of the Mubarak-led military regime during the Egyptian revolution. But after the U.S. Holocaust Museum exposed anti-Semitic tweets sent from her account only days before the ceremony, her appearance at the event was cancelled. Ibrahim's flight was funded with taxpayers' money.
In one tweet, she sent a quote that she attributed to Adolf Hitler that read, “I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it."
In another, Ibrahim wrote that Saudi Arabia’s ruling family is “more dirty than the Jews.” The investigation also found tweets celebrating attacks on Israelis and Americans.
Though Ibrahim claimed her Twitter account had been hacked, an investigation by the State Department confirmed the tweets were hers.
“We didn’t consider some of the public statements that she had made appropriate,’’ State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a briefing. “They didn’t comport with our values.’’
Ibrahim was unapologetic after being sent home. She tweeted, "I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award."
The State Department has not explained why the U.S. embassy in Cairo didn’t properly vet Ibrahim before recommending her.
“Let me just say that upon review, we have concluded that we will not give her this award,’’ Nuland said.