Editor’s note: While Americans were preparing to celebrate Independence Week, protests in Egypt exploded, resulting in coup that saw the nation’s military remove Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamist who had risen to office just a year earlier on June 30, 2012.
Morsi’s reign was made possible following the February 2011 Brotherhood-led ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, who had been an anti-Islamist, Israel-friendly, America-friendly leader for 33 years.
Morsi became the favorite candidate of the Brotherhood in 2012 after the official Brotherhood candidate, Khayrat el-Shater, was ultimately ruled ineligible for office over a past criminal conviction and was forced out of the election. (Just last week, on July 5, el-Shater was arrested in Cairo under suspicion of inciting violence as part of a round up of many Brotherhood leaders in the wake of the military takeover.)
Since the coup, there have been multiple reports that former U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei — who also served as the Brotherhood-endorsed interim Egyptian steward after Mubarak was forced out — was a rumored favorite to take power with the military. However, it seems that the military leadership found ElBaradei too controversial to be president and chose to install Adly Mansour as interim president.
Since then, ElBaradei was selected — and subsequently un-selected — to be the new Egyptian prime minister. However, the prime ministership remains up for grabs and could ultimately go to ElBaradei.
Over the last 48 hours, reports are swirling that ElBaradei could be named the new vice president — putting him one heartbeat away from the office he’s sought since Mubarak’s removal and, considering ElBaradei’s repeated condemnation of Israel’s “humiliation” of Palestinians and his stated desire to return to the 1967 Israeli borders, likely causing not a little concern in Jerusalem.
More than 14 months ago, TheBlaze Magazine warned of the threats in Egypt — the Brotherhood’s involvement, the obvious anti-Israel and anti-West movement, the leadership’s hope for as Caliphate, and on and on.
Very importantly, we pointed out the close relationship ElBaradei has with liberal progressive billionaire financier George Soros in our cover story, “Family Ties: The Muslim Brotherhood and George Soros,” written by Tiffany Gabbay. The left-wing sugar daddy has some unnerving ties to the radical Islamist movement that is seeking to take over Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, implement Shariah law and establish a global caliphate.
In fact, Glenn Beck talked about the Soros-ElBaradei connection on his show on Monday.
President Obama, who previously hadn’t taken a stance, has come out in support of ousted President Morsi.
“He’s standing firmly behind the Muslim brotherhood,” Glenn said. “The people don’t want it. The people don’t want him. Why all of a sudden are you for the Muslim brotherhood? I thought you were for a glorious revolution. We’ll let the people decide. The people don’t want it. Why are we back the Muslim brotherhood? It’s curious, isn’t it? Everything that we said would happen has happened, except for the caliphate, but that’s coming. Everything we said, everything we said they would do.”
In fact, what Glenn believed would happen during the first uprising appears to be happening now.
Do you remember when this first started, I didn’t say that the Muslim Brotherhood was going to be it. I said it would be El Baradei. Remember him? I said this was a move from George Soros’ international crisis group. That’s Samantha Power plays. She is Cass Sunstein’s wife, same up with the responsibility to protect, which is the reason why we went in to Egypt and Libya, and we had — we have a responsibility to protect, if there’s human rights abuses going on,” Glenn explained.
“Well, the international crisis group wanted El Baradei. That’s the guy that they wanted,” Glenn continued. “Well, that’s not the way it worked out.”
Some are now claiming that one of the frontrunners will just go in a take power with the military — allegedly El Baradei.
“Now is anybody involved with Soros or the International Crisis Group, are they involved this time and are they working behind the scenes this time to get El Baradei?” Glenn asked.
After all, these are the groups that used social media to assist in the overthrow of former Egyptian leader, Mubarak.
Normally, we don’t give away content from the magazine, which contains exclusive content not found anywhere else — online or in print. The magazine’s stories, research and special reports are reserved for subscribers to the print and/or digital edition.
However, because we want you to see what you’re missing if you’re not a subscriber to TheBlaze Magazine and because the stories about the Egyptian government and ElBaradei that are all over the news will purposefully ignore the important information about ElBaradei, the Muslim Brotherhood and George Soros, we thought we’d give you a chance to read the full May 2012 cover story, as printed 14-plus months ago. (If you like to purchase a hard copy of the full May 2012 issue, click here.)
