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Watching unrest in Egypt, US Jews voice many concerns, some hopes

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“Like all Americans, AIPAC is concerned about how Egypt’s future will affect American interests in the region,” says Jennifer Cannata, AIPAC press secretary, via email. “AIPAC hopes that any political transition in Egypt will lead to a pro-American, pro-Western and democratic government that is committed to maintaining Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.”

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), one of the oldest pro-Israel organization in the US says American Jews and Israeli leaders are strongly expressing the same fears, both publicly and privately, about the possible rise of Islamists to power in Egypt and what instability in the region would mean for Israel.

“I’ve never seen so many Israeli leaders and others express such deep fears and concerns that extremists will move into power,” Mr. Klein says, adding that his group is urging its members to lobby both House and Senate members to do whatever possible to stop any Islamic group from taking over in Egypt.

“We’re deeply concerned that [President] Obama and Hillary Clinton have not done or said enough to denounce the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology and platform,” he says. He notes that the group’s August 2007 platform says women and non-Muslims should not hold important political posts in Egyptian government, calls for jihad (holy war), and states that the clergy must approve all government decisions. He is expressly wary of what democracy could mean in Egypt.

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