Here comes the Islamic Republic of Egypt
Fundamentally Freund: This is the first time that an avowed Islamist has been elected to lead an Arab state.
Mohamed Morsy gives victory speech on Egyptian TV Photo: REUTERS
The Middle East took a sharp turn for the worse this week with the ascension to
power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
In what was perhaps the worst
possible outcome for Israel and the West, Mohamed Morsy, the Brotherhood’s
presidential candidate, was declared the winner of Egypt’s elections on
This marks the first time that an avowed Islamist has been
elected to lead an Arab state. And not just any Arab state, but Egypt – the
largest, most powerful and influential country in the Arab
Incredibly, some Westerners have greeted the news with
inexplicable optimism bordering on childlike glee, cheerfully celebrating the
free expression of the Egyptian public’s popular will while blithely ignoring
the horrifying choice they have made.
But don’t let various pundits and
talking heads fool you when they deploy loaded terms such as “moderate” to
describe the Muslim Brotherhood or its leaders.
Morsy and his comrades
are a band of extremists and fanatics bent on religious, social and political
domination whose agenda does not stop at the Egyptian border.
victory at the ballot box is nothing less than a strategic disaster, one which
poses grave dangers to the national security interests of Israel and the United
It will undermine the already tenuous stability of the region,
further embolden radical forces throughout the world, and buoy Hamas, which is
an offshoot of the Brotherhood and maintains close ties with the
Consider the following.
On June 15, two days before
the second round of Egypt’s presidential vote, terrorists based in Sinai fired a
Grad rocket into southern Israel.
According to Israeli security officials
cited by Haaretz (June 17), Hamas ordered the attack at the request of the
Muslim Brotherhood, which presumably wanted a provocative anti-Israel action to
stir up the Egyptian masses and rally them behind its candidate.
shares a 15 km.-long border with Gaza, and is likely to ease various
restrictions on the movement of people and goods to the Hamas-controlled
This will strengthen Hamas’ grip on the area and provide it
with an important pipeline for funding, personnel and perhaps even increased
It is therefore no wonder that the terror group could
barely contain its delight over the news of the Brotherhood’s victory, with
Hamas leader Mahmoud a- Zahar crowing that it was “a historic moment and a new
era in the history of Egypt” as well as “a defeat for the program of
normalization and security cooperation with the enemy [Israel],” (AFP, June
In the run-up to the vote, Morsy and his supporters made a number of
chilling statements which give the lie to their alleged moderation.
in May, when speaking to a gathering of Cairo University students, Morsy
reportedly said, “The Koran is our constitution, the prophet is our leader,
jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” (Voice of Russia,
And in Morsy’s official biography, which appears on the
Brotherhood’s Englishlanguage website, Ikhwanweb.
com, it proudly lists
him as a “founder-member of the Egyptian Resist the Zionist Project
A brief glance at the site is all that is needed to see that
the Brotherhood makes little effort to hide its hostility to the Jewish
Take, for example, a post dated April 20, which quotes Dr. Farid
Ismail, a member of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary commission, as saying the
following: “We reject normalization under any name, and refuse to visit
Jerusalem while it is under Zionist occupation, even if the visit happens to be
without visas from the Zionist entity.”
And in a statement published on
February 21, the Brotherhood declared that it “condemns Zionist attempts to
strip Jerusalem of its Islamic identity and to completely Judaize the Holy City”
and demanded “urgent action... to put an end to the Judaization of
Even if Morsy declared earlier this week that he will respect
Egypt’s international agreements, does anyone really believe that such an
intemperate and uncompromising ideologue will truly abide by its terms and live
in peace with Israel? The more likely scenario is the one mentioned back in the
book of Exodus (1:8): “And there arose a new king over Egypt who knew not
Yediot Aharonot’s veteran defense analyst Alex Fishman is no alarmist, but in
the wake of Morsy’s coronation, he felt compelled to write that, “This is no
longer the same Egypt. It is no longer the same border. The peace treaty is
dying, and we better start to change our way of thinking.”
Israel woke up this week to a new outpost of radicalism along
its southern border, the nascent Islamic Republic of Egypt.
surprised if within a decade, we once again find ourselves confronting the
Egyptian army, as Cairo steadily drifts ever deeper into intolerance and
There is no doubt that the Egyptian people have handed the
Islamists a big victory at the ballot box and in the process condemned
themselves to misery and defeat.
The only question now is whether they
will take the rest of the region down with them.