Jordan Islamists see Israeli society drifting toward extremism

Israel Materials 11 February 2009 16:13 (UTC +04:00)

The Islamic Action Front (IAF), Jordan's largest political party, said Wednesday the outcome of the Israeli elections proved a drift towards "extremism and terrorism," and urged the world community to deal with this "dangerous" phenomenon.

"The polls demonstrated the Israeli society's drift to extremism and terrorism and a departure from the rules of the political game that prevailed in the region for a long time," IAF Secretary General Zaki Bani Ershaid told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

He referred mainly to the rise of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, which advocates the dismissal of all Arab citizens from Israel in favour of protecting the Jewish nature of the state.

"The ball now is in the court of the world community and the Middle East quartet to deal with this abnormal situation. We want to know if they are going to pursue their game of international hypocrisy and double standards as they did when the Hamas group won the 2005 elections in the Palestinian territories," Bani Ershaid said.

He alluded to decisions by the United States, the European Union and the Middle East quartet to opt not to recognize Hamas after its victory in that election.

Bani Ershaid said that the results of the Israeli elections, which favoured a right-wing majority, left "no horizon or hope" for the so- called peace process and peaceful coexistence between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbours.

"The so-called moderate Arab camp should now draw the required lessons from running after the mirage of peace and withdraw the Arab peace initiative which was so far ignored by all Israeli leaders," he said.

The IAF leader saw the remedy for this situation in the adoption of "democratic governments" in all Arab states, where people "will certainly opt for resistance against this terrorist entity".

The IAF, the political arm of the influential Muslim Brotherhood movement, is the country's main opposition group.