The Muslim Brotherhood

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

David L. Phillips, director of the Program on Peace-Building and Rights at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, former senior adviser for the State Department, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and author of From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition, discusses why the United States should engage the Muslim Brotherhood as Egypt moves toward democracy.


David Phillips

Comments [29]

jgarbuz from Queens

To Bernie

Israel can fend for itself without US aid, if only the US also stops arming ISrael's enemies. Stop aid and arms to EGgypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and so on, and to ISrael too. No problem. But if you intend to keep arming ISrael's enemies to the hilt (Saudi Arabia has over 150 F-15s, as one example) then Israel has to have some compensation. AFter all, the US forced ISrael to give up the Sinai,and telling Israel where its borders should be, etc. So keep the aid, but just don't arm the enemies and don't tell Israel what to do. Fair?

Apr. 12 2011 12:17 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Bernie

I sold my apartment in Beersheba to a Bedouin Arab over a decade ago. And Gazans used to come into Israel to work and get free health care before the first intifada which started in December 1987. Before that, my deceased father in law used to bring his car into Gaza for cheaper repairs.

The Arabs in Gaza, Judah and Samaria had a high standard of living compared to most of the Arab world, but they didn't want to be ruled by a JEwish state. That's their problem. But why should Jews be ruled over by Muslim or Christian states? THere are 22 Arab and 56 Muslim states. Those who don't like living a secular Jewish state are not stopped from leaving, the way Soviet Jews were for decades.

Apr. 12 2011 12:14 PM
bernie from bklyn

i'm not crying about it. the jewish lobby does all the crying when full, unwavering support of israel is ever questioned.
my main point is isolationism- let israel fend for themselves and if they survive then so be it but it shouldn't be at the expense of prudent decision making by our country and at the risk of our people.
but hey, good debate! no hard feelings my friend...

Apr. 12 2011 12:10 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Irish were occupied for 800 years, but the British did not force the IRish to become Protestants. They did not turn the Catholics into "dhimmis" and tax them more heavily for remaining Catholic.

Anyhow, do you know who was Menachem Begin's hero? MICHAEL COLLINS!
In fact, Yitzhak Shamir took the nom de guerre "Mikhael" after Michael Collins, who forced the British to finally accept an Irish Free State in the early 1920s.

Apr. 12 2011 12:08 PM
bernie from bklyn

displaced doesn't mean the same thing as de-populated. do they control their own destiny and can they live wherever they please? no, they cannot. they are displaced for sure.

Apr. 12 2011 12:06 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


Nobody took any land away. Most of the Arabs left expecting to return within a few weeks after the 5 attacking Arab armies pushed the Jews into the sea. But 145,000 Arabs chose to remain and become citizens of the Jewish state,a nd today they number 1.5 million, or ten times as many.

The Arabs abandoned land presuming they would be back soon once the Jews were dead or defeated. It just didn't work out as they planned. And then, 856,000 Jews were kicked out of the Arab and Muslim countries, leaving behind four times as much land as all of Palestine put together. So there was a population swap, and we are more than even.

Stop crying already. My family was murdered and all of our properties in Poland are history too. It happens. Get over it.

Apr. 12 2011 12:05 PM
bernie from bklyn

the reason why ireland isn't under 100% british control is because the irish fought back and held their ground! if they didn't hold their ground then they lose, plain and simple. it's a cruel, hard reality about our human endeavors. nations/cultures/religions fight and defeat other nations and take their land, then it's theirs.

Apr. 12 2011 12:01 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

And Bernie,

I just hasten to add that there are today FIVE times as many Arabs living in western "Palestine" (west of the Jordan river) as there was in 1948. In 1948 the entire Arab "Palestinian" population was 1.3 million. Today there are nearly 12 million Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, of whom 5.5 million live in Israel, Judah, Samaria and Gaza, a.k.a "Palestine." So, not only was the Arab population NOT displaced, it is actually four to five times larger there today than 63 years ago.

