Watchman Newsletter

U.S. recognizes Muslim Brotherhood

Politico (Link) - Tim Mak (June 30, 2011)

The U.S. has decided to formally resume contact with Egypt�s Muslim Brotherhood group - which does not recognize Israel � in a move that could further alienate some Jewish voters already skeptical of President Barack Obama, it was reported.

One senior U.S. official said the Brotherhood�s rise in political prominence after the forced departure of former President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year makes the American contact necessary.

�The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing� It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency,� said the official, who confirmed the news to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Muslim Brotherhood - founded in 1928 to promote a conservative version of Islam in politics, culture and society � has previously had some communication with the U.S. through Brotherhood Members of Parliament who had been technically elected as independents. U.S. diplomats had been instructed only to deal with Brotherhood members in their role as Members of Parliament.

The decision to resume contact with the Muslim Brotherhood group may worry members of the Jewish community and Israeli officials, Reuters reported.

POLITICO�s Ben Smith wrote yesterday about the increasing anxiety of center-left Jewish Democrats who are losing faith in Obama, most recently because of the speech in which he called for the country�s 1967 borders to be the basis for peace talks, with �land swaps.�

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mohamed Saad el-Katatni told Reuters that no American contact with the group has yet been made, but he added: �We welcome such relationships with everyone because those relations will lead to clarifying our vision.�

In recent years, the Muslim Brotherhood has asserted that it renounces violence. The group is not considered a foreign terrorist organization by the United States � but organizations sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, like Hamas, have not renounced violence against Israel.

Egypt will hold parliamentary elections in September, and the country�s military government has promised an election for president by the end of this year. �

America ~ Islam ~ Israel