By David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, March 24, 2012
CAIRO — As it prepares to take power in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is overhauling its relations with the two main Palestinian factions in an effort to put new pressure on Israel for an independent Palestinian state.
Officials of the Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant Islamist movement, are pressing its militant Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, which controls Gaza, to make new compromises with Fatah, the Western-backed Palestinian leadership that has committed to peace with Israel and runs the West Bank [....]
Brotherhood officials say that they are pulling back from their previous embrace of Hamas and its commitment to armed struggle against Israel in order to open new channels of communications with Fatah, which the Brotherhood had previously denounced for collaborating with Israel and accused of selling out the Palestinian cause. Brotherhood leaders argue that if they persuade the Palestinians to work together with a newly assertive Egypt, they will have far more success forcing Israel to bargain in earnest over the terms of statehood.
“Now we have to deal with the Palestinian parties as an umbrella for both of them, and we have to stand at an equal distance from each,” said Reda Fahmy, a Brotherhood leader who oversees its Palestinian relations and is now chairman of the Arab affairs committee in Egypt’s upper house of Parliament. “Any movement of the size of the Muslim Brotherhood, when it is in the opposition it is one thing and then when it comes to power it is something completely different.” [....]
Not a guest Op-Ed, the NYT Editorial Board: He was an unapologetic racist whose administration rolled back the gains that African-Americans achieved just after the Civil War, purged black workers from influential jobs and transformed the government into an instrument of white supremacy....The overwhelming weight of the evidence argues for rescinding the honor that (Princeton University) bestowed decades ago on an unrepentant racist.
ISTANBUL — Turkish fighter jets....shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey said had violated its airspace, a long-feared escalation that could further strain relations between Russia and the West. The Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, ordered the Foreign Ministry to consult with NATO and the United Nations, his office said in a statement, without elaborating.