Apr. 12 2011 12:00 PM
bernie from bklyn

you proved my point! sure, it was mandated in 1920 but jews didn't go because it wasn't manipulated by the west aka the situation wasn't one-sided. the palestinians were able to fight back fairly when there were attempts to take their land away.
what you call "terror".

Apr. 12 2011 11:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

YOu are correct that NOT the entire Irish nation was forced into exile by the British occupation, so the Irish story, as tragic as it was, did not compare to the wholesale displacement of the Jewish nation from its national soil. So the Irish were not as unlucky as the Jews.

However as luck would have it, as far back as the 19th century, many Evangelical Christians began to seriously promote the idea of bringing JEws back to the Land of ISrael ("Palestine"), mainly to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus ,and also to get rid of some pesky Jews. It's not coincidental that Balfour and Churchill and many others who grew up with the Bible were stalward proponents of returning JEws to their Biblical homeland.In fact, Christian Zionism spurred Jewish zionism!

I agree that returning an entire displaced nation to its ancient homeland is a unique event in history. But the JEwish experience, as the first major minority group was indeed a unique situation that required a unique solution. And that solution was the League of Nations Mandate after WWI, and a Jewish state after WWII.

Apr. 12 2011 11:56 AM
bernie from bklyn

ridiculous comparison....ireland wasn't conquered, re-populated.
say ireland was conquered by iceland 1000 years ago and then after a tragedy for the scattered irish people around the world, the most powerful western nations kicked out the icelandic people and re-established the island with the scattered irish population from around the globe. that's more of a proper comparison.
seems ridiculous and criminal, right?

Apr. 12 2011 11:49 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Bernie again

NOT TRUE! Twenty five years BEFORE the Holocaust, the League of Nations AND the US Congress already authorized the creation of the Jewish National Home back in 1920!!! See League of Nations Mandate over Palestine. However, because of Arab terror and due to poverty, only a small number of Jews left Europe and the US to resettle in Palestine. As a result, the Jews were trapped when it was too late. Had millions of Jews gone to Palestine (as my mother wanted to do in the 1930s), there could have been a Jewish state as early as 1937, not 1948, and there would have been no Holocaust. But German Jews, American Jews and even most Russian Jews were not sufficiently motivated to move to Palestine. Jews had the legal right to do so under the League of Nations Mandate. And so, the Holocaust descended upon them (and my family) and afterwards, even many displaced anti-Zionist Jews had to come to Israel, because nobody else would let them in.

Apr. 12 2011 11:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Can you be against the existence of the Irish state and not be anti-Irish? Remember that the word "Jew" comes from JUDEA, a nation that was occupied and eventually destroyed by the Romans from Europe. And they changed the name of Judah to Palestina back in 135 AD. So while one can disagree with Israeli policies as with Irish national policies, to be against Israel's existence is indeed anti-Jewish. To not recognize that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish nation is to be about as anti-Jewish as you can get.

Apr. 12 2011 11:41 AM
bernie from bklyn

israel exists because the US and the rest of western europe felt a need to give this gift to the surviving jews of europe at the expense of the existing palestinians, post WWII.
also,these same countries didn't want an influx of jews in their respective countries. can you call that anti-semitic? yes, you can.
just because palestine is the historic homeland of the jews doesn't mean they own the land ad infinitum.
maybe the world should collectively take back istanbul and turn it over to the catholic church and re-name it constantinople?

Apr. 12 2011 11:39 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Bernie who wrote:

"Democracy and ANY religion are incompatible."

I agree if there is a THEOCRACY, where the clerics, priests, rabbis, imams, ayatollahs, or whomever control the state. But that is not true in Turkey, and not true in Israel, and not true in most European countries except for the Vatican Papal state.