For those familiar with George Soros and his myriad organizations—from the Open Society Institute to the International Crisis Group—the billionaire financier’s long and distinct history of promoting far-Left causes both at home and abroad is well known. But the mention of Soros actually joining forces with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood takes radical political activism to an entirely new level, conjuring up images of an unholy alliance forged in the fiery pits of Mordor.
When examined through the lens of Soros’ own actions and words, an unsettling link between the godfather of the American Left and one of the world’s most radical Islamist groups comes dangerously into focus.
Thirty-three years ago, under the stewardship of Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin, Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel during the Camp David Accords. While the two statesmen shared the Nobel Peace Prize for their unprecedented effort, Sadat’s Sinai treaty lit a fuse within the Islamic world—particularly the radical Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which merged with al Qaeda in 1998 and is led by Ayman al-Zawahiri—that would result in his assassination in 1981.
Despite Sadat’s murder, all was not lost for the nascent Israeli-Egyptian relations.
Sadat was succeeded by Hosni Mubarak, who, for more than three decades, managed to stave off volatile opposition forces—particularly, the Muslim Brotherhood—and keep the cold peace with his neighbor Israel—and, in turn, the Western world—alive.
As the Arab Spring of 2011 taught us, however, Mubarak would not be able to stave off those opposition forces forever, and more than 30 years of peacekeeping and peace-building between Egypt and Israel would come to a crashing halt.
Ironically, martial law, one of the methods by which Mubarak was able to keep the Brotherhood at bay for as long as he did, was perhaps the very instrument for his own undoing in the end.
SOROS’ INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP AND A NEW EGYPT
Since the fall of Mubarak, members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been waiting in the wings to take their political place at the table, despite the many naysayers, including the Brotherhood itself, who assured the world the Islamist group had no political aspirations whatsoever.
Yet, not only has the Muslim Brotherhood secured huge Egyptian parliamentary wins, it is now also poised to go the distance, placing one of its key members on the country’s presidential ticket.
At the end of March, the Muslim Brotherhood announced it would run its deputy leader and top strategist, Khayrat el-Shater, as a presidential candidate, ending months of speculation about whether or not the Islamist group would seek to top off its legislative election gains of last fall with a bid for the country’s most powerful office. The presidential race kicks off in May.
Reinforcing the Islamist group’s re-emergence in political life, the Obama administration’s National Security Council met with “mid-level” Muslim Brotherhood representatives on April 3.
“We have broadened our engagement to include new and emerging political parties and actors,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in response to media questions about the meeting. “Because of the fact that Egypt’s political landscape has changed, the actors have become more diverse and our engagement reflects that. The point is that we will judge Egypt’s political actors by how they act—not by their religious affiliation.”
Likewise, Republican Sens. John McCain, Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, S.C., also met with Muslim Brotherhood officials on a recent visit to Egypt.
A 2008 International Crisis Group (ICG) report titled “Egypt’s Muslim Brothers: Confrontation or Integration?” strongly urged the normalization and “regularization” of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “participation” in Egyptian political life, including by “ceasing” arrests of Muslim Brothers and “setting guidelines for the establishment of a political party with religious reference.” According to the ICG, these measures, if executed, would prove Egypt’s “wider commitment to political pluralism.”
The ICG’s “integration” report also trivialized the crackdown on the Brotherhood as “dangerously short-sighted.”
These very points were echoed by Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, when he said, “Any real democratic opening would lead to greater participation of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in a future Egyptian government.”
But that is not where the ICG’s involvement comes to an end. The organization’s spokesmen are none other than former Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher (who also oversees research at the Soros-funded Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) and onetime U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head and current Brotherhood-endorsed interim Egyptian steward Mohamed ElBaradei. As David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag.com has reported, Soros, Muasher and ElBaradei all have consistently minimized the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood.
WHO ARE MUASHER AND ELBARADEI?
As pointed out by WND’s Aaron Klein, in a June 2011 interview with Christiane Amanpour on ABC News’ “This Week,” Muasher proclaimed, “The Muslim Brotherhood has been used for a long time as a scare tactic.” But, added Muasher, in open, pluralistic systems, “the Brotherhood will have to compete against many other alternatives, and I think that is the way that all Arab countries should go.” This shocking, wave-of-the-hand dismissal of the world’s largest Islamist movement, which has a long history of violence, went unchallenged by Amanpour.
