Muslim Brotherhood official shuns Israelis at international conference
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Muslim Brotherhood official shuns Israelis at international conference

Amr Darrag of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice party says his country is only obligated to peace with Israel, not normalization

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (with beard) at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, September 5 (photo credit: AP/Amr Nabil)
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (with beard) at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, September 5 (photo credit: AP/Amr Nabil)

A senior member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood refused to participate in a panel with Israeli participants at an international conference in Prague last month.

Amr Darrag, head of foreign relations at the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, told the Egyptian press Monday that a delegation from his party participated in an international conference on “Security and Peace” in Prague last month. A number of Israelis attending the conference tried to approach the Egyptians, who refused to speak to them.

“We at the Freedom and Justice party reject normalization with the occupying state,” Darrag told his party’s news site, adding that he notified the conference organizers that his delegation would not share the stage with any Israelis or speak on a panel with them.

“Egypt must abide by its international agreements, but we as a faction of the people refuse any normalization or dialogue with the occupying state,” he added.

During a visit to London in March, Darrag was more conciliatory about peace with Israel, stressing that Freedom and Justice was the only Egyptian party to publicly acknowledge the Camp David peace accords with Israel.

Freedom and Justice, the party of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, holds 43 percent of the seats in Egypt’s parliament.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979, but many Egyptians strongly oppose normalized ties with Jerusalem.

A recent candid-camera show in Egypt, in which a host pretended to be an Israeli, ended violently when the show’s guest slapped and pushed the female host to the ground for the crime of being Israeli. 

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