Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood owns a daily newspaper, while the secularists are banned from having their own newspapers. In addition, Zahran said that as of ten years ago, the Brotherhood had a two billion dollar trust fund which could have grown significantly since, and the Brotherhood owns private hospitals, private schools, private universities, and has vast real estate ownership. “The secularists have nothing, while the Muslim brotherhood will only need 50 million dollars to win elections.”
While Zahran does not believe that the Muslim Brotherhood would have the power to fight Israel immediately upon taking power, he nevertheless believes that they will pose a threat to Israel over the long-term, by transforming Jordan into a base where perhaps rockets could be launched into Israel. In other words, he says, Jordan would be turned into another Gaza under a Muslim Brotherhood leadership. “They will create chaos and distress similar to Lebanon, but not an all-out war.”
“There might be a coalition with Iraq and Iran,” Zahran asserts. “If they take over Jordan, they will be able to threaten the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia; they will be able to threaten Lebanon, and they could make Israel’s life miserable through a coalition with Iran and Iraq.”
Zahran claimed that those who support peace are still betting on the king and thus have not learned from what happened in Egypt, where the world silently watched and did nothing as the democratic forces were defeated in elections by radical Islamists opposed to democracy. Instead he says, they should lend support to the secular opposition.
“The pro-peace and pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. should intervene by convincing the U.S. government to talk to the secularists, just like they have been talking to the Islamists,” Zahran says. More than that, the U.S. should “provide media coverage to the secularists in Jordan and Syria and to provide a few million dollars channeled through registered organizations in the West to support the secularists in Jordan.”
“We have very limited time ahead of us,” he says.
About the Author: Rachel Avraham is a news editor and political analyst for Jerusalem Online News, the English language internet edition of Israel's Channel 2 News. She completed her masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben-Gurion University. The subject of her MA thesis was: "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media."
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