Egypt's role in 'Pillar of Defense'

Given the timing and current situation in Egypt, is the MB behind the violence between Hamas and Israel?

Anti MB Morsy (R370) (photo credit: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/ Reuters)
Anti MB Morsy (R370)
(photo credit: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/ Reuters)
Recently, many Egyptians have turned against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). This is largely due to the country’s rapidly deteriorating economic situation following their ascension to power.
Electricity cuts due to a lack of energy and long queues for gas have become commonplace since the MB assumed deposed president Hosni Mubarak’s position. Furthermore, attempts to limit freedom of press and censor the Internet have sparked outrage against the Islamist ruling regimen by many Egyptian liberals.
Additionally, the government’s recent decision to close shops at 10 P.M. created a strong public backlash since the decision goes against popular cultural habits. Raising the prices of food added still more fuel to the fire against the Muslim Brotherhood.
The exaggerated expectation that the Islamists will miraculously solve the country’s problems, coupled with the failure of Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi to fulfill his “100 day promise,”—the period of time in which the president promised to solve many of the country’s critical issues—has only made things worse for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Recently, the anger directed at the new government– as highlighted by various demonstrations —reached a fever pitch, and has been causing grave concern for the MB. In such a scenario, it is not such a stretch to think that the MB might’ve reached out to their sister organization, Hamas, to help them out by employing some diversion tactics. 
Flooding Israel with rocket attacks in order to galvanize an Israeli retaliation would provide a great distraction for Egyptians. Refocusing the populace’s attention onto their Palestinian brethren would result in quelling the mounting public pressure against the MB. 
It’s important to note that both groups share the common ideological belief of destroying Israel. Leading members of Hamas have already publicly expressed allegiance to the supreme ruler (“Murshed”) of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Many Egyptians were outraged that while Egypt is embroiled in both economic and fuel crises, the MB chose to give gas as well as financial aid to the Gazans. Furthermore, many in the country were vehemently opposed to opening the border with Gaza after members of the radical Palestinian Islamic groups infiltrated Sinai and killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. A military confrontation between Israel and Gaza, therefore, would provide the MB with a justification for both funneling financial aid to Gazans and opening its borders.
Ultimately, the more Palestinians that enter Sinai, the better the chance that the Muslim Brotherhood will maintain power in Egypt. Military-trained Hamas sympathizers will be prepared at any given time to assist the MB in combating a public uprising – a very likely scenario – by Egypt’s citizens.
However, many Egyptians - as observed on mainstream Arabic media and on Internet social networks – have not been distracted by the Gaza issue and are still heavily criticizing the MB for mismanagement of their country. The recent deaths of more than 50 schoolchildren in a train accident in the south of Egypt further angered people, since the MB was seen as caring more about the Gazan’s fate than the families who lost their children. In the last few days, Facebook and Twitter were full of comparisons between the MB’s affectionate reactions toward Gaza and the lack of proper attention toward the Egyptians themselves. For many, their suspicions have been confirmed that the MB loyalty lies with the Palestinians and not with the Egyptian people.
If the MB had indeed devised a scheme to ignite a clash between Hamas and Israel as a way of diversion, the Egypt people’s reaction demonstrates that it might just have backfired.
The writer is an Islamic thinker and reformer, and a one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt. He was a member of the terrorist organization JI with Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later became the second-in-command of al-Qaida. He is currently a senior fellow and chairman of the study of Islamic radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.