Muslim Brotherhood protest July 26, 2013 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Some Islamists have asked to open a dialogue with the military-backed Egyptian
government, but the army will likely continue with its crackdown on
On Saturday, a coalition of Islamists offered to negotiate in order
to end the protests and violence, on condition the government stop its security
It is not clear, however, if the top leaders of the Muslim
Brotherhood, which is part of the alliance, the National Coalition to Support
Legitimacy, would back such a move.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy
poured cold water on reports of a possible deal. “Until now, there is no real,
tangible movement for reconciliation,” he said, the Beirut-based Daily Star
And the killing of an Interior Ministry officer on Sunday will
probably lead to another round of tough security measures and Islamist
Furthermore, the political culture and history of the
country lend support to the idea that the army will have no mercy.
last three rulers came from the military and harshly kept Islamists in check.
Things will probably be no different this time.
Zvi Mazel, who served as
Israel’s sixth ambassador to Egypt and is a contributor to the The Jerusalem
, said in an interview on Monday night that this offer from a coalition of
Islamists was not an official position stated by the Muslim Brotherhood
The regime is not ready to make a deal with the Brotherhood
now, and until the Brotherhood admits defeat and accepts the legitimacy of the
regime no compromise is likely, he said.
“The Brotherhood have to accept
that their time in power is finished,” Mazel said.
He added, “There will
be no compromise. The army is stronger than the Brotherhood and it is being
supported by the people.”
Asked if the Brotherhood still has widespread
support and could do well if free elections were held, Mazel responded that he
does not see the group getting more than 25 percent of the vote under such
The army may try to let it back into the political system,
but not in an organized way, forcing its supporters to run as
Asked if the military-backed government could end up being
the most pro- Israel in Egyptian history, Mazel said that “once the new regime
is well established after the legislative and presidential elections, the new
government will likely try to warm up relations with Israel in agriculture and
by increasing economic cooperation.”
Prof. Yoram Meital, chairman of the
Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben- Gurion
University of the Negev in Beersheba, told the Post that the protests have
resulted in a deepened split within the ranks of the Islamists in
Within the Brotherhood, there are the hardliners, such as former
president Mohamed Morsi and other top officials. On the other hand, some members
of the movement have joined the Salafist al-Nour party, which thinks the
continuation of the cycle of violence is not benefitting it and would like to
see a compromise, Meital said.
The top echelon of the government such as
Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, acting President Adly Mansour and
acting Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, “are not interested in reconciliation
and would like to use the time before ratifying the new constitution and the
coming elections to put down the Brotherhood,” he said.
press is demonizing the Brotherhood,” said Meital, much as president Gamal Abdel
Nasser did when he took strong actions against the Muslim Brotherhood,
imprisoning its leadership and executing some members, such as ideologue Sayyid
Qutb in 1966.