CAIRO (JWN and agencies)—In an ominous statement before the upcoming runoff election for Egypt’s presidency between a secular candidate and the champion of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization’s leader has called on the Arab world to destroy the Jewish state.
Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Muhammad Badie issued his call in statement issued on May 17 to commemorate Nakba [catastrophe] Day, when the Arab world mourns the creation of Israel in 1948.
Badie’s statement came to light on Wednesday, when it was exposed on the Investigative Project on Terrorism blog. In it Badie reminds the Brotherhood of the movement’s many decades of “sacrifices” in its efforts to destroy the Jewish state and exhorts his followers to renew their efforts.
“On this day, like every year, the Arab and Islamic nations remember the worst catastrophe ever to befall the peoples of the world,” Badie wrote in the text, translated by The Jerusalem Post. “We demand the international community rectify the historic injustice [of 1948] and pressure the government of the Zionist entity to withdraw from the land of Palestine.”
The eventual Israeli “withdrawal from the land of Palestine”—in other words, the end of Israel’s existence—is portrayed as the natural culmination of the Arab Spring revolts of the past 18 months.
“We have toppled the most repressive regimes with purpose and determination,” Badie wrote. “We have begun the era of liberation of all peoples; first of all the Palestinian people, [suffering from] the worst occupation known to man – the Zionist occupation.”
Uriya Shavit, a lecturer in Tel Aviv University’s Department for Arabic and Islamic Studies, told The Post the Brotherhood has been calling for the destruction of “the Zionist entity” “from its founding in 1928 until this very day.”
“What they have tried to do, not just during the Arab Spring but before, is to try to reconcile the ideology of never recognizing Israel, or the 1979 Egypt- Israel peace treaty, with the understanding that if they’re to be in power, they have to be realistic,” Shavit added. “That’s why they offer statements like ‘We realize we will have to recognize agreements signed by previous governments,’ but then always add a ‘but.’”
What has become ominous is that the Brotherhood won half the seats in Egypt’s parliamentary in elections this year. To add to the danger, the even more extremist Salafi Islamists won another 25 percent. The runoff election for Egypt’s presidency on June 16-17 will pit Brotherhood candidate Muhammad Mursi against former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
Badie’s Nakba Day message asserted that the Arab revolts showed that the popular will can topple “corrupt regimes which knelt at the feet of the Zionists.” He referred to the Jews in a verse from the Koran: “They are those with whom thou didst make a covenant, but they break their covenant every time.”
“The idea is there is no point in signing treaties with Jews–not Israelis, by the way, but Jews–because the Koran tells you just how unreliable they are,” Shavit said. “This is rhetoric even Hamas has used less in the past year, because it’s seen in the West as plain anti-Semitism, albeit in Islamic garb.”