Avi Dichter
Avi DichterIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter warned on Monday against a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Arab countries in the Middle East, as a result of the Arab Spring.

Dichter spoke at the 12th International Conference of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center.

“For the first time since these conferences began to take place here, it can be said clearly: the Arab world in general, and in our neighboring countries in particular, has begun the long journey which will end with the Middle East having a bloc of countries controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, and perhaps even one Islamic caliphate.”

“This is a scenario that seemed surreal just two years ago,” he added. “All the intelligence agencies, research institutes and those who are ‘supposed to know something’ about the Arab world and the streams which lead it - just missed it.”

Dichter added that when the demonstrations in Egypt started “the liberals were perceived as a threat to the Mubarak regime. At that time, the fact that the liberals were actually lying unconsciously on the fence for the Muslim Brotherhood did not permeate into the consciousness.”

Referring to the civil war taking place in Syria and the weakening of the Assad regime, Dichter said, “The question is not whether Assad will fall but when, and how Syria will look the day after Assad. We are likely to see a massacre of the Alawites, the minority to which Assad belongs, a massacre towards which the current regime has already begun preparing.”

“The central question which interests the Syrian people, the entire Arab world, the West and everything in between is who will replace the rule of Bashar Assad,” he added. “Will the Sunnis who take power into have liberal perceptions or will they be ‘Muslim Brothers’ in their own way?”

Regarding Iran, Dichter warned, “If Iran goes nuclear, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will go nuclear. The Iranian threat to them is no less than the Iranian threat facing us.”