By Morton A. Klein
The ZOA has pointed to a list of negative developments in Egypt, including viciously anti-Israeli and anti-American statements and goals enunciated by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leadership even before last year’s toppling of the Hosni Mubarak regime:
- The MB leader, Muhammad Badi’, has spoken enthusiastically of jihad and called for a state based on Islamic law. He also spoke optimistically about the U.S. heading for a collapse.
- The MB’s second-in-command, Rashad Al-Bayoumi, emphasized last year that abrogating the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was a prime MB objective. In January, Bayoumi said that, for the MB, the peace treaty “it isn’t binding at all … On no condition will we recognize Israel. It is an enemy entity.”
- Only weeks ago, the MB presidential candidate, Mohamed Mursi, said that “Egypt’s next president can’t be like his predecessor, he can’t be a follower who executes policies put to him from outside.”
- Mursi’s aide has said that Mursi, if elected president, would not meet with the Israeli president.
- Also last month, the MB criticized Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa’s visit to Jerusalem as “not acceptable.”
- Earlier this year, the Egyptian legislature’s lower house unanimously endorsed demands calling for the deportation of the Israeli ambassador in Egypt; halting export of natural gas to Israel and “reexamining” the Camp David peace accords with Israel.
- The natural gas pipeline, through which Israel receives energy in accordance with the 1979 Egyptian/Israeli peace treaty, has been blown up or sabotaged innumerable times. Last month, Egypt’s state-owned natural gas company said that it is ending a 2005 deal to export gas to Israel because of a payment dispute.
- Palestinian terrorists have already struck in August 2011 from Egyptian-controlled Sinai, murdering eight Israelis.
- Terrorist infiltration into Sinai has become so dangerous that Israeli officials have warned Israeli tourists to leave immediately on account of a “critical and immediate threat … terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip are continuing to work energetically to carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli targets on Sinai’s beaches in the immediate term.”
Yet, despite all this, some in the US Administration have legitimized the MB and officials have played down these developments as being unimportant. Queried on January 5, 2012 on the explicit statements of the Brotherhood’s Rashad al-Bayoumi enunciating the objective of abrogating the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland responded that Washington has received contrary “assurances” on this score from the Brotherhood. Then again, on May 11, when queried about recent calls by the MB for rescinding the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Ms. Nuland gave the deeply troubling and even naive response that, “People say things in a campaign and then when they get elected they actually have to govern.”
This is another installment in the mistaken policy of ignoring the dangers posed by elections bringing to power Islamist radicals. In April 2005, for example, when Hamas, the MB’s Palestinian off-shoot, won Palestinian legislative elections, President George W. Bush’s spokesman, Scott McClellan said, “the one thing that you see when people have elections that are free and fair is that they tend to choose people who are committed to improving their livelihood, not people who are committed to terrorist acts. And I think if you look back at the previous Palestinian elections, the people that were elected, while they might have been members of Hamas, they were business professionals. They were people that ran on talking about improving the quality of life for the Palestinian people and addressing their economic needs and addressing other needs that are important to them — not terrorists.” Read more