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1967: A Modern History

Posted: February 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

War of Survival?

Posted: February 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

‘NYT’ perpetuates myth Israel was ‘fighting for its very survival’ during 1967 war

Israel/Palestine

on January 29, 2015

Based largely on interviews with Israeli soldiers—conducted in 1967, and heavily censored at the time—Censored Voices documents Israeli soldiers “summarily executing prisoners and evacuating Arab villages in a manner that one fighter likened to the Nazis’ treatment of European Jews.” Israeli atrocities in that war have been known for quite a while, but film is certainly a more powerful medium than newsprint.

The film (which I haven’t yet seen) seems important, and especially useful at a time when the Israeli military is under investigation for atrocities committed in its recent Gaza assaults. It is increasingly hard for anyone to believe that Israeli soldiers are “blessed with special moral values,” in the words of a 1995 statement from the office of then-Prime Minister (and 1967 Chief of Staff) Yitzhak Rabin. Rudoren’s article also provides the significant information that even Censored Voices was censored and hence doesn’t tell the full story of the war crimes that occurred: “Israel forbids the filmmakers to reveal how much they were forced to change, and the military censor’s office refused to discuss it.”

But Rudoren and apparently Loushy give an extremely inaccurate context for the atrocities committed in 1967. Rudoren describes that war as one in which Israel “started out fighting … for its very survival.” The film, says Rudoren, could lead to fodder for Israel’s critics if “viewed without consideration for the existential threat Israel faced at the time.” The movie, she writes, “does make clear the imminent threat to Israel —and then the stunning turnabout that military historians have long considered a marvel.” And Loushy is quoted as saying that “This is the story of men who went out to war feeling like they had to defend their life, and they were right, of course….”

But they were not right, and nor are Rudoren or Loushy.

Yes, Israeli soldiers, like much of the world, believed at the time that Israel faced an existential threat, as Arab armies poised on Israel’s borders while Radio Cairo broadcast bloodcurdling threats. But military and intelligence leaders in both Tel Aviv and Washington knew better.

Consider the testimony of Prime Minister Menachem Begin, a member of the cabinet in June 1967:

“In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

Or that of General Matti Peled, one of the twelve members of the Israeli Army’s general staff in 1967:

“I am convinced that our General Staff never told the government [of Levi Eshkol] that there was any substance to the Egyptian military threat to Israel, or that we were not capable of crushing Nasser’s army which had exposed itself, with unprecedented foolishness, to the devastating strikes of our forces…. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary for our ‘defense’ against the Egyptian threat….To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence not only insults the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to Zahal [the Israeli Army].”

Or that of General Ezer Weizman, chief of operations in 1967 and later a prominent rightwing politician, who declared that “There never was a danger of extermination,” and that this hypothesis “had never been considered in any serious meeting.”

Or that of Haim Bar-Lev, Deputy Chief of Staff in 1967, and later a cabinet member: “We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six-Day War and we had never thought of such a possibility.”

Or that of 1967 cabinet member Mordecai Bentov, a member of the leftist Mapam Party, who voted against launching the war in 1967 because he was convinced that political and diplomatic means of avoiding war had not been exhausted: “This whole story about the threat of extermination was totally contrived, and then elaborated upon, a posteriori, to justify the annexation of new Arab territories.”

The same view was held in Washington. On May 26, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara“said that the U.S. agreed with the Israeli view that Israel would prevail in a conflict, even if hostilities were initiated by Egypt.” The chair of the Joints Chiefs of Staff “General Wheelerrestated the American view of Israel’s military superiority and said that, although we recognize that casualties would be greater than in 1948 and 1956, Israel would prevail.” President Lyndon Johnson “said … if Israel is attacked, our judgment is that the Israelis would lick them,” and told the Israeli foreign minister “if the UAR attacks ‘you will whip hell out of them.’” The CIA predicted not only that Israel would win, but the day on which they would do so.

The evidence is thus overwhelming that Israeli policymakers did not go to war in response to an existential threat. Why does all this matter today? If Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and Gaza (as well as the Golan Heights) were all inadvertent consequences of a war against an existential threat, then Israeli responsibility for the occupation is somewhat mitigated.

