Palestinian media has reported on comments by Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood expressing displeasure with U.S. President Obama’s policy speech on the MIdeast. According to a MERI translation:
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri has said that U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech was full of empty slogans, and stressed that the ummah does not need a lesson in democracy from someone who supports the Zionist crimes and refused to condemn the occupation. He called Obama’s criticism of the Palestinian reconciliation interference in internal Palestinian affairs, and also against the principles of freedom and democracy of which he was speaking. Abu Zuhri also called for hastening the implementation of the reconciliation and the formation of the interim government, and stressed that Hamas would not recognize the Zionist entity under any circumstances. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt deputy chairman, Dr. Essam Al-Arian, expressed disappointment at Obama’s speech, saying that the Israeli-Zionist complex controls the U.S.’s strategy, which continues to cling to a unilateral approach and does not see that the Middle East has peoples worthy of life and dignity. Al-Arian stated that Obama did not present a new American strategy, and called on the Arabs to build their states by themselves, and not to expect anything from the U.S. Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor of the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, called Obama’s speech demagoguery, and said that Obama spoke in a antiquated language appropriate for the Cold War. He said that the Arabs had had enough promises of peace, and that now they are expecting positions that will deter the Israeli occupation, which is the source of terrorism in the world.
Sources: Palestine-info.info, May 19, 2011; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, May 20, 2011″
The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. In 2007, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel.