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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Mohammed Morsi’

Muslim Brotherhood Channel Finds Home in Turkey

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

When former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi was removed from power by popular demand and by means of the Egyptian military, many of the accoutrements of the Muslim Brotherhood which had only recently come out of the closet in Egypt were summarily shoved back in.

One example of the ascendant Muslim Brotherhood forced back into hiding was a Muslim Brotherhood radio channel, after the interim government ordered the closure of all Brotherhood media outlets.

But its energy is back on, just a bit further north.

The Rabaa radio channel, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated channel, went on-air in Turkey on Friday, Dec. 21. The channel is named for Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiyyah Square, where hundreds of Egyptians died in August during protests against Morsi’s ouster. The four-fingered “Rabaa” hand signal has become the symbol of those opposing the overthrow of Morsi.

One of the first to publicize the four-fingered pro-Morsi salute was Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, just a week after the violent protests.

Another Muslim Brotherhood icon in Egypt turned out his Egyptian lights in response to the ouster of Morsi. Egyptian Imam Yusuf al-Qarawadi,widely regarded as one of the Brotherhood’s spiritual and intellectual inspirations, resigned his position at Al-Azhar University in early December.

The Egyptian-born Qaradawi had been living in Qatar for more than 30 years, having fled the country after tangling with former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. But this past summer, Qatar stripped Qaradawi of his citizenship at the same time that it booted Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal out of the country.

Al-Qaradawi returned to Egypt in 2011, as the Muslim Brotherhood star was rising. He famously led mass prayers in Tahrir Square after former President Mubarak was ousted. Qaradawi is a strong advocate of homicide bombings in Israel. He said that it is “evidence of God’s justice” when “believers use their bodies as bombs.”

Qaradawi has praised Hitler for managing to put Jews “in their place,” calling the Holocaust “divine justice.” He also prayed that “the next time” a Holocaust will be at the “hand of the believers.”

The first program aired on the Rabaa channel featured Qaradawi.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

‘Erdogan Shoots Himself in the Pocket with Anti-Israel View’

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israel rhetoric is interfering with Turkish-Israeli cooperation that could turn Turkey into a regional energy base to ship Israeli natural gas to Europe.

“Their inability to complete a pipeline deal would hurt Turkish ambitions to become a regional transit center and mean continued dependence on Russia and Iran for gas,” according to Bloomberg News.

Erdogan last week accused Israel of being involved with the military coup that ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi from power in Egypt.

“Rising tensions between the former allies risk the ability of Israel’s Delek Group Ltd. and Turkey’s Zorlu Holding AS to negotiate a pipeline from Israel to Turkey that could feed markets in Europe. While trade has been resilient to the souring of diplomatic ties, building the $2 billion pipeline requires inter-government cooperation for a long-term commercial agreement,” Bloomberg explained.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Lieberman ‘Promotes’ Erdogan as the New Joseph Goebbels

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest anti-Israel propaganda gimmick that the Zionists were behind the ouster of Mohammed Morsi qualifies him as the successor to Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels, Likud-Beiteinu Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday morning.

Lieberman, who is suspended as foreign minister pending the outcome of criminal charges against him, told Army Radio that Erdogan “has continued Goebbels’ ways. Those who apologized before Turkey should do some soul-searching; so should those who attacked me and Yisrael Beiteinu for our criticism over Israel’s apology.”

He was referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s bowing to President Barack Obama’s request to express sorrow to Turkey for the IDF’s defensive counterterror action that killed nine terrorists aboard a flotilla ship headed to break the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza in May 2010.

Erdogan stated Tuesday that he has “evidence” of Israel’s being involved in the military coup that ousted Morsi last month. His “evidence” was a statement  by French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy, at a meeting before the 2011 elections in Egypt, with Tzipi Livni, who at the time was leader of the Kadima party which headed the Opposition in the Knesset.

Levy told Livni, “If the Muslim Brotherhood arrives in Egypt, I will not say democracy wants it, so let democracy progress. Democracy is not only elections, it is also values.”

That was enough for Erdogan, who has excelled at being even better than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for viewing the world through his own ego.

“What is said about Egypt? That democracy is not the ballot box. Who is behind this? Israel is.,” he triumphantly said. “We have the evidence in our hands. That’s exactly what happened.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called Erdogan’s accusation “offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong, while the Egyptian military government said his statement was “very bewildering,… baseless… [and] not accepted by any logic or rationale.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor stated, “This is a statement well worth not commenting on.”