Of course, even if Israel had been forced to go to war by an existential threat, it still would have had choices. It could have offered Palestinians the option of an independent state of their own or a binational state. Justice was always possible. Indeed, every year since 1967 Israel has had the choice of whether to seek to reverse the occupation and seek security through building ties to Palestinians rather than by extending their oppressive occupation, and it has consistently chosen the latter. In the same way, every year since 1947 Israel had a choice of whether to welcome back the refugees or to accelerate their dispossession. Again, Israel has consistently chosen the latter. Nevertheless, knowing what happened in 1967 is important because the absence of an existential threat undermines the chief Israeli talking point for its ongoing occupation.

On June 5, when Israel launched its offensive, Prime Minister Eshkol publicly declared that Israel had no territorial ambitions and Defense Minister Dayan told his troops, “Soldiers of the IDF, we have no objectives of conquest.” When later that summer U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk reminded Foreign Minister Abba Eban of Eshkol’s statement, Eban “simply shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘We’ve changed our minds.’” [1] But in fact, we know that several key Israeli policymakers wanted to acquire more land before the first shot was fired. The Minister of Labor, Yigal Allon, wrote an article before the outbreak of fighting in which he stated we “must not cease fighting until we achieve total victory, the territorial fulfillment of the Land of Israel.” [2] Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told his wife the evening before the war, “We have to take back Jerusalem.” [3] And more generally David Ben Gurion had been saying since 1949 that Israel’s failure to conquer East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the War of Independence was “a lamentation for generations,” a phrase used by many Israeli politicians over the subsequent 18 years. [4]

Did Israel occupy these lands simply as bargaining chips for peace? Hardly: almost immediately it annexed East Jerusalem; expelled several hundred thousand Palestinian residents of the occupied territories, and began moving settlers into the occupied territories [5]—a policy their legal advisor told them was in contravention of international law. This is what you do when you are interested in creating “facts on the ground” for permanent border changes, not bargaining chips for peace.

All this history is occluded by Rudoren’s gloss of the 1967 war as representing an existential threat to Israel. To be sure, Rudoren didn’t have to present in her news story a full historical analysis of the 1967 war, with a careful assessment of all the evidence. But to offer up the pro-Israel myth as if it were undisputed fact is simply propaganda.

Notes

1. Dean Rusk, As I Saw It (New York: W.W. Norton, 1990), p. 388.

2. Michael Brecher with Benjamin Geist, Decisions in Crisis: Israel, 1967 and 1973 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), p, p. 100. The article was published after the war but written before.

3. Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem: the Six Days That Changed the Middle East (New York: Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, 1984), p, p. 195.

4. Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (New York: Vintage, 2001), p. 321.

5. Morris, Righteous Victims, pp. 327-29. See also Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2005, translated 2007), pp. 523-42.

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/perpetuates-fighting-survival#sthash.BkAZicRs.dpuf

Research Paper Due Monday!!!!!

Posted: February 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

Europe Rediscovers Nationalism

Analysis

In his latest novel, French writer Michel Houellebecq presents a controversial situation: The year is 2022, and France has become an Islamicized country where universities have to teach the Koran, women have to wear the veil and polygamy is legal. The book, which created a stir in France, went on sale Jan. 7. That day, a group of terrorists killed 12 people at the headquarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Also on Jan. 7, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met British Prime Minister David Cameron in London. Although the formal reason for the meeting was to discuss the upcoming G-7 summit, the two leaders also discussed Cameron’s proposals to limit migration in Europe. Finally, a much less publicized event took place in Germany that day: A group of politicians from the Euroskeptic Alternative for Germany party met with members of Pegida, the anti-Islam protest group that has staged large protests in Dresden and minor protests in other German cities.

The date of these four episodes is only a coincidence, but the issues involved are not. A growing number of Europeans believe that people from other cultures are threatening their national identities and livelihoods. The emergence of Germany’s Pegida movement, which opposes the “Islamization” of Germany, the terrorist attack in Paris and the recent attacks against mosques in Sweden put the focus on Muslims. But the Europeans’ fear and mistrust of “foreigners” is a much broader phenomenon that goes beyond the issue of Islam-related violence. What is actually happening is that Europe is rediscovering nationalism.

