Monday, January 28, 2013

Morsi's Radical Past: Former Associate Calls Morsi a 'Master of Disguise'


Morsi's Radical Past: Former Associate Calls Morsi a 'Master of Disguise'.(Spiegel).
Is Mohammed Morsi a peacebroker or a virulent anti-Semite? A former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has known Morsi for 13 years, believes that behind the Egyptian president's veneer of goodwill towards Israel lies a deep-seated hatred.
Mohammed Morsi can be very sympathetic, even toward Jews, as evidenced by an extremely friendly letter the Egyptian president sent to Israel last October. The president had personally written the letter of accreditation, for his new ambassador in Tel Aviv, to his counterpart Shimon Peres, whom he addressed as a "Dear Friend." In the letter, Morsi clearly invoked the "good relations" that "fortunately exist between our countries," and pledged to "preserve and strengthen" them.
But the Egyptian president, who is visiting Berlin this week and will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, a champion of Israel, appears to be a man with two faces. He is conciliatory as Egypt's leader, saying that he wants to be the "president of all Egyptians," even though only about a quarter of the country's 50 million eligible voters voted for him. And, of course, he insists that his country will fulfill all of its obligations from the Mubarak era, including both the peace treaty with Israel and a policy of close cooperation with the United States.
In mid-January, however, Western diplomats and politicians saw a very different Mohammed Morsi, a man filled with hate for the "Zionist entity," the term Islamists use for the Jewish state. An almost three-year-old video, published by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), depicts an Islamist who is practically foaming at the mouth, as he rants about the Israelis in an interview with an Arab network. Speaking in a deep and firm voice, he calls them "bloodsuckers" and "warmongers," and says that there can be no peace with these "descendants of apes and pigs."
It was apparently more than just a regrettable moment of madness for Morsi, claims a prominent former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. After all, he says, the current president served as general inspector of the Muslim Brotherhood for years, which put him in charge of the group's online service. That service includes quotes about Israelis and Jews that testify to the same hatred as the lapses in the video.
Despite outrage internationally and at the White House over the video, Morsi was unperturbed by the furor over his remarks. In the end, his spokesman said that Morsi's words had been taken out of context, but offered no further explanation or apology. When SPIEGEL reporters appeared at the presidential palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis last week after having received approval for an interview with Morsi, they were turned away.
For information expert Sharnoubi, Morsi was "a typical man from the country, a fellah with peasant origins who quickly integrated himself into the machine." At the time, claims Sharnoubi, Morsi was "downright submissive to the Brotherhood's leadership." Morsi was apparently completely opposed to the Brotherhood becoming more open, as Sharnoubi had advocated. "He fought against any internal democratization."
It seemed "inconceivable" to Sharnoubi that Morsi's group would one day assume power in Egypt. In fact, he says, he would have "found it even less likely" that Morsi, a modest member of parliament, would become president. Even in the highest government position, Morsi cannot have shed the Brotherhood's mission like an old suit, says Sharnoubi. "A man like Morsi, with such deep convictions, can't do that. If we hear anything else from him, it'll be a pretense."
He explains that Morsi owes his survival under autocrat Mubarak to this "talent for assimilation," and that he is a "master of disguise." 
Sharnoubi wasn't surprised by the Morsi hate video. "Agitation against the Israelis is in keeping with the way Morsi thinks. For the Morsi I know, any cooperation with Israel is a serious sin, a crime."
Morsi's choice of words is also nothing new, says Sharnoubi.
It was under the editorship of Sharnoubi, who stresses that he condemns the "Israeli government's settlement policy," that Morsi gave a self-promoting interview in May 2009. Referring to the Israelis, the current president said: "They all have the same nature. They are equally shaped by shrewdness, deception and hate." He added that their only objectives are "killing, aggression and subjugation."
Former fellow Muslim Brotherhood member Sharnoubi expects "no words of regret, at least not sincere ones," for his offensive remarks in the scandalous film. Anti-Israeli rhetoric, he says, is a "cornerstone of the Brotherhood's ideology."Hmmmm.....Obama: "Morsi is a 'strait shooter'...yes but he did not mention the targets. Read the full story here.

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