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Such a regime, says Ben Yishai, “will be hostile to Israel based on its very nature and worldview…. This is what happened in Iran in the 1970s and more recently in Turkey, Gaza and Tunisia.”
Should the Arab domino effect continue to favor political Islam, the chance of securing a peace agreement with the Palestinians is nil. Moreover, under this state of affairs, the peace treaty with Jordan faces a significant threat, and we may also find various terror groups associated with the Brotherhood, the Salafists and Global Jihad on our borders with Syria and Jordan.
Another commentator, Dan Margalit, stated morosely that “The flag of peace between Israel and Egypt, which was always at half-mast, has dropped to the quarter mark following the Arab Spring.”
And another one, Boaz Bismuth, sounded a note of bitterness, writing that
[Muslim Brotherhood founder] Hassan al-Banna had a vision: He and those who inherited his legacy were supposed to topple the existing regimes in Arab countries one after another and unite them under a singular international Islamic regime with the slogan “The Quran is our constitution.” That was his dream, which was blocked by a dam, until U.S. President Barack Obama came and breached the dam.
Egypt’s own Ahram Online reports that Egypt’s secular and liberal parties share the perception that the U.S. backed the Brotherhood candidate and helped him win, with Osama Ghazali Harb of the Democratic Front Party “claim[ing] the US was pressuring SCAF to hand over power to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Notably, except for right-of-center Bismuth, none of the above-quoted Israeli commentators is a right-winger. But the hope that Egypt’s Islamist tide can still be contained, without a deterioration into intensified terror if not war, is hardly a divisive right-left issue.
It was, however, Israel’s trade three decades ago of the entire Sinai Peninsula for a peace treaty with Egypt—albeit carried out by Likud prime minister Menachem Begin—that launched the land-for-peace paradigm. And it was left-wingers who latched onto it with gusto, seeking to apply it hastily and enthusiastically to the Syrian and Palestinian fronts—with dire effects of drastically increased terror in the latter domain.
Today Israel is a country still undergoing a maturation process, which involves more realistically assessing the roiling, unstable surrounding entities instead of projecting dreams and hopes onto them. Obsessive talk about just which concessions would finally convert the Palestinians into paragons of peace has been replaced by worried, nonpartisan speculations about the future of Gaza, Sinai, and Egypt itself.
Israel is also a country that is mostly hoping for a new U.S. administration that would be more inclined to back the right instead of the wrong side in Middle Eastern disputes. Of course, from now till the end of this year—with the Iranian, Syrian, Egyptian, and other situations remaining very much unresolved—anything could happen.
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