The Limits of European Integration

Europe traditionally has been a cradle for nationalism. From the romantic nationalism of the 19th century to the totalitarianism of the 20th century, Europeans have long defined themselves by a strong sentiment of national belonging, often linked to language, ethnicity and religion, and distrust of foreigners. The love for the place you were born, the trust of the people who surround you, and the fear of what strangers could do to you and your community is a basic human feeling. But in Europe, nationalism is particularly notable for the sheer scale of death and destruction it historically has brought to the Continent.

Conscious of the dangers of nationalism, after World War II Europeans sought to weaken the nation-state and progressively replace it with the European Union, a grouping of supranational institutions that, over time, were meant to create a supranational European identity. The idea worked for some time, especially at the economic level, where institutions quickly achieved integration. But over the past few years, several changes in Europe have exposed the limits of the project.

The first is the economic crisis. To a large extent, prosperity was the glue holding the European Union together. During good times, when most people have a job and children are convinced that they will have a better life than their parents, the idea of giving up national sovereignty to supranational institutions is easier to accept. But prosperity is no longer a certainty, and many in Europe are beginning to have second thoughts about the benefits of the European project. The economic decline is also leading to a crisis of representation; a growing number of citizens no longer feel represented by mainstream political parties, unions and other traditional institutions.

The second element is immigration. The economic crisis is affecting the Continent unevenly; countries in northern Europe generally are faring better than those in the south. In addition, the European Union’s enlargement in the mid 2000s opened the door for immigration from countries in the former Communist bloc. As a result, countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are dealing with immigration from southern and eastern EU countries.

Moreover, Europe’s economic crisis coincides with a deepening of the chronic instability in the Middle East and the Levant. This instability has led to a refugee crisis in Europe as hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrive in Europe every year, most of whom are Muslims.

In times of economic hardship, people tend to look for simple answers to complex problems, and “foreigners” are usually the easiest target. It is not a coincidence that the Pegida protests emerged in Saxony — one of the German states with the lowest rates of immigration but with some of the highest rates of unemployment. Ethnically and linguistically cohesive areas tend to be less tolerant of people with a different cultural background.

The third issue is integration. Most European governments operate under the idea that immigration could help the European Union mitigate the effects of their shrinking, aging populations. But many countries struggle to fully integrate the newly arrived. Encountering obstacles such as rigid citizenship laws and pervasive cultural barriers, many foreigners find it hard to feel at home in their new countries of residence. In some cases, this situation continues for generations.

Youth unemployment, lack of opportunities and social discrimination were some of the triggers of the French riots of 2005. A decade later, nothing much has changed in France in terms of integration, while the economic crisis has compounded some of the country’s structural problems, and Islamist groups such as the Islamic State are successfully using social networks to attract Western European youth.

European nationals returning home after receiving training in the Middle East perpetrated many of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe. Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria, more than 550 Islamists reportedly have left Germany to travel to the region. Slightly more than half of them held German citizenship. French media recently reported that some 400 French nationals are fighting in Syria. There is a vicious cycle of young men and women who feel disenfranchised and discriminated against turning to violence — which only fuels anti-immigration and anti-Islam rhetoric.

Political Systems Under Duress

Western European governments are under considerable stress. They have to deal with immigration from less-developed EU nations while trying to assimilate the asylum seekers that arrive from the Mediterranean. Simultaneously, they face the emergence of anti-immigration parties (from the National Front in France to the U.K. Independence Party in the United Kingdom) and recurring terrorist attacks by nationals who received training in the Middle East. Many Western European countries have to deal with these problems alongside stagnating economies and pervasively high unemployment. The combination of economic malaise and resistance to immigration is seriously challenging the cohesion of the European Union.

