Former President Jimmy Carter is dismissing threats from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to void the country's peace treaty with Israel, saying he met with Brotherhood officials and takes them at their word.
"They assured me personally — and they have made public statements accordingly — that they will honor the peace treaty that I helped to negotiate back in 1979," Carter said last week. "And I don't have any doubt that they will carry out their promise to me."
Since then, Egypt's new Muslim Brotherhood-dominated house of parliament unanimously demanded Israel's ambassador be booted out of the country. Other senior figures have called for a referendum on the treaty. Meanwhile, Hamas, the Brotherhood's Palestinian terrorist offshoot, has opened offices in Cairo for leaders who left the upheaval in their former Damascus base.
A UPI report Wednesday shared none of Carter's optimism:
"The political triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most powerful of Egypt's Islamist groups and the godfather to just about every Muslim militant organization in the Middle East, in post-Mubarak elections threw the continuation of the treaty deeply in doubt. Now controlling the largest party in Egypt's Parliament with 47 percent of the 508 seats, the Muslim Brotherhood's senior figures refuse to recognize Israel."
Oddly, the Brotherhood reposted an article about Carter's comments, keeping intact critical comments about the naiveté of his position. "[F]ormer President Jimmy Carter, the chief negotiator of the 1978 deal, says he trusts the Islamists to do the right thing no matter what," it says. "The reason: because they told him so."