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Israel will not exist within a decade, says Muslim Brotherhood official
Al Arabiya
January 01, 2013

Essam el-Erian vice chairman of the Freedom And Justice party, speaks during a session at the Shura Council building in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammed Asad)

In a perceived attempt to temper controversial remarks made earlier in the week, a senior Egyptian official who also serves as an adviser to President Mohammed Mursi said on Tuesday that Israel will cease to exist within a decade.

During an interview with private Egyptian television channel ONTV, Erian, the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood`s political arm, attempted to explain a previous statement he had made, in which he invited Egypt-born Jews to their home country and leave Israel to the Palestinians.

But in the latest of a series of inflammatory comments from the Brotherhood official, Erian said: the “ideology of Zionism” had ended in failure and that “Palestine`s occupiers” should leave to make way for the return of Palestinians.

“Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians` right of return,” he said. “Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine.”

All but a handful of the Egyptian Jewish community, once 80,000-strong, left the country after the Israel-Egypt wars of 1948, 1956 and 1967, many to Israel, notes the Telegraph.

Erian`s latest comments have alarmed Israel, with the official Israel Radio expressing “disappointment.”

According to Egypt private-owned newspaper “Youm 7,” Israel Radio blasted Erian, saying Israel has never questioned the legitimacy of the Egyptian state, and expects to be treated equally by Egypt, with which it has a peace treaty.

The backlash from Israel Radio was an altogether different response from Israeli media when Erian made his first comments earlier this week.

Israel`s Channel 10 had welcomed Erian`s initial remarks inviting Jews to return to Egypt.

“After thousands of years since Egyptian Jews left Egypt, finally someone has called for their return,” the channel said, according to a report from the Egyptian Al-Wafd newspaper.

Erian was quoted as having said during an interview with the local Dream TV network on Thursday: “It is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation.”

He added that Jews should return to Egypt to “make way for the Palestinian people” and said, “Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion.

“Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity,” Erian added.

© 2013

`Jews should return to Egypt`: MB remark welcomed by Israeli TV
Al Arabiya
December 29, 2012

Essam al-Arian (C), vice president of the Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party, and other senior members of the party talk during a news conference in Cairo January 22, 2012. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A senior official from the Muslim Brotherhood has prompted a response from Israel`s Channel 10 after he said earlier this week Jews should return to Egypt.

Essam el-Erian, an advisor to the Egyptian president, was quoted as having said during an interview with the local Dream TV network on Thursday: “It is better for Jews to live in a country like Egypt rather than in a country contaminated by occupation.”

He added that Jews should return to Egypt to “make way for the Palestinian people” and said, “Every Egyptian has the right to come back to Egypt, no matter what his religion.

“Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity,” Erian said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli television channel, which reported the news, expressed content at Erian`s comments.

“After thousands of years since Egyptian Jews left Egypt, finally someone has called for their return,” the channel said, according to a report from the pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper.

But according to the Channel 10 report, Erian`s remarks were criticized by Egyptian users on social media networks, who called Erian “an agent of Israel and America” and accused him of treason.

In recent months, Muslim Brotherhood members and Egyptian clerics have not held back on comments regarding Israel and Jews since their rise to political prominence this year.

Before the group`s presidential candidate Mohammed Mursi assumed office earlier in the year, prominent Egyptian cleric Safwat Hegazy said if Mursi became president, Egypt`s new capital will no longer be Cairo, but Jerusalem.

“Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem with God`s will. Our chants shall be: `millions of martyrs will march towards Jerusalem`,” prominent cleric Safwat Hagazy said, according to a video aired by Egypt`s religious Annas TV in June.

But Israeli attacks on Gaza last month showed a more “cooperative” side to relations between Egypt and Israel.

Mursi was described as “a brother, not an enemy of Israel” in a report from Israel-based Haaretz newspaper in November.

The paper mentioned an excerpt from a letter the Egyptian President purportedly sent to the Israeli president. The excerpt read: “Your faithful friend, Mohammed Mursi.”

“If he is battling Hamas, he is a friend. If he is fighting terrorism in Sinai, he is our brother,” a Haaretz columnist wrote.

© 2012

US Think Tank: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Calls for Severing Ties with Israel
FARS News Agency
November 19, 2012

Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood (C) arrives to meet officials in Cairo May 26, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The Washington Near East Policy Think Tank in an article by Eric Trager wrote the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has said breaking off ties with Israel will turn the country to a role model for Arabs and Muslims who have still maintained their relations with the regime.

