ADL Report: Muslim Brotherhood's Open Hostility To Israel Could Play Destabilizing Role In Egypt And Region

New York, NY, September 19, 2011 … With the Muslim Brotherhood playing a significant role in the post-Mubarak transition in Egypt, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is raising concerns about how their evolving leadership might emerge and impact Egypt's outlook and relations with Israel, given the group's open antagonism toward Israel and the Jewish people.

A new ADL report, "Brotherhood of Hate," issued today, takes an in-depth look at the "troubling, pervasive and virulent" anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric of the Muslim Brotherhood, which, despite its vow of promoting peaceful co-existence and stability for Egyptians internally, continues to express open hostility toward the Jewish state.

Capitalizing on their newfound freedom in post-revolutionary Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood leaders have publicly voiced opposition to both the existence of Israel and to the 1979 Camp David accord, the peace treaty that has provided the basis for regional stability for more than three decades. Their rhetoric has only been amplified since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

"It is scary to think what might become of regional stability and Egyptian society when you look at the Muslim Brotherhood's troubling, pervasive and virulent statements about Jews and Israel," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

"Despite all the different analyses circulating about the dynamics in Egypt and the potential role of the Muslim Brotherhood, not enough attention has been paid to the Brotherhood's continued hostility toward Israel and the peace treaty," Mr. Foxman said.

"While much of this hostility is not new, it takes on far greater meaning in the evolving Egypt. Whether the Muslim Brotherhood gains a prominent place in a new government or exerts influence through its rhetoric, its attitudes toward the Jewish State will affect Egyptian policies and behavior. Never was this more clear than in the recent attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo, an attack justified by the Brotherhood."

ADL's report focuses on how Egypt's newfound political, civic and media freedoms in the wake of the overthrow of President Mubarak's regime have enabled the Muslim Brotherhood to publicly promote conspiratorial claims against both Israel and Jews, while expressing support for terrorist groups committed to the destruction of the Jewish State. In addition to public statements by its leadership, the Brotherhood's media arm has increasingly served as a platform for such sentiment as well.

Muslim Brotherhood in Their Own Words 

In the wake of the power vacuum that has engulfed Egypt following the revolution, there has been a steady escalation of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel themes in public discourse and by Muslim Brotherhood leaders in particular. Although the official policy of the Brotherhood and its new political party, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is that of democracy and peace, the organization continues to lash out against Israel and Jews and to express support for terrorist organizations dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish State.

The following is a sampling of recent statements by Muslim Brotherhood leaders demonstrating the group's anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views:

  • "Both nations [Iran and Egypt] underline the necessity for Muslim nations to maintain solidarity and unity to annihilate this cancerous tumor (Israel)… Every night when I go to bed, I pray to wake up the next day to see Israel is wiped off the map." - Kamal al Halbawi, Brotherhood spokesman at the time, speaking during an official Brotherhood visit to Iran (July 13, 2011).
  • "Allah has warned us the tricks of the Jews, and their role in igniting the fire of wars … The Almighty said: 'Every time they light the fires of war, Allah extinguishes them; and they labor hard to spread corruption on earth and Allah does not love the spreaders of corruption," – Mohammad Badie at a Brotherhood rally, (June 2, 2011).
  • "The Jews are in the habit of taking over the media and inflating all the terrible incidents that have happened to them, but they have also fabricated incidents, which they have sealed by giving rise to the story of the 'Holocaust,' which the Nazis perpetrated against them … the main chord played by Jews to gain popular support for their State, and even convince the Jews themselves need to establish their own State." – Article posted to IkhwanOnline, the Brotherhood's primary Arabic-language site (May 28, 2011).
  • "The issue of Palestine is the most important issue of Egyptian national security, in addition to being an Arab or Muslim cause, because the Zionist Entity is a racist colonizing expansionist entity, possessing weapons of mass destruction, which has caused the outbreak of many wars in the region. – Official platform of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

The Brotherhood's ideology has produced sister organizations in the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Syria. The most notable of these is Hamas, the Palestinian arm of the Muslim brotherhood and an extreme Islamic terrorist organization that calls for the eradication of the Israeli state.

"Although Hamas's origins are from within the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the Brotherhood's leadership refuses any organizational link between the two, maintaining that Hamas only shares an ideological bond with its Egyptian counterpart," the report notes. "However, there continues to be direct support from the Muslim Brotherhood's leadership for Hamas's activities against Israel."

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.