Egypt: US Playing 'Double Game' in War on Terror
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Egypt is now on the front lines of the battle against ISIS, and some of its leaders are making new accusations about the Obama administration's war on terror.
They accuse the United States of playing a double game, fighting terrorists abroad while meeting with them at home.
A recent White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Muslim leaders sent shockwaves through the Middle East, specifically in Israel and Egypt. The cause of the uproar: the group included leaders with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
"We just don't understand because we know the history of the Muslim Brothers," former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel told CBN News. "We know exactly who they are. So how come the United States, the administration -- in that case the president himself and the State Department -- receive delegation[s] of the Muslim Brothers?"
Of the 14 leaders attending the meetings, at least three represented groups that were founded by or tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
One is an active lobbyist trying to convince the United States to remove Hamas and Hezbollah from the terror group list and put Israel on it.
One photo showed a Muslim leader giving the Muslim Brotherhood salute in front of the State Department seal.
"President Obama has some -- how do you say -- a weakness toward the Muslim Brothers," Mazel said.
Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood spawned many terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda and Hamas, the Palestinian faction ruling the Gaza Strip. The organization is now outlawed in Egypt; yet the White House refuses to designate the group as a terrorist entity.
"[The] Muslim Brothers is now the driving force of radical Islam," Mazel explained. "Muslim Brothers -- I mean an organization like al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and all the others -- they base their behavior on the teachings of the Muslim Brothers."
Between the White House and State Department meetings, the Muslim Brotherhood issued the following declaration:
"It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in a process of a new phase where we summon what is latent, our strength; where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising fight, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom."
Mazel said the call for jihad ("holy" war) points to the West, especially the United States.
"And the way it was said, they meant America because America for the Muslim brothers is the ultimate, ultimate enemy," he continued. "Why? Not because it's America -- because America is the symbol of democracy and democracy is a total contradiction to Islam."
Egypt, a strategic U.S. ally, condemned the Washington meetings.
"The Muslim Brothers are in an active hostility with Egypt and all the other countries, like Saudi Arabia," Mazel said.
Egyptian commentators charged the Obama administration with playing a double game and hindering its war against terror.
"The U.S. administration is continuing to jeopardize its relations with Egypt by appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to return to the political arena through the American door and terrorist attacks. The U.S. policy appears to be devious and unreliable," Egyptian columnist Ezzat Ibrahim wrote.
"The U.S. administration says it is combating these groups at home while it is supporting them abroad," wrote columnist Mohamed Salmawi. "This meeting has grave indications because it shows that Washington has not abandoned its policy of double standards toward Islamic terrorism."
While the latest meeting in the White House may not have made headlines, its effect overseas made an important point. The Middle East gets the connection between terror and the Muslim Brotherhood, a revelation the Western leaders need to reach as well.