Posts Tagged ‘Interview’
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) on Tuesday named Mahmoud Ezzat as its new leader after the Egyptian government arrested its former leader Mohamed Badie earlier on the same day.
Experts are suggesting that hardline MBs who managed to go underground to evade an arrest, would seek ways to avenge Badie’s arrest.
Ezzat has strong relations with the international Muslim Brotherhood and with the Hamas movement, Tharwat Kharabawy, a dissident former MB leader, told Xinhua.
Ezzat is a hawk, Kharabawy said, “the real guide of the group” and the one “managing the group from behind the curtains.”
The appointment means that the MBs are in no mood for peaceful negotiations with General al-Sisi and the new regime in Cairo.
Ezzat, former MB secretary general, has been a member of the guidance bureau and a deputy of Badie. In 1965 he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
He was chosen as a member of the guidance bureau in 1981, and was arrested again in 2008.
According to the Egyptian authorities, Badie has been transferred to Mazraah prison in the Torah prisons’ complex, where former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons are currently residing.
Badie is going to stand trial on Aug. 25, together with his two deputies, Khairat al-Shater and Rashad al-Bayoumi.
The new Egyptian rulers appear determined to crush the MB. In an interview with the CNN, presidential political advisor Moustafa Hegazi said that putting Badie in jail is a step toward restoring law and order.
He said “Egypt is waging a fierce war against terrorism and criminal acts.”
Hegazi suggested that the cruelest incident in all of Egypt’s history was the execution of 25 off-duty security servicemen on Monday in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Tuesday that she had offered to return to Cairo.
“I told the Egyptian prime minister at the weekend that I would be more than willing to go back to Egypt if they wish me to come back,” said Ashton, who has been to Egypt twice since the regime change by the military.
Just days after his apparent victory, Cynthia Farahat and I expressed our skepticism about the validity of these election returns:
SCAF exploits the Muslim Brotherhood and other proxies as its civilian fronts, a role they are happy to play, by permitting Islamists to garner an outsized percentage of the parliamentary vote, then to win the presidency. During the suspicious week-long delay before the presidential votes were announced, SCAF met with the Muslim Brotherhood’s real leader, Khairat El-Shater, and reached a deal whereby Morsi became president but SCAF still governs.
Though few analysts have embraced this version, there have been hints of it:
(1) On July 31, 2013, Josh Goodman and James Parks wrote in “Morsi Was Neither Democratically Nor Duly Elected” that
hailing Morsi as the democratically elected representative of the Egyptian people appears to be based on a rather loose understanding of “democracy.” The Brotherhood has been accused of bribing and intimidating voters and rigging ballots during the 2012 elections. The election suffered from abysmally poor voter turnout (43.4% of registered voters), which is especially troubling given the ostensibly historic nature of the race. Out of 23 million voters in the first round of elections, 12 million did not vote for either of the two candidates ultimately placed in the run-off vote. Capping this all off was a blatant power grab from the military, which changed the constitution mid-election to limit the power of the newly elected President.
(2) On Aug. 3, 2013, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sisi gave an interview in which he both denied having rigged Morsi’s election and (more interestingly) asserted that he could have done so had he wanted to.
Q: So you were giving the president advice on Ethiopia and the Sinai, for example, and he was ignoring you?
A: We were very keen and predetermined on his success. If we wanted to oppose or not allow them to come to rule Egypt, we would have done things with the elections, as elections used to be rigged in the past.
Now comes a testimonial from an un-named Egyptian official via the Israeli politician Yossi Beilin in “Morsi didn’t win the elections” that
Ahmed Shafiq, the former air force commander and former president Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, actually won the race by a narrow margin. But the army generals—wanting to ensure that law and order would be upheld following the elections—feared that if Morsi was defeated, the Muslim Brotherhood would refuse to recognize the results and would end up conducting themselves just as they are now.
The official results, 51.73 percent for Morsi and 48.27% for Shafiq, were almost the exact reversal of what actually happened at the polls. After the results were published, we barely heard any calls for protest or opposition among the secular-liberals, while on the religious side—loyal either to the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafi parties—voters were happy with their achievement.
Beilin goes on to explain that military officers expected the inexperienced Morsi to respect the army but he did not. Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi came under pressure from fellow generals some months ago but Sisi gave Morsi a chance to make amends.
Stephanie Banister, 27, a candidate for Australia’s anti-immigration One Nation party, dropped out of the election race on Saturday, after an interview in which she referred to Islam as a country.
