Enshrining Ideologies: Egypt and the U.S.

January 23, 2013 1:18 am 0 comments

Hillary Clinton meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

For days now, the twittersphere and even the mainstream media have been agog at the anti-Semitism spewing in a now-viral video by Mohammed Morsi in 2010 when he was head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He called President Obama a liar as well, but the administration is doing its best not to let it matter.

It’s not as if they didn’t know. The Muslim Brotherhood is more than 80 years old and is organized around anti-Israel, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic claptrap. It also does not hide its anti-Western, anti-imperialist rhetoric that shares the stage with an interpretation of Islam that is homophobic and misogynistic. Last summer, the Brotherhood’s leader, Mohammed Badie, accused Jews of corrupting the world and slaughtering Palestinians. Essem al Erian, Vice President of the Brotherhood’s political party, last month invited Jews to return to Egypt — not because he likes them, but, as he said, “Why stay in a racist entity, an occupation, and be tainted with war crimes that will be punished? All occupation leaders will be punished.” The “Zionist project,” he added, will end.

It is unimaginable that President Obama thought Morsi would dump the Brotherhood and become a small-d democrat at precisely the moment his party took power in Egypt and he had the opportunity to implement the agenda to which he has devoted his entire adult life: the Muslim Brotherhood. Just as President Obama did not win the American presidency with the intention of governing the way George W. Bush did before him, Morsi did not win to govern as a liberal democrat. His goal, like that of any electoral victor, is to enshrine his views in law and ensure their continuance.

The Obama administration placed a very heavy bet on its ability to manage relations with Morsi, and the world’s discovery of his virulent anti-Semitism will not change it. Key to “managing relations” with Morsi is ignoring almost everything related to the Muslim Brotherhood and everything Morsi does that defies democratic norms. This includes ignoring the Brotherhood’s lie that it would not run candidates for all the seats in Parliament and would not run a presidential candidate. It includes ignoring massacres against the Coptic Christian community; the hasty construction of the constitution; the dismissal of judges; the quick-and-dirty “referendum” that claims 63% of the vote without noting that less than 25% of Egyptians voted; and the December protests. It requires, then, allowing Morsi to run roughshod over the Egyptian people, much as his predecessor did.

The White House stepped gingerly at first. In an interview with Telemundo in September, President Obama hedged: “I don’t think that we would consider (Egypt) an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy. They are a new government that’s trying to find its way.” But by November, Morsi was a star. National Public Radio (NPR) reported, “Analysts say Morsi has proved himself and his organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, to be major political players on the world stage, and if the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel holds, it will be a shining achievement.” According to The New York Times, “Mr. Obama told aides he was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence. He sensed an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology.”

“Surprisingly little ideology” is a strange turn of phrase for an organization that is defined by little else, and a man defined by his organization.

Following the video, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced Islamic anti-Semitism. “The mainstreaming of Jew hatred in the Arab and Muslim world will not only end hopes for any Middle East peace deal, but puts Jews in jeopardy around the world.” He added, “America must not signal that it will be business as usual with the government of the Arab world’s largest and most powerful nation.”

That last bit will fall on deaf ears. Between “business as usual” with Egypt and words coming out of Morsi’s mouth, the words take a distant back seat.

The administration has simply returned language for language. Morsi’s words were met by words from White House press secretary Jay Carney and the State Department’s Victoria Neuland. Carney called the language “deeply offensive.” Neuland said the Egyptian President’s first attempt at an apology wasn’t quite good enough, adding, “(We expect) President Morsi and Egyptian leaders to demonstrate in both word and in deed their commitment to religious tolerance and to upholding all of Egypt’s international obligations.”

But the F-16s will be delivered and aid will go forward.

Discussing the recently finalized U.S. decision to deliver the advanced aircraft to the Egyptian military, retired Brigadier General Safwat Al-Zayat told Al-Ahram Weekly, “It is obvious that the finalisation (sic) of the deal on 11 December, which happened to be at the height of the mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square against Morsi, conveyed a political message. Between the lines, Washington was sending a message to three parties. The first was to Morsi and it stated, ‘We support you. Move ahead.’ The second was to the army and it said, ‘We are encouraging this man,’ meaning Morsi. The third was to the opposition forces and it said the same thing.”

