- (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
There is growing fear in Israel that wins by Islamists in the Egyptian election could signal a growing change in the countries’ relationship.
The history of Egypt’s relationship with Israel is one based in war and mutual distrust. In 1979, a peace treaty was signed as part of the Camp David Accords, Israeli and United States leaders.
The peace treaty ensured a mutual recognition of Egypt and Israel, and ended the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Now Israeli leaders fear that Egypt’s new government may seek to break the peace treaty.
“We hope that any government that will be formed in Egypt will recognize the importance of the existence of the peace treaty,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Polls show the Muslim Brotherhood took the lead in Egypt’s elections held last week. The Brotherhood won 37 percent of votes, and the ultra-conservative al-Nour Party came in second place at 24 percent.
“We respect a moderate and fair party. We want to apply the basics of Shariah law in a fair way that respects human rights and personal rights. We respect all people in their choice of religion and life,” said Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Essam el-Erian to The Associated Press:
There is growing fear that Egypt may seek to enforce its Islamist beliefs on Israel.
Dr. David Bukay told “Arutz Sheva,” an Israeli news source: “The rise of the Islamists in Egypt means the end of the peace treaty with Egypt and the rise of a government committed to the ideological Islamist goal of the destruction of the state of Israel.”
Israel’s embassy was attacked on Sept. 11 of this year, leading to the removal of its ambassador in Egypt. The attack was partly in response to the deaths of five Egyptian police who were killed by Israeli forces.
According to the BBC, the “unrest began after Friday prayers, when thousands converged on Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand faster political reforms.” The group then moved to, and attacked, the Israeli embassy.
The Muslim Brotherhood insists that Israel is not a target and that its goal is to focus on improving Egypt’s economy, and ensure the rights of all people.
“We all believe that our success as Egyptians toward democracy is a real success and we want everyone to accept this democratic system. This is the guarantee for stability,” said El-Erian.
The world will continue to watch as Egypt’s new government is formed and asserts itself; however, what this means for U.S.-backed Israel is still uncertain.