“I don’t oppose Islam as a country, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia,” Banister said in a Wednesday interview to the Seven Network. The interview went viral in short order, endowing Banister with the nickname “Australia’s Sarah Palin.”
She went on to tell the riveted—if somewhat horrified—masses that only two percent of Australians follow the “haram” – referring to the Koran – and then voiced her enthusiastic support for kosher food for Jewish people, because “Jews aren’t under haram. They have their own religion which follows Jesus Christ.”
Bet you didn’t know.
On Saturday, Banister withdrew her candidacy for the September 7 election, which she was contesting for anti-immigration zealot Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party in Queensland.
Party leader Jim Savage insisted the resignation came not over IQ issues and her a lack of familiarity with current events, but because of Islamic persecution: “Due to the threats against Stephanie’s family, herself, her children, the abuse she’s copped and the enormous pressure she’s been put under, Stephanie has decided she wants to withdraw from the candidacy for the seat of Rankin,” Savage said.
Fear of persecution appears to be a running theme in One nation. In 1997, founder Pauline Hanson recorded a video which was to be screened to One Nation members and supporters in the event of her assassination.
The Jewish community of Madrid denied the authenticity of quotes attributed to its chief rabbi in which he reportedly called gays “deviants” who need “re-educating.”
The interview was “distorted,” Ziva Freidkes, a spokeswoman for the Madrid Jewish community, told JTA on Wednesday, referring to the interview of Rabbi Moshe Bendahan published last week on Religion Digital, a Spanish-language news website.
Freidkes said Bendahan never made the negative references to gays and that the interview was “inaccurate and took things out of context.”
The rabbi was quoted as saying, “Homosexuality is a deviation from nature. It’s an anti-natural tendency and a sin. Contemplating allowing, consenting to what is known as ‘gay marriages,’ would be a monstrosity.”
In a statement published Tuesday on Religion Digital, the community said, “For a very long time now, we have been supporting the gay community’s fight against discrimination.”
Religion Digital, one of the country’s major news portals on religion, released its own statement on Tuesday reaffirming the veracity of the quotes. The journalist who interviewed Bendahan, Antonio Aradillas, was described as having “undeniable prestige and decades of experience in covering religious affairs.”
In the second part of the Goldstein on Gelt podcast this week, meet Charles Duhigg, a staff writer at The New York Times and author of The Power of Habit. How do habits affect human behavior? And what is the difference between innate personality and habits? Find out how habits govern your life and if you can change by listening to this fascinating interview.
On Monday, JewishPress.com published an interview with Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party and architect of its anticipated success in the January 22 elections. Our headline read: “Naftali Bennett: Stop US Aid, Slash Israel’s Military Budget.”
The article quoted Bennett as saying just that:
“Today, U.S. military aid is roughly 1 percent of Israel’s economy,” Bennett says. “I think, generally, we need to free ourselves from it. We have to do it responsibly, since I’m not aware of all the aspects of the budget, I don’t want to say ‘let’s just give it up,’ but our situation today is very different from what it was 20 and 30 years ago. Israel is much stronger, much wealthier, and we need to be independent.”
It was a scoop.
In the past, Bennett had made headlines with his intent to slash Israel’s defense budget. But adding to that weaning Israel off the U.S. security aid was yet another step in the right direction.
On Thursday morning, the Jerusalem Post ran a story by Gil Hoffman, titled: “Bennett doesn’t yet favor end to US aid.”
“Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett denied reports on Wednesday that he is in favor of rejecting more than $3 billion in annual military aid from the US.”
I called up the Jewish Home campaign, spoke to Mr. Bennett, and asked him if the JPost misrepresented his view on this matter, and he confirmed that it did.
Bennett also assured me he very much wants to wean Israel off U.S. aid, but not tomorrow morning. There’s the Iranian nuclear threat and, obviously, the need to act soberly on budgetary issues.
But he said he absolutely stands behind the idea of Israel having to become independent from American military aid, and slashing the IDF budget, which has more doubled over the past decade, while the capabilities of its two main potential opposing armies—the Egyptian and Syrian—have been declining.
I attached below, the recorded segment from the interview, so you can compare it, word-for-word, to our article. I sent the same recording to Gil Hoffman, asking that he make the necessary corrections in his story.
I also asked that he link the quote to our article—as I have done above. It’s just good manners.