This was not the first time that Erdogan and  his government have jumped on the “Blame Israel” bandwagon.

Following anti-Erdogan protests earlier this year, the increasingly paranoiac prime minister blamed the demonstrations on an international conspiracy.

In case there was any doubt as to who was behind it, his Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay made it clear that it is the “Jewish diaspora,” but he later said he had been misunderstood.

Given Erdogan’s track record of failure, he will not reach the depths of Goebbels, Lieberman notwithstanding.

Erdogan’s brilliantly idiotic views on foreign policy continued to astound everyone except himself. He has a record of choosing the wrong friends .

Turkey was Israel’s closest Middle East ally and trading partner for years until the end of 2008, when the IDF launched a three-week Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign to stop, at least temporarily, Hamas missile fire on southern Israel.

Erdogan saw the international outcry over Israel’s “disproportionate” action as an opportunity to hook up with the radical Islamic movement that aims for domination over the entire Muslim world.

He scorned Israel while warming up to the Ahmadinejad regime in Iran and to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

The flotilla clash put  Turkish-Israeli relations in the deep freeze, with Lieberman leading the Israeli criticism of Erdogan.

Turkish media and its movie industry then launched a series of vicious anti-Semitic programs that would have pleased Goebbels. Movies and television programs incited hatred against Israel and Israelis, who began staying away in droves from what once was their most popular foreign tourist spot.

Assad’s butchery made Erdogan realize that he made as big mistake, and the prime minister turned 180 degrees to condemn him. He also belatedly discovered that Ahmadinejad had succeeded in isolating itself from the entire world except for Assad, Russia and China, the latter two countries having a vested interest in Iran’s nuclear power development.

Erdogan then looked to Israel and promised, or threatened, several times to visit Gaza, each time being forced to postpone his plans.

Erdogan welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood government, seeing it as another ally in his new-found Islamist desires, and in his view, Israel is getting in the way.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Qatar’s Risky Overreach

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Originally pubished at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

With seemingly limitless wealth and a penchant for often supporting both sides of the argument, the State of Qatar has become a highly significant player in Middle East power-politics. Recent events in Egypt and Syria, however, have put the brakes on Qatar’s ambitions. In this second part of his analysis of its attempt to influence regional politics, Paul Alster considers how much its flamboyant foreign policy, centered on furthering the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood, might be coming back to haunt Qatar.

July 3 was not a good day for Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood’s man was ousted from power after just a year as Egypt’s president, having lost the essential confidence of the country’s powerful military leaders. July 3 was also a black day for the State of Qatar, the country which had nailed its colors and its money firmly to the Muslim Brotherhood mast, and which suddenly found itself the target of outrage on the Egyptian street and beyond.

Morsi came to power in a democratic election, but misinterpreted the meaning of democracy. He and his Muslim Brotherhood backers – primarily Qatar – appeared to believe that having won the election, they could run the country according to their decree, not according to democratic principles as the majority had expected. A series of draconian laws, a spiralling economic crisis, and a feeling on the Egyptian street that the Muslim Brotherhood was paid handsomely by foreign forces, spurred street protests of historic proportions, prompting the military to intervene.

With Morsi gone, Qatar suddenly became “persona non grata” in Egypt.

Qatar sought to extend its influence and Muslim Brotherhood-inspired view of how countries like Egypt, Syria, Libya, and others should be. Qatar was also playing a power-game against Saudi Arabia, another hugely wealthy regional power whose vision of an even more strictly Islamist way of life for Muslims drove a wedge between the two parties.

Another seismic change hit the region just nine days before Morsi’s fall. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani – in power since overthrowing his own father back in 1995 – voluntarily abdicated in favor of his 33-year-old son, Sheikh Tamim.

Tamim, educated in England and a graduate of the prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy, became the region’s youngest leader, with the eyes of the world watching to see if he would maintain his father’s aggressive policy of extending Qatar’s regional influence. Few could have imagined that he would very quickly find himself at the center of a major political crisis as Egypt – a country in which Qatar had so much credibility and money invested – imploded before his eyes.

Within hours of Morsi’s departure, the streets of Cairo were awash with anti-Qatari banners accompanied by the obligatory anti-US and anti-Israel slogans. Al Jazeera – a staunch promoter of the Muslim Brotherhood view in Egypt – was vilified, its reporters attacked on the streets, its offices ransacked. Al Jazeera also had been hit seven months earlier after supporting Mohammed Morsi’s crackdown on young Egyptian demonstrators opposed to the rapid Islamisation of Egypt under the new government.

