The Egyptian ambassador in London, Ashraf el-Kholy, has likened the Muslim
Brotherhood to Hitler and Nazism. He said, “[Mohamed] Morsi was elected
president and held office for one year but in that time he tried to make
everything Muslim Brotherhood- controlled. Egyptian culture over 5,000 years is
a mix of religions and civilizations in which the Islamic religion is one
ingredient of the Egyptian character.... The Muslim Brotherhood are like a Nazi
group that demand that everything changes and people everything to their
The Muslim Brotherhood, like Hamas in Gaza, was elected
democratically, and so was Hitler’s Nazi party. While I do not accept the
comparison made by the Egyptian ambassador, it has its relevance in the right of
democracies to protect themselves from those who essentially seek their
When Hamas was elected in 2006 the international community
accepted Hamas’s victory yet put conditions on the democratically elected
government’s legitimacy as a partner for normal international
Those conditions included a renouncement of violence and the
armed struggle against Israel, the adherence to previous signed agreements with
Israel, and the recognition of Israel.
Hamas rejected those conditions
and remains to this day a persona non grata in the international
The Muslim Brotherhood took control of a recognized sovereign
state and immediately announced that it would adhere to all international
agreements and conventions Egypt was party to, among them being the
Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement. President Morsi remained faithful to that
principle while at the same time delegating all contact with Israel to the
military and intelligence services, and not allowing any members of his Freedom
and Justice Party to have any contact with Israelis.
I did have contact
with Freedom and Justice members at an international regional conference I
attended last year.
They were not very friendly and they made no
promises. I spoke to them about the need for Egypt to release Ouda Tarabin, an
Israeli Beduin citizen who has been in Egyptian prison for more than 12 years on
false charges of being a spy for Israel.
In my two visits to Cairo over
the past year I reached out to the Brothers to try and meet with them, but got
no responses to my emails or phone calls. I tried to speak to some of the
leaders of the party, and was told through a third party to stop doing
I don’t take their rejection to speak with me personally, but I do
relate to it nationally. As an Israeli with a naturally pro-Western political
world view I could not look at the Muslim Brotherhood victory as a positive sign
for the democratization of the Middle East. I did not accept the belief of some
of my colleagues that the Muslim Brotherhood would moderate its positions when
facing the reality of governance.
With absolutely no previous experience
at running anything, they failed miserably, bringing the Egyptian economy to its
knees, and at the same time worked overtime to impose their nontolerant
political worldview on 90 million Egyptians.
Their victory in Egypt and
Tunisia, their strength in Libya and growing power among the Syrian opposition
were all bad signals for freedom and democracy. When the Tahrir revolution began
I was glued to Al Jazeera 24/7 as I watched young people who had been oppressed
by dictatorships stand up for their rights. I was with them in spirit in Tahrir.
But with the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood their revolution took a turn for
the worse and the hopes of Tahrir and the Arab Spring quickly turned into the
dark fall of religious fanaticism and oppression.
I look at the past year
of Muslim Brotherhood rule as a friend of Egypt, as a resident of the region and
as someone who is greatly concerned with the future of the entire Middle East
and the Muslim world. The June 30 Second Egyptian Revolution is a good thing. It
was clear that while the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections, the results of
those elections did not truly reflect the will of the Egyptian
The failed governance of the Brothers and their attempts to
change Egypt from the ground up give legitimacy to the toppling of the Morsi
government and the determined resolve demonstrated by the Egyptian interim
government and the military to crush the counterrevolution of Morsi’s
supporters. The end of the reign of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is good for
the entire Middle East and for the world.
It is true that there have been
many casualties, perhaps more than necessary.
Certainly every innocent
casualty is a tragedy. I saw the TV footage of armed Morsi supporters shooting
recklessly into crowds, killing policemen and soldiers.
We are all
witness to the horrendous crime of aggression committed by jihadi fanatics in
Sinai against Egyptian soldiers. The Egyptian interim government and the army
are correct in using the force necessary to defeat those enemies of
Once the decision was taken to bring down the Morsi government,
there was no possibility of being soft on those who continued to threaten the
very existence of the Egyptian state. Egypt had to be reset in order to ensure
that over the next year real democracy will begin to hold ground, not only
democratic elections but the basic values that will ensure freedom and dignity
for all Egyptians.
The US government and the EU, which have been known
for supporting dictatorship regimes in the past, should look with a more
discerning eye at what is happening in Egypt. Supporting the return of Morsi to
power is supporting a regime which is anti-western, anti-democratic, anti-Israel
and, as its behavior has shown, anti-Christian.
There is nothing
democratic about a regime which uses its power to change the constitution and
impose foreign values on 90 million people.
The new interim regime will
convene elections when the situation allows in the coming year. The new regime
will offer a new constitution based on more liberal democratic
The new interim regime will adhere to its peace agreement with
Israel. They will fight Islamic fundamentalist terrorists and will retake
control of Sinai. This regime will be pro-Western.
In Egypt, democracy is
fighting to save democracy. It is a lesson well worth observing because there
are other parts of the region which are calling for the same thing. Right next
door to us in Gaza there are young people adopting the Tamarod (the movement in
Egypt behind the June 30 revolution) who call for an uprising against Hamas. We
should all hope that they are successful.The author is the co-chairman
of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist
for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back
channel for the release of Gilad Schalit. His new book, Freeing Gilad: the
Secret Back Channel, has been published by Kinneret Zmora Bitan in Hebrew.
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference. Buy it now, Special offer. Come meet Israel's top leaders