National and regional governments are questioning the Schengen agreement, which eliminates border controls among most EU member states. In recent months, a debate erupted when the government of the German state of Bavaria accused the Italian government of allowing asylum seekers (who, according to EU norms, should have remained in Italy) to leave the country and request asylum somewhere else in the bloc. Rome demanded more solidarity among EU members in the reception of refugees. From Bavaria’s point of view, the Schengen agreement should be suspended. From Italy’s point of view, the European Union cannot force its coastal nations to bear the sole responsibility of housing the asylum seekers.

The Schengen pact also faces criticism from groups arguing that insufficient internal border controls makes it easier for terrorists to move within the European Union after they enter the bloc. Moreover, some countries have been accused of applying weaker border controls than others. In recent months EU members have discussed ways to improve information sharing across the Continent, but regardless of better cooperation in this area, it is impossible to follow every single potential threat.

Even outside the Schengen agreement, the principle of the free movement of people — one of the founding pillars of the European Union — is under question. Partly because of pressure from the U.K. Independence Party and partly because of its own ideology, the British government flirted with the idea of introducing “emergency brakes” on EU immigration. Germany quickly dismissed the idea, and London eventually abandoned it. But the fact that a moderate government in a core EU country is making these proposals reflects the extent to which the debate over migration in the European Union is no longer at the ideological fringes of the political spectrum.

After decades of post-war supranationalism, the Europeans are once again discussing their national identities. The French tried to start a discussion in 2009, when then-President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a public debate on “what it means to be French” — an exercise that degenerated quickly into a discussion of the role of Muslims in the country. The Pegida protests led to similar debates in Germany, a country that for historical reasons feels extremely uncomfortable with the topic but also considers generational change to be breaking old taboos. Pegida-inspired demonstrations will take place in Austria in February, potentially leading to controversy there as well. These debates will not go away in Europe and will force the Europeans to deal with difficult questions that have remained dormant for decades.

At the core of these problems is growing resistance to globalization, understood as the free movement of goods, services and, most important, people. From the Italian shoemaker who cannot compete with cheap Chinese imports to the British factory worker who believes that Polish immigrants are threatening his job, many Europeans believe globalization is a menace to their way of life. The fact that the European Union was built on many of the principles of globalization explains why the bloc is becoming increasingly fragmented and why the promise of a “United States of Europe” probably will never be achieved.

Read more: Europe Rediscovers Nationalism | Stratfor
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Why we shouldn’t fear the Muslim Brotherhood

Why we shouldn't fear the Muslim Brotherhood

If you were watching Fox on Monday, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Egypt was on the verge of being taken over by a pack of terrorists. Anchor Steve Doocy characterized the Muslim Brotherhood this morning as “the godfather of al-Qaida.”

 And several potential Republican presidential hopefuls have cited worries about the Muslim Brotherhood as a reason for the United States to continue to support the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak.

To get some hard facts and context about the controversial Islamic movement, we spoke with Nathan Brown, a political science professor at George Washington University and director of its Institute for Middle East Studies, who has written extensively on the Muslim Brotherhood. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.

Can you give a rundown of the history of the group and where it came from?

The group was founded in 1928. It was a broad movement aiming at increasing religious knowledge among Egyptians, doing good works, and making society more Islamic. It gradually got more and more into politics. It was suppressed in the late 1940s and it never really fully regained legal status after that. In the 1940s, they did form sort of a paramilitary wing to combat the British troops who were still in Egypt and volunteer for the war over the creation of Israel in 1948.

Then in the 1950s and 1960s, when the Gamal Nasser regime tried to crush them, some members of the Brotherhood developed ideas that essentially legitimated armed rebellion against the government. Some leaders were executed and so on. In the 1970s, they were allowed to reemerge, but they were never given legal status. Since that time they’ve disavowed violence. They’ve said that they’re willing to work within the rules of the game, that they’re a reform movement, not a revolutionary one. They have found a variety of ways to run candidates for parliament and to take an active role in Egyptian public life.

What role do they play day-to-day?