In the first part of my analysis of Qatar’s policy in the region, I focused on Al Jazeera’s huge influence on opinion in the Arab world and the West, portraying the Qatari-Muslim Brotherhood version of events in a way that the uninformed viewer might believe to be objective reporting. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Al Jazeera’s carefully crafted smokescreen as the moderate voice of the Arab world has taken a significant battering with the events in Egypt. That should serve as a wake-up call to those trumpeting the imminent launch of Al Jazeera America scheduled for August 20.

“There is a lingering perception in the U.S. –right or wrong – that the network [Al Jazeera] is somehow associated with terrorism, which could slow its progress in gaining carriage,” Variety Magazine‘s Brian Steinberg suggested last month.

Dubai-based writer Sultan Al Qassemi observed in Al-Monitor: “Qatar has dedicated Al Jazeera, the country’s most prized non-financial asset, to the service of the Muslim Brotherhood and turned it into what prominent Middle East scholar Alain Gresh [editor of Le Monde diplomatique and a specialist on the Middle East] calls a ‘mouthpiece for the Brotherhood.'” The channel has in turn been repeatedly praised by the Brotherhood for its ‘neutrality.'”

The Economist, reporting in January, reflected the growing dissatisfaction amongst many in the Arab world. “Al Jazeera’s breathless boosting of Qatari-backed rebel fighters in Libya and Syria, and of the Qatar-aligned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have made many Arab viewers question its veracity. So has its tendency to ignore human-rights abuses by those same rebels, and its failure to accord the uprising by the Shia majority in Qatar’s neighbor, Bahrain, the same heroic acclaim it bestows on Sunni revolutionaries.”

In June, a vocal and agitated group of nearly 500 protesters took to the streets in Benghazi, Libya – the city where U.S Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three colleagues were killed last fall – demanding that Qatar stop meddling in Libyan internal affairs.

“Much of the opposition was directed at Qatar which protesters claimed was supporting Libyan Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Middle East Online reported at the time. “Analysts believe that Qatar is trying to take advantage from a scenario repeated in both Tunisia and Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood, which was an active participant in revolutions, seized power,” the story said.

To the casual observer, it might appear strange that the country that was perhaps as instrumental as any in helping bring about the downfall of the hated Colonel Muammar Gadaffi in Libya back in 2011 should be the target of such vitriol. Qatar, a close U. S. ally, was the main conduit through which weapons transfers were made to Libyan rebels who eventually overpowered forces loyal to the long-time dictator.

As Libyans attempt to create a new order in their fractured country, many now believe that the Qatari regime’s Salafist sympathies contribute to a growing influence of radical Islamist groups in Libya with similar ideological beliefs to the Qatari royals. Concerns had surfaced as early as January 2012.

“But with [Muammar] Gaddafi dead and his regime a distant memory, many Libyans are now complaining that Qatari aid has come at a price,” reported Time magazine’s Steven Sotloff. “They say Qatar provided a narrow clique of Islamists with arms and money, giving them great leverage over the political process.”

Sotloff quoted former National Transitional Council (NTC) Deputy Prime Minister Ali Tarhouni as saying, “I think what they [Qatar] have done is basically support the Muslim Brotherhood. They have brought armaments and they have given them to people that we don’t know.”

And then there’s the question of Qatar’s meddling in Syria’s civil war.

“I think there are two [Qatari] sources of mostly ‘soft’ power – their money and Al Jazeera,” Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli military intelligence, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. “They are using their soft power to advance their regional goals. In Libya it was not necessarily a negative. In Syria they are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood [allied to the Free Syrian Army].”

“Now, what you have to assess,” Yadlin continued, “is whether the Muslim Brotherhood is better than Bashar [al-Assad], and whether the Muslim Brotherhood is better than the Jihadists and the Al Nusra Front [supported by Saudi Arabia].”

Yadlin’s pragmatic view reflects the dilemma of many considering intervention on behalf of the rebel forces in Syria. Is it better to try to arm the moderate elements of the FSA and have them replace the Assad regime? Would risking weapons supplied by the West and countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia falling into the wrong hands, possibly usher in an even more dangerous Jihadist regime that could destabilise the region even further?

Qatar played on these fears by presenting the Muslim Brotherhood as a relatively moderate force, but many now fear it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and no less dangerous than the Al Nusra Front terror group, which was added to the UN sanctions blacklist May 31.

