U.S. President Barack Obama is "naive" and needs to face up to the threat presented by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, Israel's National Security Council concluded during a strategic discussion several days ago.
The council, responsible for providing the prime minister and cabinet ministers with strategic assessments, said it was concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood's rise in Egypt, especially in light of the group's world view and pronouncements from its officials, repeated as recently as this week, that call the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty into question. The Brotherhood's second-in-command Dr. Rashad Bayumi, said on Sunday that the Muslim Brotherhood, which is set to dominate Egypt's new parliament, will never recognize Israel and will even work to amend the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. "No Muslim Brotherhood members will engage in any contact or normalization with Israel," Bayumi told Al-Hayat.
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In Jerusalem last week, the National Security Council held a discussion entitled "The Challenge of the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Offshoots," during which the council concluded that Israel should focus its efforts on the Obama administration, calling the president's behavior up to this point "naive." The council expressed the hope that Obama's attitude towards the rising tide of Islam would become less naive and that he would take a "harder stance."
According to the Associated Press, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry met in early December in Cairo with top members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood said three of its top officials attended the meeting with the Massachusetts Democrat, who was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson. Tallied together, Egypt's Salafist al-Nour party, and the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party are set to control about 60 percent of Egypt's post-Mubarak parliament.
The Israeli National Security Council, headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, also said that Russia and China were paying close attention to the changes occurring in Egypt in particular and in the Middle East in general. The council concluded that Israel needed to accept the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood would eventually assume power in most Arab countries, with Egypt first and foremost.
The council believes that the Muslim Brotherhood is not just a religious and cultural force, but also a reincarnation of the totalitarian fascist movements seen in Europe over the past century. Religion, the council feels, is just a cover for the true fascist ideology. Nevertheless, council members believe that if the U.S. and key European countries take the proper steps, they can still exert influence over Muslim Brotherhood governments and their related offshoots. Such influence would mostly be effected through economic leverage, because effective governing requires leaders to be responsive to private and governmental investors from the U.S. and Europe.
Another point stressed by the council was that Egypt, regardless of which government is in power, is united with Israel in its opposition to Shiite Iran's nuclear program through which it plans to control the region. If Israel plays that card right, even groups that previously opposed Israel could change their tune, the council said.
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