WASHINGTON - Some 60% of Egyptians support the peace treaty with Israel
– as long as an independent Palestinian state is established alongside the Jewish state, a study conducted by the United Nations-affiliated International Peace Institute shows.
The pollsters, who interviewed 615 Egyptian citizens over the phone, found that "Maintaining and advancing peace with Israel has far wider appeal than a rupture in relations."
The poll, which was published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, also asserts that the Egyptians are not in a rush to establish an Islamist government. According to the report, if elections were held today, Egypt's former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa,
who heads the Arab League, would win 37% of the presidential votes.
Mohamed Tantawi, who heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, would get 16% of the votes, and Ahmed Zewail, a Nobel-prize winning chemist would get 12% of the votes.
former head of the IAEA has the support of only 2% of those polled, many of whom said they don't even know who he is or view him with skepticism because he spent many years abroad.
Generally, 80% said that they view Moussa favorably, as opposed to the 10% who have a favorable impression of Mohammed Badie, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Moreover, the study shows that while 38% of the respondents said they support the Muslim Brotherhood, nearly 50% said they favor the secular Wafd Party. The Muslim Brotherhood already announced that it does not intend to prop up a presidential candidate for the elections, which are expected to take place in September.
Moussa said last month that he plans to keep the peace with Israel if elected to be president. "We as Egyptians have a responsibility to lay the foundations for peace... We cannot rebuild Egypt... while adopting an adventurous foreign policy," he said in a speech at a Cairo cultural center. He added that as Egyptians, "we would be kidding ourselves" if they didn't recognize Israel as a state.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood stated recently that any changes to the peace accord would depend on the demands of the Egyptian people.