Muasher went on to acknowledge the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood may very well “have designs.” Were Muasher speaking of a little-known Islamic movement, his revelation may not have been all that surprising. But given the deep roots the organization has managed to forge around the globe and the fact that one of its stars is al-Zawahiri, his trivialization of potential Brotherhood plans is all the more disconcerting.
In a January 2011 op-ed in the U.K. Guardian titled “Three Lessons Arab Leaders Can’t Ignore,” Muasher stated, “The last lesson is that old arguments rationalizing tight controls on politics to keep Islamists from gaining power are fundamentally undermined” and that governments “use the fear of Islam to justify closed political systems that clamp down on all forms of discontent.”
It appears then that Muasher, with his affinity for an inclusive and “pluralistic” society, is a subscriber to Soros’ open society ideology, seeing the Brotherhood as simply filling a void created by those who ruled with the iron-fist style of Mubarak. Perhaps he even believes such inclusiveness would go a long way in tempering the Brotherhood’s radical, Shariah-compliant bent. It is a dangerous gamble to take in order to learn a lesson—and there are many who stand to lose much—if he is proven wrong.
In February 2011, Muasher wrote in the Washington Post, “Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan, need to start by building stronger parliaments. This can happen only with changes to electoral laws that make elections more fair and parliaments more representative.”
In March 2011 piece with Spanish politician Javier Solana titled “Peace Now for Palestine,” published by Project Syndicate, Muasher also referred to the Middle East uprisings and breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian talks as a “crisis” that “would be a terrible thing to waste.” For the record, Solana was one of the first socialist members of the Trilateral Commission and is one of the leading members of Soros’ ICG.
Muasher’s Soros-cohort Mohamed ElBaradei has been an outspoken voice for democratic change in Egypt since 2009, yet his seemingly noble path may not actually be quite so noble.
ElBaradei has had a strained relationship with the United States for supporting actions that do not fall in line with current American foreign policy in the Middle East—particularly as it relates to stability in the region.
During his three terms as director general of the IAEA from 1997–2009, ElBaradei routinely downplayed the threat of Iran’s nuclear program, thus subverting U.S. efforts to place pressure on Iran over its safeguards violations.
In an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel published July 12, 2010, he said that he wanted to open the Gaza Strip-Egypt border, accusing Israel of being the greatest threat to the Middle East because of its nuclear weapons. In that same interview, ElBaradei went on to state that the “Gaza Strip is the world’s largest prison” and that Egyptians must “do all that we can to relieve the suffering of the people there.” He then added:
“Open the borders, end the blockade! And for the long term, not half-heartedly as is now the case on our side. … I don’t see a danger to our national security through a permanent opening. But I do see a major problem with us continuing to be accomplices to those who humiliate the Palestinian people.”
Here, when ElBaradei used the word “accomplices,” he meant Mubarak, who had been Israel’s “accomplice” in doling out Palestinian “humiliation.”
When asked if he still believed in a Palestinian state that can coexist with Israel, ElBaradei was quick to invoke the familiar “return to the 1967 borders” narrative adopted by so many of Israel’s foes. For ElBaradei, in order for a two-state solution to materialize, “a government must come to power in Israel that respects the 1967 borders, that accepts that repression is no solution.”
(It’s also worth noting that ElBaradei, considered a “moderate” in the West, has called for an international criminal investigation of former Bush administration officials over their roles in the Iraq War.)
Ironically, the man the Brotherhood endorsed to lead Egypt’s interim “salvation” government is now poised to run against one of the Islamist group’s very own candidates as he seeks the country’s highest office himself.
ElBaradei sits on the board of Soros’ ICG along with others who advocate opening a dialogue with Hamas—another Muslim Brotherhood offshoot—based on the purportedly legitimate way in which its election to Palestinian political life came about.
MUSLIM BROTHERSHOOD’S FAVORITE CANDIDATE
On March 31, 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood officially named Khayrat el-Shater its candidate for president of Egypt. Much maneuvering was required, however, to clear the way for the former convict and millionaire to even gain entry into Egyptian elections. According to Bloomberg News, Egyptian military judges scrubbed convictions against el-Shater, clearing the way for the country’s dominant political party to offer a strong candidate. However, his ultimate eligibility remained in question as of press time following the Egyptian election commission’s April 15 decision to bar el-Shater and two other leading candidates from the ballot, which is under appeal and will not be finalized until late April.