In this you have President Obama indeed governing as George W. Bush — and Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, in fact.

Domestic Egyptian politics — including Morsi’s anti-Semitism, which President Obama has no reason to believe is in the past — have been and will remain a distant second priority, to the chagrin of those who thought change in Cairo and change in Washington would produce something better for the Egyptian people.

This article by Shoshana Bryen was originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Israel Lifestyle Bar Refaeli Planning Exclusive 30th Birthday Party With 400 Guests

    Bar Refaeli Planning Exclusive 30th Birthday Party With 400 Guests

    Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, who turns 30 this year, is planning a major party in honor of her birthday, accompanied by her fiancee Adi Ezra, to be held at the prestigious Chavat Ronit farms in Israel’s central Sharon region, Channel 2 news reported. The party, which is still in the planning stages, is slated to host 400 invitees from Refaeli’s exclusive inner circle. The event is planned for June 6th, two days after the actual date of Refaeli’s birthday, and will [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Featured Sports Major Jewish Group Accuses Popular Soccer Website Goal.com of ‘Inciting Jew-Hatred’

    Major Jewish Group Accuses Popular Soccer Website Goal.com of ‘Inciting Jew-Hatred’

    Major Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday sharply criticized popular soccer news site Goal.com for “denying the legitimacy of Israel and inciting to Jew-hatred” in its Arabic language versions, The Algemeiner has learned. In a sharp letter to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the Center’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, drew attention to articles on the site that refer to Israel as the “Zionist entity” or an “enemy,” and accuse the Jewish state [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Time Out Features Single Lady Who Likes ‘Big Schlubby Jewish Comedians’

    Time Out Features Single Lady Who Likes ‘Big Schlubby Jewish Comedians’

    A profile published Wednesday in Time Out New York highlighted a 25-year-old Brooklyn woman who claimed she is attracted to chubby Jewish comedians, Maxim Deputy Editor Jason Feifer pointed out via Twitter. Talking about a date she went on, Steph, a sunglasses designer living in Borough Park, told the magazine, ”He was very attractive, just not my type. I like big schlubby Jewish comedians and he was clean-cut.” Feifer posted a picture of the magazine page and commented that Steph’s preferences amounted [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Three years ago, kayaking coach Roei Lev found aspiring Olympian Ilya Podpolnyy crying on the steps of the Jordan Valley Sprint Kayak Club overlooking the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Podpolnyy, then 17 years old, had just been disqualified from the Israeli kayaking championship. He couldn’t survive the heats. He didn’t make the start line. He was devastated—and he had no one with whom to share his hopes, his dreams, and his disappointment. His divorced parents still live in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    “Girls” creator Lena Dunham responded on Tuesday to charges of antisemitism over an article she had penned for the New Yorker, saying it was all in good humor. Speaking to Variety, Dunham reflected on her “tight-knit Jewish family, where Jew jokes were part of the essential fiber of our communication.” The article Dunham referred to was called “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz,” with options such as “He doesn’t Tip” and “He’s Crazy for Cream Cheese.” Among Dunham’s critics, Anti-Defamation [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Retired NBA player Keyon Dooling tweeted a link on Wednesday to a wildly antisemitic article that accuses Jews of seizing control of the world’s media and using it to promote their own interests. The article, published by an obscure blog in April 2013, highlights six companies it claims are owned by Jews — such as Time Warner, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company – that allegedly “control 96 percent of the world’s media.”  The post includes allegations of “Jewish control” and says [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz responded to an outcry from Jewish fans on Tuesday, saying he will go ahead and play in the season opener despite the fact that it falls on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. “Keep getting tweets about that being the first night of Rosh Hashanah… Don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you. It’s a tough break,” the Jewish athlete wrote, referring to the Giants’ on-the-road game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    JNS.org – When David Blatt was hired as head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers last June, he was not often recognized when he walked the streets of downtown Cleveland. What a difference a year makes. Now, Blatt can go few places without being recognized. For good reason. The Jewish coach has the Cavaliers in the mix to win the city of Cleveland’s first championship in a major sport since the Browns won the National Football League title in [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.