The Israeli government knew that another Gaza war would ignite the streets in neighboring Egypt and since Egypt`s revolutionary government would have to be more responsive to popular sentiments, a downgrade in Israeli-Egyptian relations would be likely.

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood -- Hamas` Egyptian counterpart -- as Egypt`s new ruling party exacerbated those qualms for Israel, given the Brotherhood`s longtime opposition to the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and refusal to acknowledge Israel`s existence as a rightful regime.

It was therefore unsurprising that Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, a former Brotherhood leader, conceded to popular outrage in the wake of Zionist regime`s brutal attack on the Gaza Strip by recalling Egypt`s ambassador to Israel. Yet in the grand scheme of diplomatic gestures, this was, in fact, a relatively minor move.

Indeed, former President Hosni Mubarak did exactly the same thing in November 2000 when Egyptian demonstrations against Israel mounted during the second intifada. The real question, therefore, is what Mursi does next: will he stop at simply recalling his ambassador, or will use the fighting in Gaza to justify a more severe approach towards Israel?

At the moment, Mursi is seemingly being pulled in two directions. On one hand, Egypt`s diplomatic and security establishments are urging calm. In this vein, Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr issued a bland statement calling on Israel to stop the fighting, and has taken the matter to the Arab League, which, in addition to being feckless, refused to discuss the fighting in Gaza until Saturday.

Meanwhile, during the three days leading up to the Zionist regime`s attack, Egypt`s intelligence services had been working to prevent Israel-Hamas escalation, and they are now hoping that the current episode will pass speedily before Egyptian-Israeli relations are truly endangered. “Whatever happened, happened,” a high-ranking intelligence official told me when I asked whether a prolonged Gaza conflict would lead Mursi to intensify his response. “We must look to the future without any blood or escalation.”

Yet the Muslim Brotherhood is pulling Mursi in a very different direction. In the wake of Israel`s last Wednesday`s attack on last Wednesday, the Brotherhood called on Mursi to “sever diplomatic and trade relations with this usurper entity,” so that the Egyptian government can “begin to be a role model for Arabs and Muslims who keep relations with this entity.” The Brotherhood organized mass protests against Israel last Friday, and prominent Brotherhood leaders have insisted that the Egyptian revolutionary government be more supportive of the Palestinians. “The Egyptian people revolted against injustice and will not accept the attack on Gaza,” tweeted Brotherhood political party chairman Saad al-Katatny.

During the first four-plus months of his presidency, Mursi has mostly embraced the more pragmatic approach endorsed by Egypt`s security and diplomatic professionals. This is partially due to Mursi`s stubborn refusal to deal with Israelis (not to mention his refusal to even utter the word “Israel” in official statements), which has forced him to delegate responsibility for his Israel policy to these bureaucratic institutions that are disinclined from confrontation with Israel.

Also Mohamed Sudan, secretary for foreign relations of the Brotherhood`s political party, said, Mursi is pursuing the right path towards Israel because he is “cancelling normalization with the Zionist entity gradually.”

Still, there are indications that Mursi may choose a more confrontational posture sooner rather than later. Last Tuesday, the Brotherhood`s political party announced that its legal committee was working on a new draft law to unilaterally amend Egypt`s peace treaty with Zionist regime. Meanwhile, prominent Muslim Brothers have made hostile gestures towards Israel in recent months, including the Supreme Guide`s call for a “holy jihad” for liberation of Holy Quds, as well as Mursi`s answering “amen” to an imam who prayed for the destruction of the Zionists.

Mursi has also demonstrated that he knows how to use a crisis to advance his political agenda and he may use the current flare-up to accelerate his pursuit of its anti-Israel ambitions. Whether or not Mursi uses the current fighting in Gaza to break off Israeli-Egyptian relations entirely now, it is clear that this remains the Muslim Brotherhood`s ultimate demand.

This is where Washington comes in. While the Obama administration cannot change the long-held aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, it will certainly work to prevent the Brotherhood from pursuing those aims anytime soon. The administration will begin by telling Mursi very clearly that while he is free to disagree with the United States on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he cannot disagree on the importance of maintaining Egypt-Israeli relations.

© 2012 Fars News Agency. All Rights Reserved.

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ex-leader condemns movement`s `mafia-like` doings
BBC Monitoring European
December 11, 2012

Essam el-Erian , (1st L) on second row, vice chairman of the Freedom And Justice party, and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed El-Beltagy (R) attend the first Egyptian parliament session after the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

Interview of lawyer Tharwat al-Khirbawi, former Muslim Brotherhood leader, by Volkhard Windfuhr and Ayman Badr; place and date not given: “Dropout Describes Muslim Brothers as `All-or-Nothing Mafiosi in Religious Disguise`”

Egypt is in turmoil. Islamists and the opposition are locked in a bitter dispute over the constitution. At the centre of it all is the Muslim Brotherhood. One of its former leaders tells Spiegel Online in an interview why he has come to consider the religious movement as dangerous.