Their formal title is “the Society of Muslim Brothers”; it is not “the Muslim Brotherhood political party” or anything like that. They claim they have got a broad reform agenda — social, religious, political, educational and so on. Over the past decade they made real strides in the political realm. In the 2005 elections, they got one-fifth of the seats in parliament. After that point, the regime came down on them hard — arrested some top leaders, tried to close down businesses that were associated with Brotherhood supporters, arrested an awful lot of the foot soldiers in the movement, and so on. The organization reacted by saying, “We have to take care of our organization first. We’re in this for the long haul, we think in terms of decades and generations, not in terms of political maneuvering for the next elections.”

So they basically scaled back a little bit of their political movement, and the architects of their political campaign found themselves less influential within the movement. What that means is, the movement right now is led by people who are very cautious and are really trying to preserve the organization. They are probably less skilled in politics like making alliances and speaking to the press. When the current strikes started, therefore, they really reacted in a little bit of a hesitating manner.

I’ve seen several people describe the Brotherhood and their agenda as “radical” — referring to the religious aspects. Would you describe them as radical?

Well, they certainly take their Islam seriously. But in many ways this is a very conservative movement. The current general guide is a professor of veterinary medicine. He’s a shy guy. These are not fire-breathing radicals at the top of the organization. And whenever somebody talks a little bit too violently and impatiently, they are told either to calm down or to leave the movement.

Their agenda is to make Egypt better. And their conception of what’s good and bad has a religious basis. So that means increasing religious observance, religious knowledge. It also means probably drawing more heavily on the Islamic legal heritage for Egypt’s laws. They don’t want to necessarily completely convert Egypt into a traditional Islamic legal system. But if the parliaments going to pass a law, they want it to be consistent with Islamic law.

A lot of their program is just standard reform stuff — independence of the judiciary, the end of corruption, protecting the environment. Especially when they got more political over the last 10 years or so, what they really began to push was a very general reform language that takes Islamic coloration in some areas. But an awful lot of it is consistent with other reform programs coming from reformists all over the political spectrum.

Somebody said on Fox News today that the Muslim Brotherhood is the “godfather of al-Qaida.” Is there any relationship there, historically or in the present?

You shouldn’t be watching Fox to learn about the Muslim Brotherhood is the lesson from that. Here’s what I would say: The concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship to political violence is not based on hallucinations — it is there. In the 1950s and ’60s the Brotherhood did develop this strain of thought that said, the existing government is not Islamic and therefore some kind of armed clash is inevitable. That strain has basically been repudiated by the Brotherhood. In fact, al-Qaida openly and consistently attacks the Brotherhood as having sold out.

What happened was that the sort of ideas that were gestating in the more radical streams of the Brotherhood, those ideas essentially spawned some more radical groups. And they began attacking Arab governments, like the Egyptian government and Algeria, in the 1970s and 1980s. The Brotherhood wanted nothing to do with them. But in a sense you could see there is a common genealogy there.

When those attempts failed in the 1980s and 1990s to overthrow existing Arab governments, the current leaders of al-Qaida — people like Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is Egyptian, and Osama bin Laden, who is Saudi — said: “We’re making a mistake. We’re attacking the Egyptian government, the Saudi government, and the Algerian government. But let’s go to the source, the government that is really backing them, and that’s the United States.”

But in its present form, the Brotherhood is not advocating political violence?

They specifically and repeatedly repudiate it. They have in the last couple days thrown in their lot with this uprising. But as far as they’re concerned, it’s a peaceful uprising, not a violent one.

Is it known how big the Brotherhood is?

Not really, because it’s not a legal organization. The do have some firm sense of membership. If you join the Brotherhood, you are expected to attend regular meetings, go to discussion groups, that sort of thing. My guess is that it’s probably much smaller than people think. But it does have a little bit of the cachet of being people who are seen as public-spirited and good, moral and upstanding. They would appeal to a much wider spectrum of Egyptian public opinion than their narrow membership base would suggest. In a total free election, they might get between 20 and 40 percent of the vote.

Is it an all male organization?

No, they do have female groups within the organization. The leadership is pretty much all male.

Let’s say at some point there’s a new government in Egypt in which the Brotherhood has a voice. How would they change the foreign policy of Egypt on Israel or relations with the U.S.?

They’re clearly suspicious of the United States, and you’ll hear some anti-American slogans from them — but no more so than from any other place in the Egyptian political spectrum. They don’t stand out there, and there are probably more anti-American people in the committee of opposition leaders.

