Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday 12 February 2011

The Antisemitic, Misogynist Islamists Who Bide their Time and Await their Chance in Egypt

Even some Egyptian feminists seem sanguine about the Muslim Brotherhood; there's scant chance, they appear to be saying, of the Brotherhood taking power in Egypt.  But history shows that revolutions, once begun by comparatively moderate elements, have a way of spinning out of control, and those who started them in their own self-interest sometimes get more than they bargained for, as radical forces with a far-out agenda eventually manage to wrest control.

[Update: Jubilant Tahrir Square protester to BBC reporter Ben Brown on Friday following Mubarak's abdication: "The BBC stood with the Revolution, and we'd like to thank the BBC."  Ah, so ... ]

The article below regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, entitled “Beware the Islamists in the Wings,” appeared in the Los Angeles Times (5 February). Its author, Tim Rutten, would appear to be one of the comparatively few Western journalists who fully appreciates the true nature and ambitions of the Brotherhood. (Hat tip: Professor Barry Rubin, who has written a number of cogent and compelling analyses of the Brotherhood in recent days – see here for further details: and also have a look at

And for the antisemitism that’s been seen among protesters on Tahrir Square, but which seems to have been ignored by much of the media, see

Here's Rutten's op-ed:

From the American perspective, the transition now underway in Egypt confirms John Kenneth Galbraith's famous appraisal of politics as a choice between "the disastrous and the unpalatable."

What the Obama administration must dread is not the prospect of Cairo repeating the disaster that was Tehran in 1979 but St. Petersburg in 1917, when one revolution  its leadership democratic but hopelessly divided  was followed within months by a second, its leaders murderously disciplined and malevolently focused. In other words, will Mohamed ElBaradei or some other liberal reformer ultimately play Kerensky to some as-yet-obscure Islamist strongman when the Muslim Brotherhood seizes power, as the Bolsheviks did from the parliamentary democracy to which the Czar handed power when he abdicated?

That possibility arises because a democratic or more broadly based Egyptian government inevitably is going to include the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928 and is the world's oldest and largest Islamist organization. History suggests that political liberalization, no matter who wins it, sets off its own revolution of rising expectations. And whoever succeeds Hosni Mubarak will have a hellish time satisfying the needs of a country where more than 30 million people live on $2 a day or less, and where the population includes more unemployed university graduates than any other in the world.

Moreover, since decolonization, secular Arab regimes haven't excelled at much but repression. That makes a focused organization like the Muslim Brotherhood, with its twin appeals to folk piety and populist politics, not simply a ready alternative but the only one. The handful of scholars who've studied the Muslim Brotherhood agree that the organization contains both hard-line Islamists and more flexible "reformers," though they're divided on which faction predominates.

Take, for example, the Brotherhood's claim of rejecting violence while supporting attacks on Israel. Palestinian terrorism, it insists, isn't violence but "resistance."

Some analysts have compared the Brotherhood's latest iteration to the West's Christian Democratic parties, but that simply doesn't wash. No Christian Democrat ever has claimed that the party's creed is the only legitimate organizing principle for every aspect of personal, communal and political life, as the Muslim Brotherhood has for more than 80 years. Nor has any Christian Democratic party ever made the transnational claims the Brotherhood does  its ultimate goal being the restoration of an Islamic caliphate stretching from the South China Sea to the Pyrenees.

There's also no looking away from the fact that the Brotherhood isn't just committed to the Palestinian cause or hostile to political Zionism, which it has been since its founding. It's a thoroughly anti-Semitic organization that has actively distributed Arab-language editions of  The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and actively collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. It also advocates discrimination against women and believes that non-Muslims should not be allowed to hold office.

Finally, we can't ignore the fact that in the two places where offshoots of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood have managed to gain political power Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the wretched cabal in Sudan the results have been both bloody and disastrous.

As uncertain and fraught with danger as the prospects may be, there also are facts on the ground that not even the most committed of the Brotherhood's hard men will be able to ignore. One is that, for all the political window dressing with which Mubarak has surrounded himself, Egypt is  as it has been since Gamal Abdel Nasser a military dictatorship. The army and its economic interests are woven throughout the fabric of the country's society, and the generals aren't likely to sit in their villas and watch all that swept away for the sake of Sharia.

What would follow from a military coup wouldn't be pleasant for the Egyptian people, but neither would the imposition of an Islamic regime.

There's also the hard reality that Egypt can't feed itself; it is the world's largest importer of grain, much of which it pays for with aid from the United States. That's leverage. So too is the fact that the Egyptian army no longer is in a position to threaten our closest ally in the region, Israel, because we equip Cairo's forces, and they couldn't fight a war without being resupplied.

The United States has found a way to maintain close relations with the hard-line Islamic fundamentalist regime in Saudi Arabia and with the "soft" Islamists now in power in Turkey. It won't be easy or comfortable, but we probably can find a similar accommodation with Egypt  particularly because there isn't any choice.


And, incidentally, here's what Al Beeb's Muslim Brotherhood poster boy Kamal Helbawy thinks of killing Israeli toddlers:
He never tells the BBC about that, of course, and they never ask him ...


  1. Al Beeb’s take on the Egyptian Revolution and its relation to Gaza:
    And Al Beeb unrelated mischief exposed by Robin Shepherd:

  2. Just watched Dateline London on the BBC news channel (12th feb').
    Ali Baba Brown in tears of joy over the events in Egypt. The woman is never off the box with her most biased of opinions, never too afraid to use the race or feminist card if questioned too hard and boxed into a corner.
    Interesting to note that when Amin kicked her out of Uganda ( and it wasn't as simple as an expulsion, people of an asian background were offered citizenship or expusion ) she travelled west and not east, why did she not go and live in a nice Muslim land where her roots truly are, and we would'nt have to listen to her whinges on a regular basis, could it be the freedom and lifestyle we enjoy here, and the repression she would have got anywhere else.
    The BBC tax we all are forced to pay goes straight into the bank accounts of these people.

  3. Hi, Steve!
    I've been looking at the "Biased BBC" website, and it's choc-a-bloc with examples of Al Beeb's prejudice. It's clear that Bowen irritates lots of people, and many people are not blind to Al Beeb's cheerleading for the other side.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.