In Israel, a secular Jewish country, although there are religious parties and a relatively few functions, mostly domestic (such as Jewish marriage and Jewish burial, etc.) for Jews are controlled by the Rabbinate. OTher religions have their own clerical authorities. In Turkey, a secular Muslim country, there are Muslim religious parties but again, the state is not run by the clerics. Not yet at least.
But the problem with Islam is that the Quran cannot fully be satisfied unless the state is ruled by Sharia law. And Islamists continue to promote the idea that the whole world must be ruled under Sharia eventually. JEwish law (Halacha) has no such aspirations whatsoever.

So my original statement stands, that Islam is uniquely militant in demanding that Islamic law predominate eventually.

Apr. 12 2011 11:37 AM
mark from cresskill

The word anti-semetic I have problem with. Because someone is against Israel doesn't make them anti-Jewish. This makes them against the polices of Israel. You can also be a semite and not be Jewish or from Israel. The middle east is populated by people who are semetic, being Christian, Muslim and Jewish.

Apr. 12 2011 11:34 AM

I've heard an older Muslim Brother in a news piece saying there's no difference between the older and younger brothers in terms of goals, only methods. So, would we be fooling ourselves if we think they're really different?

Apr. 12 2011 11:33 AM
Vince from 11216

@Leah If only there were a similar rule about the word "engagement". It describes no specific action and a variable slew of attitdues, depending on to whom it's applied, from benevolence to condescension to exploration to agitation.

Apr. 12 2011 11:31 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Is there a risk that American contact w/the more progressive members of the Muslim Brotherhood could be used by the radical members to deligitimize them, & how can this risk be minimized?

Apr. 12 2011 11:27 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Bernie

Who asked, "Why does Israel exist again?"
My answer:

Because in 1919 at the Paris Peace conference, the leader of the ARab revolt, Emir Feisal, and the president of the Zionist movement, Chaim Weizmann, Feisal agreed to a Jewish home in Palestine in exchange for Zionist support for a pan Arab state based in Damascus.

In 1922 the Council of the League of Nations authorized the right of Jews to return to Palestine to create the Jewish National Home.
The US congress agreed and signed on to the Mandate, even though it was not a member of the League.

In 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to authorize a "Jewish State" in Palestine.

Does that answer your question in part?

Apr. 12 2011 11:27 AM
Dubya Cee from Soho

The word "Anti-Semetic" has been recently over abused. Because someone doesn't agree with you and your policies doesn't make you anti-semetic.

Apr. 12 2011 11:26 AM
john from Office

jgarbuz from Queens
You sir are correct, because elections lead to the rise of Hamas types. Who then eliminate elections.

Apr. 12 2011 11:24 AM
bernie from bklyn

democracy and ANY religion are incompatible.

Apr. 12 2011 11:23 AM
john from office

Why does Islam, produce these groups. The Talaban is another group. We should leave these people to rot in there antiquated worlds. My god, this is such a sad state for Islam and the people under these outdated ideas. It maybe time to close the door and let them sink.

Apr. 12 2011 11:22 AM

To the last caller: my husband and I have a rule at home - whoever mentions the Nazis/Holocaust/WWII Germany first in a rhetorical debate loses. WNYC might want to implement such a guideline; I can't tell you how much intellectual laziness it prevents when people can't just raise the specter of Hitler to scare away argumentation.

Apr. 12 2011 11:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I don't care how politically incorrect I may sound, or if you delete my post. ISlam and democracy are simply incompatible. And the possibility of reforming Islam is much harder by its innate nature than reforming Christianity or Judaism.

I wish I were wrong.

Apr. 12 2011 11:19 AM
Joe from NJ


Apr. 12 2011 11:16 AM
bernie from bklyn

isolationism now!
we have no business involving ourselves in the affairs of the middle eastern countries. the saudis need us as much as we need them for oil. we should protect that situation and concentrate on domestic issues.
it's all about israel, unfortunately. why does israel exist again?

Apr. 12 2011 11:15 AM
David from West Hempstead

If we think self-determination is an important value, then what legitimate principled objection can we form to the Muslim Brotherhood taking a role in shaping an Egyptian constitution?

Apr. 12 2011 11:13 AM

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