The Egyptian Menace
With the apparent election of Mohammed Morsi as the next Egyptian president, the worst fears of both Israel and the naysayer critics of the Arab Spring uprising may have been realized. Under the iron fist regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood had been outlawed and Morsi, who is its political chair, was forced to operate in an underground setting. Morsi favors a complete disconnect with the State of Israel and has made no secret of his intent to institute an Islamic republic, effectively stripping away the rights of women and others who operate freely under the present Egyptian government. While the Egyptian military has tried to stem the rising tide of the radicals who won the election for Morsi by a slim majority, their stripping the presidency of the right to declare war and to have any control over the army may last for a while, but the Islamic Brotherhood is content to wait out the struggle. Morsi has called for a “million man march” on Cairo to force the military to rescind its actions, but it would be optimistic for anyone to think that either side will yield quickly or without possible bloodshed. The American hope that a full-fledged democracy, similar to that of Israel or the United States, seems to have died on the vine. Israel has stepped up security on its border with Egypt in the wake of an attack on Sunday and officials are bracing for what could become a complete breakdown in relations with the most populous Arab state. Diplomacy and reason may do little when propaganda and religious rhetoric are used to fan the emotions of weary Egyptians who are seeking change from a harsh regime. Three questions remain, however: Will this new regime be even more treacherous and more oppressive than its predecessor? Will this signal the end of the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt? Will America lose another ally in the Middle East at a time when another Islamic regime (Iran) threatens domination of the area?