Cairo - The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most important supporters of Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi. He was the Brotherhood`s candidate. Mursi`s opponents even ridicule him as the puppet of the Islamic movement. Before the overthrow of the old regime, the Muslim Brotherhood was officially banned in Egypt. Meanwhile, it has become the best organized political movement in the country.

The Muslim Brotherhood plays a key role in the current conflict over the constitution, because it was the main contributor to the draft criticized by the opposition.

Lawyer Thrawat al-Khirbawi used to be member of the Muslim Brotherhood`s leadership. The 56-year-old is a prominent member of the influential Lawyers Syndicate. Meanwhile, Khirbawi has left the leading circle of the Muslim Brotherhood. In an interview with Spiegel Online, he condemns the mafia-like machinations of the Islamic organization.

[Spiegel Online] You are currently the highest-ranking dissident who left the inner circle of the Muslim Brotherhood. Will President Muhammad Mursi risk waging a civil war?

[Khirbawi] He was in a position to prevent the bloody clashes between the liberals and the Islamic-oriented demonstrators over the past few days - he would still be able to intervene and prevent the bloodbaths now looming. Yet all he did was adding new fuel to the fire. Although Mursi is by name the head of state of the largest Arab country, he does not make most of his decisions alone, de facto. He has advisers and, as all members, he is also committed to absolute obedience to Brotherhood leader Badi. The Freedom and Justice Party that the Brotherhood founded occasionally takes different approaches. But they all agree on what the final objective must be: an Islamic state based on the Sharia.

[Spiegel Online] Does that mean that the Brotherhood, which the West initially regarded as a democratic alternative, wants to widen the conflict - at all cost?

[Khirbawi] This willingness is there, as a matter of principle, even if perhaps not every single Muslim brother would want to go along with that. In their long history, the leaders at the headquarters in Mokattam make the same mistake for the third time now: as soon as they experience a degree of political freedom and a fresh impetus, they lose their sense of reality. That was the case after the series of political killings under King Farouk, after Gamal Abd al-Nasser`s willingness to cooperate and the attack on his life, and also after Anwar al-Sadat`s rehabilitation of the Brotherhood and its attempt to isolate him after signing the peace treaty with Israel. And the situation even deteriorated. The Brotherhood does not want to share power, and it will go to any length to make sure this will not happen.

[Spiegel Online] The Brotherhood has the support of a large part of the Egyptian population. After all, Mursi was elected.

[Khirbawi] No-one knows how clean the election actually was. Mind you, the Brotherhood is not really overwhelmingly large - it has fewer than 1 million members, which is not a lot in a nation of 85 million. But its members are well organized, on alert, and ready for action at the push of a button.

[Spiegel Online] Do you mean the militias?

[Khirbawi] I have in mind mainly the militias that are trained in various remote parts of the country, sometimes even in undercover “sports clubs” in the big cities. Naturally, even under Mubarak there were collaborators on the top level. Weapons have never been a problem, and with the outbreak of the revolution in Libya, they have come ac ross the border in enormous numbers. Many do not know that the Muslim Brotherhood has always kept its secret apparatus called “al-Jihad al-Sirri,” which Brotherhood leader Ashur tightly reorganized in the 1990s. The apparatus is extremely efficient and unscrupulous.

[Spiegel Online] What happens if the opponents of a theocratic polity continue to reject the Islamistic constitution and the pharaonic powers of Mursi? Will even more blood be spilled?

[Khirbawi] Sure. They will gouge out eyes and tear out tongues. The militias will start street fighting. They would not flinch from anything.

[Spiegel Online] What about the armed forces - will they stand by and watch?

[Khirbawi] This is difficult to say. The Brotherhood and the army leadership have concluded a deal, which says that the Brotherhood gets a free hand and the armed forces will not stop it. However, I would not want to guarantee that soldiers and officers are willing to be humiliated in front of the entire nation. But perhaps the unjust regime of the Brotherhood and of the heterogeneous and politically inexperienced Salafists collapses before all that. I was not the first and I will not be the last to leave that club of power-thirsty all-or-nothing Mafiosi in religious disguise. I am certain that, in the long term, the Muslim Brotherhood will not stand a chance.

Source: Spiegel website, Hamburg, in German 8 Dec 12

© 2012 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.





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