Israel hopes for continued cooperation with Cairo (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 06/25/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
Israel extended a supportive hand to Egypt’s new leader soon after
the results of the country’s presidential elections were announced on
Sunday, with the Prime Minister’s Office issuing a carefully worded
statement saying it hoped to continue cooperation with the Egyptian
“Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects the
results of the presidential elections,” read a statement the Prime
Minister’s Office issued some three hours after the Muslim
Brotherhood’s candidate emerged victorious.
Despite obvious concerns about what the election of the Islamist
Mohamed Morsy will mean for bilateral relations and the future of the
peace treaty, the statement read that Israel “looks forward to
continuing cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of
the peace treaty between the two countries, which is a joint interest
of both peoples and contributes to regional stability.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, well aware of how closely the
reactions from Israel will be watched, asked his ministers and deputy
ministers at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting not to talk at all
publicly about the Egyptian election results.
Officials said that because the results did not come as any great
surprise, there was no sense of emergency in Jerusalem, with no
special meetings to assess the situation held either in the Prime
Minister’s Office or the Foreign Ministry.
“This was an eventuality that Israel has been considering for some
time,” one official said.
Another official scoffed at all those who thought the Tahrir Square
revolution last year that deposed president Hosni Mubarak would bring
liberals to power in Egypt, and chastised Israel for “gloom-and-doom”
predictions that the Muslim Brotherhood would take over. “You see, we
were not paranoid,” he said.
The official said that there were now basically two options before
the Muslim Brotherhood.
They could be pragmatic and come to some kind of agreement with the
military that would allow it to maintain its position in order to
avoid a confrontation with the army, and realize that to bring the
country back from an economic abyss they will have to court the West
and retain the peace treaty with Israel.
The other option, the official said, was to push forward with a true
Islamic revolution, thereby confronting the military, Washington and
While many analysts think the Brotherhood will take the pragmatic
approach now that it is in power, there are, the official said, many
historical examples – such as the ayatollahs in Iran, the Taliban in
Afghanistan, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza – that point to
In the meantime, he said, Jerusalem has little impact on the events
in Egypt and can do little for the time being but watch as they play
themselves out. While there is little expectation that the
Presidential Palace under Morsy will begin a dialogue with Israel,
most expect that channels of communication will continue between the
What is not clear, however, is whether the Egyptian Foreign Ministry
will continue to have contact with its Israeli counterpart.
For the time being, officials said, Israel’s Ambassador Yaakov Amitai
and a small staff continue to work out of a temporary residence in
Cairo. Following the ransacking of the embassy last September, no new
permanent location for the embassy has been found. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 06/25/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY