Friday, January 20, 2012

Egypt Brothers mix pragmatism, ideology on Israel

    Friday, January 20, 2012   No comments

The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to maneuver its way between its fierce anti-Israel ideology and the realities of governing as it ascends to leadership in Egypt for the first time in its history and faces the key question of how to deal with the country's peace treaty with the Jewish state.
The fundamentalist group's stance on the accord — opposition but not renunciation — is a telling sign of its broader style of politics. It can play down its hardline doctrine in favor of short-term pragmatism as it looks to the long term, leaves its options open and engages in a degree of double-talk to pave the way.
The stance could also reflect the group's own evolution as its new political party, whose members will be the ones actually involved in governing, gradually has to distinguish itself from the hard line of the Brotherhood itself, an 83-year-old organization whose leadership worked for decades in a hive-like secrecy because of state repression.
"The Brotherhood is in a real challenge and real crisis. For the first time, they are in power, which forces them to be rational when it comes to foreign policy because any miscalculations might blow their gains," said Khalil al-Anani, an Egyptian expert on Islamic movements.


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