Morsi's Utterly Unsurprising Anti-Semitic Rant
Morsi's anti-Semitic rant is no surprise.
A 2010 rant in which now Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi calls Jews the "descendants of apes and pigs" has come to light, putting Morsi in a somewhat delicate position vis-a-vis his international supporters.
That Morsi holds these foul views should come as a surprise to exactly no one. Yet is it proof, as Walter Russell Mead argues, that "[t]here are a lot of illusions out there about how the exercise of power will moderate the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups"?
I think it's far too soon to tell (and Hamas isn't a good analogy since they are internationally isolated in a way Egypt is not). Certainly, holding power in a democratic system opens the temptation for politicians to engage in more of this kind of demagogic and anti-Semitic vitriol, not less. But actions matter too, and while Morsi's Egypt isn't going to be the close partner that Mubarak's was, it may not look to provoke direct confrontation with either Israel or the U.S.
Still, there's also no reason to believe that moderation will naturally follow with governing responsibility as night follows day.
As far as the U.S. is concerned, there's not much that can be done to cure Morsi or the Brotherhood of their toxic views in the short term. There are likely to be calls to sever aid to Egypt, which may be wise. But the U.S. should resist the temptation to find other, more pliable allies inside Egypt who could seize power -- the route to moderation won't be found through more external meddling.