“We have taken administrative, legal and judicial measures before the military judiciary and based on this, all convictions have been dropped,” said Abdel Monem Abdel Maqsoud, a Muslim Brotherhood attorney. “All legal obstacles have been removed, and el-Shater now has the right to fully exercise all his political rights.”
El-Shater is said to be the Islamist group’s key financier and has been described in some Arab media as the Muslim Brotherhood’s “hawk” or “enforcer.” The 61-year-old professor of engineering joined the Brotherhood in 1981 after years as a student activist and quickly rose within the organization’s ranks.
In 1995, the same year he was promoted to the Brotherhood’s “Guidance Council,” el-Shater was tried in military court and sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “reviving” the Brotherhood. He was also tried and convicted in 2007 on charges of providing university students with arms and training. Ironic, considering the organization’s non-violent charter.
SOROS BACKING FOR THE BROTHERHOOD
The first sign of George Soros’ sympathies with the Muslim Brotherhood were revealed in a Feb. 3, 2011, Washington Post op-ed written by the leftist sugar daddy himself. After unilaterally deciding America’s power and influence in the world had all but vanished, Soros trivialized U.S. and Israeli fears over the civil unrest in Egypt, dismissing the idea that dissidents who sought to topple the Mubarak regime would be the least bit hostile to Israel. Soros even went so far as to say the opposition was “not advancing a theocratic agenda at all.” Soros then praised the only organized political force in the region—the Muslim Brotherhood.
Consistently referring to Israel as the “stumbling block” to peace in the Middle East, Soros made no bones about his hopes for the Brotherhood. He even heartily encouraged giving the Muslim Brotherhood a place at Egypt’s social and political table when the country’s streets erupted in flames of dissent in early 2011.
Urging President Obama and the U.S. government to take a leadership role by standing with the revolution in Egypt—and lamenting Israel’s being in the way—Soros wrote:
“President Obama personally and the United States as a country have much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for dignity and democracy. This would help rebuild America’s leadership and remove a lingering structural weakness in our alliances that comes from being associated with unpopular and repressive regimes. Most important, doing so would open the way to peaceful progress in the region. The Muslim Brotherhood’s cooperation with Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate who is seeking to run for president, is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system. As regards contagion, it is more likely to endanger the enemies of the United States—Syria and Iran—than our allies, provided that they are willing to move out ahead of the avalanche.
“The main stumbling block is Israel. In reality, Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks.”
To sum up Soros’ thoughts, then:
• The United States would repair its alleged “structural weakness” and “have much to gain” by aiding Islamist dissidents who have long sought to bring about an Islamic state in Egypt—complete with Shariah law and extreme hostility to the West and Israel—and aimed to topple a sitting regime with which the United States had long had good relations.
• Israel is a “stumbling block” because it fears the obvious risks associated with the establishment of an Israel-hostile Egyptian regime and fails to see how embracing such a regime would be in its “own best interests.”
• The Muslim Brotherhood, with its long history of violence, allegedly shows promising signs it intends to embrace democracy because it’s cooperating with one Mohamed ElBaradei, “Nobel laureate.” If past Nobel prize winners are any indication, that’s not necessarily encouraging.
Never failing to miss an opportunity to undermine the United States and Israel, Soros seems to be working tirelessly to help the enemy of his enemies.
ICG’s OTHER DUBIOUS MEMBERS
While Soros heads the executive committee for ICG, and ElBaradei and Muasher have already drawn scrutiny, some of the organization’s other U.S. board members also raise eyebrows, as also reported by Klein.
Take for instance, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to Jimmy Carter; Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser; and retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who made headlines in 2009 after meeting with Hamas leaders and calling for the United States to open ties to the Islamist group.
Another suspicious ICG member is Robert Malley, a onetime adviser to President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign who resigned after it was exposed he had communicated with Hamas, a group Malley had long urged the U.S. to engage in dialogue with.
Given his penchant for an “all-inclusive” one-world government, one wonders what Soros sees in the militant Muslim Brotherhood, an organization hell-bent on bringing about a global Shariah caliphate. Perhaps it’s a mere instance of my enemy’s enemy is my friend, or perhaps there is something more sinister to this alliance.
Whatever the case, given the Muslim Brotherhood’s history and its stated present-day objectives concerning Egypt and the broader Middle East, George Soros certainly hasn’t gone out of his way to distance himself in any way from the Islamist movement. This may be the most telling move of all where Soros and the Brotherhood are concerned.
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