Jews blast US talks with Brotherhood

2011-07-01 10:32
Los Angeles - The Obama administration's decision to enter a dialogue with Egypt's once-banned Muslim Brotherhood is a "sell-out" to the Europeans that should be overturned, a US anti-Semitism group said on Thursday.

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre cited the Brotherhood's "hatred of Jews and Israel" in urging President Barack Obama and his administration to drop any engagement with the Islamist group.

"The political landscape in Egypt may have changed since the end of the [Hosni] Mubarak regime," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Jewish human rights group.

"But the Brotherhood's hatred of Jews and Israel has not changed at all. This seems like a sell-out to the European position and I hope it is not a signal that the United States will acquiesce to Europe and begin talking to Hamas as well," he continued, citing the conservative Palestinian rulers of the Gaza Strip.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said earlier that Washington has been in "limited contacts" with the Brotherhood, pointing to the "change of the political landscape in Egypt" after popular uprisings brought Mubarak's 30-year rule to an end.

The Brotherhood welcomed the move, telling AFP it was open to contacts with the United States as long as its "values are respected", but said there had been "no direct contacts" in the past.

But Hier said the United States should not be speaking with an "organisation that can lay claim to being the world's leading purveyor of anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews".

"Legitimising the Muslim Brotherhood sends the wrong message that you can hate Jews, and still sit and talk with world leaders," the rabbi continued.

Read more on:    brotherhood  |  us  |  egypt  |  north africa
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