Al Jazeera: Muslim Brotherhood's Secret Weapon?

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JERUSALEM -- Israel's concern with the recent developments in Egypt has increased as Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and the U.S. indicated they are more open to including the Muslim Brotherhood in a new government.

The Muslim Brotherhood has a secret weapon on its side.

The brotherhood, a group dedicated to establish an Islamic state in Egypt, has gained a foothold through pro-democracy demonstrations that started two weeks ago in Egypt and Israel is worried about it.

"If the Muslim Brothers succeed in joining it and if it will be part of the government, it will constitute a danger for Israel, a very big danger for Israel, for Egypt itself and the Middle East," said Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt.

Mazel said the U.S. has played a part in pushing Egypt to dialogue with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

"Because you know for Omar Suleiman, Muslim Brothers were the devil," he added. "They were the devil till two days ago."

Beyond that, the brotherhood has received help from the Arab world's most influential network.

"Al-Jazeera is the non-official leader of this demonstration from the beginning," Mazel said. "It is not a political force per se. They cannot have a political dialogue with Omar Sulieman and solve a problem. But they are there 24 hours, relaying their messages and making them more serious or more difficult against the regime."

The pan-Arabic network al-Jazeera is based in and funded by Qatar, a stronghold for the Muslim Brotherhood.

"They are twisting, they are distorting and we know very well that they are under a very heavy influence of the Muslim Brothers," Mazel added. "The director general of al-Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar is a Muslim Brother."

Many believed the demonstrators have legitimate grievances and a significant number don't support the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, according to Mazel, an Arabic speaker, al Jazeera isn't just reporting the possible overthrow of Mubarak, they've encouraged his overthrow in order to aid the Muslim Brotherhood.

"This is for me, not journalism," he said. "It's not freedom of press. It is a weapon in the service of Muslim Brothers. It's very bad."

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CBN News
Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Reporter

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