Thursday, September 13, 2012

Egypt’s 9/11 Remembrace

by Joseph Klein

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate who won Egypt’s presidential election, has received an invitation by the Obama administration to meet with Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York later this month. But apparently Obama has no time to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the leader of the only true democracy and our closest ally in the Middle East also visits the United States for the General Assembly session.

Just how are things going these days as the Egyptian revolution against the Mubarak regime has morphed into the new Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Islamist regime? The Obama administration does not seem concerned, but there is indeed great cause for grave concern.

For example, Egyptian protesters just scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and displayed their own version of September 11th remembrance by pulling down the American flag, tearing it up and burning the remains. They were apparently upset over what they said was a film being produced in the United States that insulted Prophet Mohammad. Egypt’s prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and seat of Sunni learning condemned the film, but was silent on the violence by the Islamist protesters.

Morsi has also been silent about the attack, which follows reports last month that Muslim Brotherhood protesters “crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.” A member of Al-Azhar’s fatwa committee said that fighting participants in anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations is a religious obligation.

The Obama administration is in complete denial that the much hyped Arab Spring is turning into an Islamist winter. Incredibly, after the 9/11 attack on our embassy, Obama’s State Department apologized for any hurt to the protesters’ religious sensibilities rather than condemn the attack itself. The embassy statement affirmed:

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions…We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Nobody is forcing the Islamist hooligans in Egypt to view a film produced in the United States, but apparently they get a free pass to issue their movie review by storming our embassy.

The film, by the way, was reportedly produced by U.S.-based Coptic Christian Egyptians, who are concerned about church burnings, killings and persecution of their fellow Christians in Egypt at the hands of Islamists. Apparently, the Coptic Christians cannot exercise their right of free speech in the United States to express their views on a religion that has been used to justify far worse physical attacks on Egyptian Christians without incurring the wrath of the Islamists and the condemnation of the Obama State Department.

At the same time, according to a report in the London-based daily Al-Hayat, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – the parent of Hamas – is welcoming its rocket-launching terrorist poster child home to Egypt. It has agreed to open an office for its terrorist offshoot in eastern Cairo and establish a joint committee with Hamas to discuss issues of “security” along the Gaza-Egypt border and to share intelligence. That is like a fire department made up of veteran arsonists partnering with other arsonists on a fire prevention program. Yet there has been no reaction reported from the Obama administration.

Hamas’s Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who is traveling to Egypt this week for high level meetings, will be part of the joint committee along with Ahmad Ja’abari, commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’s military wing).

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas guest and joint “security” committee member Haniyeh has made it very clear how he views security. Eliminate the Jewish state altogether from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Marking the twenty-fourth anniversary of Hamas’s founding last December, the Hamas Gaza Prime Minister declared:

“The armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel]… We won’t relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine.”

Hamas, Haniyeh vowed, will “lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah.”

When Haniyeh visited Cairo in February of this year he told a wildly cheering crowd from the pulpit of the Al-Azhar Mosque that “We will never ever ever recognize Israel!”

During his March 2012 visit to Tehran and standing alongside Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Haniyeh repeated this rejectionist rant before an audience of 30,000 Iranians that “Hamas will never recognize Israel.”

Another member of the joint Egyptian-Hamas “security” committee will be Ahmad Ja’abari, commander of Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. He declared “the Brigades’ commitment in liberating Palestine from the sea to the river” and that “its capital will be Jerusalem.”

You get the picture. But don’t expect the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian government to exert any sort of moderating influence on Hamas. To the contrary, it is adding fuel to the fire. As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Egyptian President Morsi said during his election campaign: “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal (also translated as “highest hope”).”

Also during the campaign, a radical cleric, Safwat Higazi, joined Morsi at his events and called for a Muslim caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital. “We can see how the dream of the Islamic caliphate is being realized, God willing, by Dr. Mohamed Morsi,” the cleric told thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters at a Cairo soccer stadium during one such event, as Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood officials nodded in agreement:

“The capital of the caliphate – the capital of the United States of the Arabs – will be Jerusalem, God willing. Our capital shall not be in Cairo, Mecca or Medina. Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem.”

Returning to the stage, Morsi concurred: “Yes, Jerusalem is our goal. We shall pray in Jerusalem, or die as martyrs on its threshold.”

Raymond Stock, an American translator and academic who spent two decades in Egypt, explained the implications to the Jerusalem Post:

“This is what the Muslim Brotherhood really stands for: the extermination of Israel – and Jews everywhere – as well as the spread and control of radical Islam over the world. How anyone can fail to see this boggles the mind – yet its denial is virtual dogma in the global mainstream media, US government and Western academia today.”

After the election, Morsi declared his intention to re-open the three decade old Camp David Accord with Israel. The media adviser for Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party, the political movement of the Muslim Brotherhood that picked Morsi to run for president, called the treaty a “mark of shame” that brought “cancer, hepatitis, and kidney infections” to Egypt.

Morsi has also supported further expansion of ties with Israel’s existential enemy Iran. Morsi said that stronger relations between Iran and Cairo, will create “a strategic balance in the region.”

Morsi followed up with a visit to Tehran. He was the first Egyptian president to visit Tehran since Iran cut diplomatic ties over Cairo’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.The occasion was the Non-Aligned Summit. As usual, he bashed Israel. But Morsi evidently pleased the Obama administration with his rebuke in front of his Iranian hosts that Iran’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, had forfeited his legitimacy.

The Obama administration is placing its hopes on this slender reed of convergence of interest between the United States and Egypt against Assad and accepts at face value Morsi’s promise of inclusiveness and democracy, even as Morsi consolidates his power over the executive and legislative branches and the media, begins to impose sharia law and revamps the military leadership with Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers. As a result, the Obama administration is doubling down in its bets on Morsi. It plans to relieve Egypt of $1 billion of its debt and to go ahead with military aid in the range of $1.3 billion annually.

While snubbing Israel’s prime minister, Obama will be shaking hands at the United Nations with a man who is welcoming the Hamas terrorist group – the offspring of Morsi’s own Muslim Brotherhood – to open an office in Cairo, and who is replacing a military dictatorship with an Islamic dictatorship, much as Hamas has done since its own electoral victory in Gaza. It is yet another example of Obama’s foreign policy of lethal engagement.

Joseph Klein


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