Daily Israel Report

Muslim Brotherhood: Yes to Peace, No to Dialogue

The Muslim Brotherhood says it will keep the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, but rejects dialogue.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/26/2012, 6:43 AM

Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the big winner in the first parliamentary elections in the country since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, clarified on Wednesday that while the peace agreement with Israel won’t be canceled, the organization will not engage in dialogue with Israel.

The Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Mohamed Morsi, announced on Wednesday that the organization does not intend to cancel the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979.

In an interview on the Al Jazeera network cited by Israel’s Channel 10 News, Morsi said, “When parties accept responsibilities they cannot change or cancel signed agreements. We will honor all agreements, including the Camp David Agreement.

Morsi added that the military regime which still rules the country is reproducing the situation that existed during Mubarak’s rule.

“The economic policy, the relations with Israel and the United States and the security are an exact copy of what they were during the Mubarak regime,” he noted.

The Muslim Brotherhood recently denied that it plans to uphold the peace treaty with Israel, after U.S. State Department Victora Nuland told said that the Muslim Brotherhood had assured Washington it would uphold extant diplomatic accords, including the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

While Morsi’s statements sound encouraging to Israel, Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghazlan said in a separate interview on Wednesday that his group categorically rejects the principle of dialogue with Israel.

In an interview with the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Ghazlan stressed that the Brotherhood’s position is clear and consistent on this matter, and is not open to discussion.

Ghazlan made his comments after the Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that Tel Aviv would extend a helping hand to the new regime in Egypt.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told Israeli radio on Tuesday, Asharq Al-Awsat noted, that “Israel has not closed the door to anyone”, adding that “we will be happy to engage in dialogue with anyone who is ready to negotiate with us.”

Ghazlan stressed, however, that the Muslim Brotherhood “does not have any willingness to engage in dialogue with Israel. This decision has been taken and our position is consistent and clear, and is not currently open to discussion.”

He added that “it does not make sense to launch a dialogue, any form of dialogue, in light of Israel’s current practices against the Arab people.”