With regard to Israel it’s a little bit different. Israel is unpopular in Egypt. And the Brotherhood since the 1930s has a very strong history of backing the Palestinian cause. They are critics of the Camp David accords and the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Those are all popular stands. That said, no one in Egypt wants a war with Israel right now. So the Brotherhood tries to finesse this by saying, ‘This treaty really needs to be put up for a referendum.” If they were in the government, I think they would be in an embarrassing position. This is an international treaty that was ratified — are you willing to abide by the state of Egypt’s international treaty obligations or not?

If it was a broad-based coalition government in which the majority clearly favored maintaining the current peace treaty, I think the Brotherhood would say: “We don’t like this, we’re not in favor it. But we’re willing to accept the results of a legitimate political process.” That’s my guess.

Is the Brotherhood something that should be a source of fear in the way it’s being talked about by many people?

We’ve got a big headache in Egypt. The regime in its current form is toast. Our regional policy has been based on a very close working relationship with the Egyptian government since 1974, so we’ve got fundamental rethinking to do. The Brotherhood is part of that headache. It’s not the biggest part. Is there cause for concern? Yes. Is there cause for fearful reaction? Absolutely not.

What Does the Muslim Brotherhood Want?

American conservatives have gone so far off the rails about the apocalyptic danger of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over in Egypt that it’s tempting for liberals to go too far in the other direction. So when I read Robert Dreyfuss’s piece about the Brotherhood today, I was all ready to criticize him for whitewashing some of the Brotherhood’s less savory aspects. But he didn’t. After a brief but extremely cogent summary of the Brotherhood’s history, he sums up with this:

By the 1990s, despite the off-again, on-again repression by Mubarak’s regime, the Brotherhood had completed what many observers say was a transformation. Step by step, its leadership renounced its violent past, engaged in politics, and tried to reinvent itself as a collection of community organizers who operated clinics and food banks, building a network of Islamic banks and companies….Nathan Brown, a political science professor at George Washington University and an expert on political Islam, is optimistic that the Brotherhood has evolved from its fundamentalist roots: “Their agenda is to make Egypt better,” he told Salonrecently….”They don’t want to necessarily completely convert Egypt into a traditional Islamic legal system. But if the Parliament’s going to pass a law, they want it to be consistent with Islamic law.”

….But it’s also fair to ask if Brown’s interpretation is too charitable. In 2007, the Brotherhood released a draft political program that included several very troubling proposals, including the idea that Egypt’s government be overseen by an unelected council of Islamic scholars who would measure the country’s laws against the Koran and sharia to make sure governance would “conform to Islamic law.” Since then, various Muslim Brotherhood officials have also made conflicting statements about anything from the role of women to the treatment of non-Muslim minorities.

In the end, there’s no getting around the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is, if not an anachronism, a profoundly reactionary force. Its views on marriage, the family, homosexuality, and the like are distasteful to most Western minds and many Egyptian ones. And it harbors a strong current of overt anti-Semitism, along with a penchant for conspiracy theories. Despite Egypt’s drift toward a more conservative Islamic outlook since the 1970s—which paralleled similar trends across the Muslim world—the Egyptian people, especially the middle class, may in the end not be receptive to the Brotherhood’s message.

The whole piece is really very good, and well worth a few minutes of your time if you want to understand a bit more about the Brotherhood than you get from the headlines — both good and bad. The truth is that it’s hard to say how influential the group is likely to be in post-Mubarak Egypt, and it’s also genuinely hard to know exactly what direction they’ll pursue. But as Dreyfuss says, there are a couple of things we can say: “It is not Al Qaeda or the Taliban. It is a conservative, even ultra-orthodox Islamist group, but it’s irresponsible to compare it to the terrorist groups and armed insurgencies that have preoccupied American foreign policy since 2001….[But] it is certain to infuse the country with a stronger strain of anti-American and anti-Israel politics….It’s also likely to align Egypt more closely with other Islamist groups in the Arab world, especially Hamas.”

But either way, it can hardly be ignored.