Israeli media recently reported that US officials are offering numerous excuses as to why they do not wish to meet with Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his upcoming visit. The most outrageous claim was that “we [US officials] do not want to be photographed with him.”
While US officials say they do not wish to be photographed with Lieberman, the foreign minister of the only stable country in the Middle East that’s still a reliable US ally, they seem to have no qualms being seen with Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Below is a photo of Anne Patterson, US ambassador to Egypt, meeting with Mohammad Badie, General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, on January 18. On January 11, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with Mohammed Morsi, head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. On January 12, former president Jimmy Carter also met with Badie.
It should be noted that Patterson and Carter are not the only “important” figures to be meeting with Badie lately. In late December, Badie met with Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh.
While one could focus on the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel articles on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website, in this instance, we’ll focus on Badie himself.
In September 2010, Badie gave a sermon entitled “How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny.” During the sermon Badie said:
Today the Muslims desperately need a mentality of honor and means of power [that will enable them] to confront global Zionism. [This movement] knows nothing but the language of force, so [the Muslims] must meet iron with iron, and winds with [even more powerful] storms. They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.
He continued to say that
Resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny, and all we need is for the Arab and Muslim peoples to stand behind it and support it.
In the same speech, Badie declared that “The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.”
Avigdor Lieberman is certainly a controversial figure, who has made ill-advised statements, however, those statements pale in comparison, in fact they are in different universes, to those of Mohammad Badie.
Lieberman is the foreign minister of Israel, America’s strongest and most reliable ally in the region, thus US officials should be prepared to meet and take photos with him, especially if they are willing to meet with the anti-Israel and anti-American Muslim Brotherhood.
The Obama administration still has time to schedule a meeting before Lieberman arrives, however, should they refuse to meet with him they will be making a move that will surely cause problems with a key Democratic constituency with which they already have problems.
Update: The US Embassy in Cairo is now boasting about meeting with the Salafi al-Nour party.
— US Embassy Cairo (@USEmbassyCairo) January 22, 2012