Writing for the Russian website Oriental Review.org on May 23, Alexander Orlov reminded readers that Qatar was on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism during the 1990s, and sheltered Saudi nationals who were later revealed to have contributed to the 9/11 atrocities. He suggests that the U.S. turned a blind eye to Qatar’s previous record in return for using the massive Al Udeid facility as a forward command post in 2003 for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Orlov reminds us that Qatar was a major financier of the Islamist rebellion in Chechnya in the 1990s, and that after the Islamists had been routed by the Russian army, the [now former] Qatari emir gave sanctuary to one of the most wanted leaders of the Islamist rebellion, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a figure who has inspired Chechen Islamists ever since. Yandarbiyev was subsequently assassinated by a car bomb in the Qatari capital Doha in 2004.

Qatar long ago signed up to the Muslim Brotherhood cause. It believed that this alliance would promote Qatar to being the foremost player in Sunni Muslim affairs at the expense of its main rival, Saudi Arabia. Recent events suggest that gamble may have blown up in its face.

Sheikh Tamim’s rise to power appears to have created an opportunity to mend bridges with Saudi Arabia after his father Sheikh Hamad’s antagonistic relationship with Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia was a key Brotherhood supporter from the 1950s until the 9/11 attacks. Then, in a bid to distance itself from the damning fact that 15 of the 19 bombers were Saudis, Riyadh insisted that Muslim Brotherhood radicalization of the bombers was a significant factor. Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad quickly stepped into the breach and became the Muslim Brotherhood’s biggest supporter, offering Doha as a base for spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

It is significant, then, that the new Qatari leader’s first foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia. He arrived there last Friday, reported the Gulf Times. “Talks during the meeting dealt with existing fraternal relations between the two countries and ways to develop them in various fields,” the official Qatar News Agency said.

Tamim’s outreach to Saudi Arabia suggests that the two countries may be on the verge of rapprochement. Where that development leaves the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar’s huge investment in underwriting the Egyptian economy, the funding of rebel forces in Syria, and Qatar’s previous foreign policy in the region, remains to be seen.

The choices Qatar’s newly appointed young leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, makes over the next few weeks and months may have a significant impact on regional politics and on Qatar’s future role on that stage for years to come.

“I suspect the Qataris will draw back somewhat,” former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan told Reuters. “Their infatuation with the Muslim Brotherhood has probably been dampened. They’re likely to come around to a position closer to the Saudis.”

Paul Alster

America’s Problems in the Middle East are Just Beginning

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

It’s 2015, and there is a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), financed by Iran, wins an election on a platform demanding the expulsion of the Jews from Israel. Iran meanwhile smuggles shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to terrorist cells in Palestine that can take down civilian airlines at Ben-Gurion airport. With backing from the Egyptian military, Fatah throws out the elected Hamas government and kills larger number of Hamas supporters. What will Washington do? Given the track record of both the Obama administration and the Republican mainstream, one would expect America to denounce the use of violence against a democratically-elected government.

Such is the absurdity of both parties’ stance towards Egypt: the Egyptian military is doing America’s dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as “apes and pigs.” It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets in support of the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk. America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.

As it happens, Iran already is smuggling weapons via Syria to the West Bank to gain leverage against the Abbas government, as Stratfor reports (hat tip: the Daily Alert ), including surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles. Hamas crushed Fatah in the 2006 West Bank elections parliamentary elections 74-45, and made short work of the supposedly moderate Palestinian faction when it seized power in Gaza in 2007. As Syria disintegrates, along with Iraq and Lebanon, the artificial borders of Arab states drawn first by Ottoman conquerors and revised by British and French colonial authorities will have small meaning. Palestinians caught up in the Syrian and and Lebanese conflagrations would pour into a new Palestinian state and swell the ranks of the hard-core Jihadi irredentists. Iran will continue to use Hamas as a cat’s paw.

Among other things, the American response to the events in Egypt show the utter pointlessness of American security guarantees in the present negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Authority. Even in the extremely unlikely event that Mohammed Abbas chose to make peace with Israel, he would face a high probability of civil war, just as Ireland’s independence leader Michael Collins did when he struck a deal with the British for an Irish “Free State” rather than a republic. Collins killed more Irishmen than the British did in the preceding independence struggle. I do not want to compare Abbas to Collins, and I do not think he has any attention of making peace with Israel. But American blundering in Egypt has closed out the option, for whoever makes peace with Israel will require a free hand with Iranian-backed rejectionists.

