The speed of Mohammed Morsi’s fall, just a year after his dramatic rise to power, underlines the unpredictability of Egyptian politics. For Israel there are both dangers and opportunities in the wake of Morsi’s ouster.
The renewed dominance of the military could be a positive development for Israel. It is, after all, the military that monopolizes force and is a stabilizing factor.
It was the Egyptian military, for instance, that was instrumental in bringing about the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas last November. It is the military that seems most likely to protect the Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. And it is the military that has a vested interest and the capabilities to maintain control in the near lawless Sinai Peninsula.
The humbling of the Muslim Brotherhood’s seemingly inexorable expansion not just in Egypt but also in Tunisia and potentially in Syria and perhaps even in Jordan is another positive development, at least in the short term. …
The U.S. could make its continued economic support conditional upon concrete headway toward building a more democratic, pluralistic government that does more to defend embattled minorities such as the Coptic Christian community and the smaller Baha’i and Shi’ite populations. More thought should be given to saving Egypt’s catatonic economy. And aid in the form of both funding and political know-how should be provided to help harness the energies expended on the streets of Cairo and channel them into political parties and institutions.
Unrest in Egypt has generated much unpredictability and the potential for instability and even disaster.
Morsi’s fall, however, also presents new opportunities and can lead to positive developments in the Middle East’s most populous country, and in the region in general.
The outcome depends, at least in part, on the U.S.’s response.
The Jerusalem Post