What Egyptian Democracy Means for Israel
A newly empowered citizenry looks northward
“For their part, most Egyptians—including the Brotherhood—do not seem to want a new conflict with Israel. (Even Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiyaa, one of the most radical Islamist groups, has for the moment, expressed its solidarity with the military.) What they are demanding is redress for what they regard as deep-rooted grievances: about a treaty they believe denies them of basic rights to sovereign land (the Sinai); and more significantly, about relations with a government that has dealt repeated blows to the Palestinians and to fellow Arab states. The Israeli blockade of Gaza continues to be a key point of contention—including Egypt’s own continued part in that blockade. These grievances may become increasingly critical, as the military struggles to maintain its carefully tended security relationship with Israel amid growing tensions in Gaza, and as Egypt attempts to affect a rapprochement with Hamas even as it tries to control militancy in Sinai. The new political forces that govern the country—or that are currently vying to—will be forced to contend with a population that has leveraged public opinion to oust a leader who was deeply entrenched in power, and that will most likely use that same leverage to press on the question of Israel and the fulfillment of their currently ‘unnegotiable’ demands.”
-Yasmine El Rashidi on “Egypt’s Israel Problem,” which is really, it turns out, Israel’s Egypt problem.