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Muslim Brotherhood Renounces Recognition of Israel

Erin Dwyer

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood renounced any recognition of Israel and has proclaimed its intentions to overturn the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Dr. Rashad Bayoumi, Deputy Head of the Brotherhood, explained that following the transition of power from the current interim government to the newly established government of the people, the issue of the peace treaty would be re-opened for the people to decide its fate.

Bayoumi further explained the Brotherhood’s position by saying, “We will not recognize Israel under any circumstances; we are talking about an occupation entity and a criminal enemy.” Bayoumi also emphasized that no Muslim Brotherhood member would meet with Israelis for negotiations, and- in fact, the political party is ready to take legal procedures towards reversing the 1979 peace treaty between the two states.

Supporters of the Freedom and Justice Party of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo on Dec. 26, 2011.

While the Brotherhood intends to honor Egypt’s international pacts for the time being, Bayoumi stressed, “Each side has the right to reexamine the treaty.” Words that sound less than promising coming from a man who also proclaimed, “I won’t allow myself to sit down with a criminal. We won’t cooperate with Israel in any situation.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, won approximately 50% of parliamentary seats in the first two stages of a three ring parliamentary election. The Islamist extremist Salifi Al-Nour party won up to 30% of the vote and backed anti-Israeli sentiments by proclaiming that the party intends to, “stand firmly against normalization between the two countries in all forms, and are against ties with any entity that wants to harm the Egyptian identity.”

What consequences an Islamist dominated anti-Israel Egyptian parliament will mean for the security of Israel and political sentiments in the Middle East remains unclear. What can be sure is tides are turning and it will be of critical importance for the Obama administration to focus on Egypt as results from its third and final round of elections become clear.