The View from Jerusalem
Anything could happen in the Middle East, and the Israelis know it

Sheikh Qaradawi, spokesman of the Muslim Brothers (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty/Newscom)


According to a fairly recent Pew poll, 49 percent of Egyptian Muslims support Hamas. In the midst of the revolution, some dozens of Muslim Brothers and Hamas terrorists escaped from prison in Egypt, or more likely were released. One received an official welcome in Gaza, and on public platforms proclaim their eagerness to start fighting Israel again. The spokesman of the Muslim Brothers, the 84-year-old Sheikh Qaradawi, is one of the most influential and popular figures in the Muslim world. Originally Egyptian, he has long been in exile in Qatar, where he broadcasts on Al Jazeera. He advises Muslims not to make friends with Jews as this might diminish their desire to wage jihad against them. “O Allah, take this oppressive Jewish Zionist band of people,” he preaches, “kill them down to the very last one.”

Returning in haste to Egypt, he addressed a crowd in Cairo estimated to be over a million. Mohammed Badie, head of the Muslim Brothers, is already demanding a revision of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty on the grounds of his eagerness to start war against Israel. Should the Supreme Council or whoever rules Egypt ever consent to an open border with Gaza in order to propitiate the Muslim Brothers, Iran will be enabled to equip Hamas with more advanced and heavier weaponry. To that extent, Hamas becomes the arbiter of peace and war. The downfall of Mubarak seems to the ayatollahs a moment of pure triumphalism and they sent two warships through the Suez Canal to show themselves already a Mediterranean power.

March 21, 2011    |     Volume LXIII, No. 5

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