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Eli Shaked Photo: Sebastian Scheiner
Eli Shaked Photo: Sebastian Scheiner

Peace with Egypt at risk

Op-ed: Former envoy to Egypt says new regime in Cairo would aim to harm peace with Israel

Eli Shaked
Published: 01.31.11, 13:31 / Israel Opinion

It doesn’t look good for us and for moderate Arab states. From now on, any development won’t be good for our peace with Egypt and for regional stability.


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The assumption at this time is that Mubarak’s regime is living on borrowed time of a few months, with a transition government to be established until new elections are held. Should these elections be held the way America wants, most chances are that the Muslim Brothers will win a majority and constitute the dominant element in the next regime.


Hence, it is only a question of time - a short time - before our peace with Egypt pays the price.


This is an extreme scenario, but a realistic one. The only people in Egypt committed to the peace treaty are members of Mubarak’s narrow camp, and should the next president not be a member of this camp, we can expect trouble. Even if the next president is Mohamed ElBaradei, it won’t be the same Egypt and it won’t be the same peace.


The Muslim Brothers are watching the developments at this time and waiting for an opportunity. After they built themselves up for some 80 years in an admirable way, they have turned into the most powerful force in Egypt second only to the army.


Just like Hezbollah and Hamas, the Muslim Brothers operated as a non-governmental organization and built their immense popularity by helping the poor and needy. They achieved their great popularity on the street because they always showed up before the government in helping the simple folk.


With the exception of the Muslim Brothers, the Egyptian opposition is divided and lacks any power. At this time there is no person within it with status and charisma who is capable of uniting and leading all opposition fragments.


Israel is not the target at this time. However, should a revolution take place and should the current regime go home, there is no doubt that the new regime will want to demonstratively harm the peace with Israel.


The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt



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