Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: We acknowledge peace with Israel

Amr Darrag says Israel will now have to deal with the entire Egyptian people rather than one leader who did whatever he wanted

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

LONDON — An official of Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, said Wednesday that his country will uphold its peace treaty with Israel.

Amr Darrag, a founding member of the Freedom and Justice party and secretary general of the party in Giza said that Israel would, however, have to face a new reality whereby it is accountable to the entire Egyptian people and not to one man alone, its former ally Hosni Mubarak.

Speaking to an audience at Chatham House, a London research center, Darrag said his party’s position represented the will of a majority of Egyptians. He cited a recent Gallup poll that found that more Egyptians support peace with Israel than reject it.

“We are the only party in Egypt which acknowledged the peace treaty with Israel,”  he told the audience.

The conciliatory words of the FJP member seemed to clash with a recent statement passed in the Egyptian parliament, where FJP holds 43% of the seats. On March 12, while Israel was engaged in fighting with Gaza, the parliament called for the deportation of the Israeli ambassador to Egypt and a “reexamination” of the peace accords with Israel.

Egyptian soldiers at the Rafah border crossing (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)
Egyptian soldiers at the Rafah border crossing (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Gehad El Haddad, a Senior Adviser to the Executive Committee of the FJP also speaking at Chatham House, addressed the change in his party’s policy towards Israel using a metaphor. During the Mubarak era the Muslim Brotherhood was in “the back seat of the car,” and could hold relatively extreme views, whereas now its position of leadership, the so-called “front seat,” forced it to be more pragmatic.

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