America forgets that it corrected the flaw in its founding by killing 30 percent of Southern men of military age during its own Civil War, so many that the Confederate Army collapsed for lack of manpower. There are numerous wars which do not end until all the young men who want to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so. And of all of history’s conflicts, none was so likely to end with this sort of demographic attrition as the present war in the Middle East. Compared to the young Arabs, Persians and Pakistanis of today, American Southerners of 1861 were models of middle-class rectitude, with the world’s highest living standards and bright prospects for the future. The Europeans of 1914 stood at the cusp of modernity; one only can imagine what they might have accomplished had they not committed mutual suicide in two World Wars.

Today’s Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims have grim future prospects. The world economy has left them behind, and they cannot catch up. Egypt was at the threshold of starvation and economic collapse when the military intervened, bringing in subsidies from the Gulf monarchies. The young men of the Middle East have less to lose, perhaps, than any generation in any country in modern times. As we observe in Syria, large numbers of them will fight to the death.

America cannot bear to think about its own Civil War because the wounds are too painful; in order to reunite the country after 1865, we concocted a myth of tragic fratricide. Wilsonian idealism was born of the South’s attempt to suppress its guilt for the war, I have argued in the past. That is an academic consideration now. America’s credibility in the Middle East, thanks to the delusions of both parties, is broken, and it cannot be repaired within the time frame required to forestall the next stage of violence. Egypt’s military and its Saudi backers are aghast at American stupidity. Israel is frustrated by America’s inability to understand that Egypt’s military is committed to upholding the peace treaty with Israel while the Muslim Brotherhood wants war. Both Israel and the Gulf States observe the utter fecklessness of Washington’s efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The events of the past week have demonstrated that America’s allies in the Middle East from Israel to the Persian Gulf can trust no-one in Washington-neither Barack Obama nor John McCain. Those of us in America who try to analyze events in the region will be the last to hear the news, and the value of our work will diminish over time.

Behind the News in Israel.

David P. Goldman

Saudi King Says Muslims Ready to Fund Egypt if US Cuts Aid

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Saudi Arabia said Monday that it and other Muslim countries are ready to bankroll Egypt to make up for any financial aid that the United States might cut.

“To those who have announced they are cutting their aid to Egypt, or threatening to do that, (we say that) Arab and Muslim nations are rich with resources, and will not hesitate to help Egypt,” Foreign Minister Prince

Saud Al-Faisal said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

As reported earlier today, The office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), head of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, told The Daily Beast that military aid to Egypt has been temporarily cut off.

The downside for the United States would be that aid from the oil-rich Saudi kingdom would give it more influence on Cairo, at Washington’s expense.

Both countries share a disdain for the Muslim Brotherhood, which the new military regime ousted but has not been able to contain without the same brutal suppression exercised by Hosni Mubarak, before he was overthrown two years ago.

“Regrettably, we see that the stance of the international community toward the current events in Egypt is contrary to its stand toward the events in Syria,” Prince Saud was quoted as saying by the Saudi Gazette. “Where is its concern for human rights and the sanctity of blood in case of Syria where innocent civilians are being killed every day and where more than 100,000 people have been massacred so far?

“The international community adheres to human rights according to its interests and whims,” the foreign minister added.

He said that a cut in Western aid to Egypt would be considered a “hostile attitude against the interests of the Arab and Islamic nations and their stability.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Yossi Beilin: Egyptian Official Told Me Morsi ‘Won’ Rigged Ballot

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

“An Egyptian official told me in person that the army rigged the presidential elections in June 2012, fearing widespread riots should the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsi win,” according to former left-wing Meretz party leader Yossi Beilin, writing in his column for the Israel HaYom newspaper.

He said his source asked to remain anonymous but divulged that the true winner of last year’s election was Ahmed Shafik, the former air force commander and former president Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister.

The official results gave Morsi a narrow 3.46 percent margin of victory over Shafik. Beilin wrote that the numbers are correct, but the names of the winner and loser are backwards.

He added that Morsi tried running the country with hapless aides instead of accepting help from the military, far more experienced in managing the government.

The same source told Beilin that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who now rules Egypt, did not expect that the heavy casualties that resulted in clashes with supporters from Morsi but that Sissi was determined to clear the public streets of the demonstrators and not let them return.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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