Israel: Obama 'naive' on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Wednesday, January 04, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Israel's National Security Council determined during an emergency meeting last week that US President Barack Obama is "naive" when it comes to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and the dangers it poses.

The council, which exists to provide strategic assessments to the prime minister and his cabinet, met in Jerusalem for a discussion entitled "The Challenge of the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Offshoots."

The meeting was called as the Muslim Brotherhood was wrapping up its wildly successful showing in Egypt's first democratic election since the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak. With the votes from the third round of voting expected to be tallied soon, the Brotherhood is predicted to control at least 40 percent of the Egyptian parliament. The even more radical al-Nour party came in second place with 25-30 percent of the vote.

Less than a year ago, Obama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top American officials were brushing off the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists as a "fringe" movement within Egypt, and unlikely to win outright control in free elections. "They [the Muslim Brotherhood] don;t have majority support in Egypt," insisted Obama in early 2011.

When it became increasingly clear over the summer that the Muslim Brotherhood was emerging as Egypt's new dominant force, Obama's reaction was to "engage" the party that had once been shunned by Washington as a terrorist organization. Just last month, Obama dispatched Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry to meet with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo.

Both Obama's initial reaction to fears of a Brotherhood takeover and his response once such a takeover became inevitable were "naive" and place the region at increased risk, warned Israel's National Security Council.

Since Israel cannot change the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is suggesting to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he focus on educating Obama and his government on the very real threat created by the Muslim Brotherhood's hijacking of Egypt's revolution.

Just this week, the Muslim Brotherhood's second in command told Arab media that once in power, his group will never recognize Israel and will work to undo the Camp David Accords, a policy that has the potential to unhinge what's left of regional stability.

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