Hamas supporters burn Israeli and US flags
Hamas supporters burn Israeli and US flagsIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Many Western analysts agree that the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are one and the same. One leading Brotherhood cleric has said: "Kill Jews – to the very last one.” A Brotherhood takeover of Egypt would strengthen Hamas in Gaza.

Another Brotherhood leader told an Arab language newspaper Monday that Egyptians “should prepare for war against Israel."

The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are rooted in the same ideology. "If the Muslim Brotherhood groups gain a prominent place in the government, this would definitely help consolidate Hamas's hold on Gaza,'' Atiyeh Jawwabra, a political science professor at Jerusalem's Al Quds University, told The Wall Street Journal’s Joshua Mitnick.

The journalist added, “Hamas, whose founder was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, has rejected negotiations with Israel and refuses to foreswear military and terrorist attacks."

“Under a different name (Hamas), the Muslim Brotherhood runs the Gaza Strip. Hamas's charter states unequivocally that it wants to eradicate Israel,” wrote Richard Cohen in the Washington Post this week.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology was made clear in the sermons of one of its leading preachers based in Qatar, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Two years ago, the Anti-Defamation League posted several of his teachings, one of them a call that Israel and Jews be dealt with by the Almighty who should "kill them, down to the very last one."

In a sermon aired in January 2009 on Al Jazeera television, Qaradawi said, “I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus I will seal my life with martyrdom.”  Two days later, Qaradawi gave another speech that also aired on Al-Jazeera, where he claimed that Adolf Hitler was sent by Allah to punish the Jews.

The same month, he led a delegation of Muslim scholars who met with Arab terrorist groups, including Hamas, in Damascus "to discuss the ways to cope with a war of genocide against the people in…Gaza."

On another occasion, he declared, "I support Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah.  I oppose the peace that Israel and America wish to dictate. This peace is an illusion. I support martyrdom operations."

Several analysts view the Muslim Brotherhood as being a minority in Egypt, and the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, traditionally against Israeli nationalism, recently opined that “There is ultimately no alternative to freedom and self-government,” even if it means that a radical Muslim group will control Egypt.

During the George W. Bush administration, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was shell-shocked when aides woke her up in the middle of the night to tell that Hamas won the Palestinian Authority's first and only legislative election that the United States sponsored - and even monitored - in the Palestinian Authority.

CNN somewhat played down the prospect of an Egyptian government led by the Muslim Brotherhood, quoting Egyptian analyst Mustafa Abulhimal as saying, "The Muslim Brotherhood are a small minority among those who are out on the street," he said, and added that there is no comparison  between Egypt today and Iran in 1979, when the Islamic Revolution overthrew the American-backed Shah.

"The Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with the Iranian model, has nothing to do with extremism as we have seen it in Afghanistan and other places. The Muslim Brotherhood is a religiously conservative group. They are a minority in Egypt," he said.