Alexander Bligh: Preparing for Egypt's worst
Egypt's economic situation today doesn't allow it to provide for over 85 million of its citizens. This means that a scapegoat must be found for the people to focus their rage against. The new regime will not be able to hide behind the old regime's shortcomings for very long.
What's more, every military conflict in the region has always been followed by U.S. mediation efforts, including substantial economic packages. We must not forget that U.S. foreign aid to Egypt is allocated mostly toward its military (some $1.5 billion), while some $800 million goes toward the civilian sector. This means that the U.S. is strengthening Egypt's armed forces, not its economy. Such an aid package, therefore, could very well tempt the new regime to act hastily. In light of all this, military conflict is the most reasonable possibility.
Therefore Israel must redefine its parameters for what constitutes a casus belli and notify the United States and other leading countries accordingly; the strength of deterrence lies in making your red lines known. In addition to such a public move, we should define, discreetly, our own goals.
Israel must display its commitment to the peace treaty, despite its deficiencies, practice extreme caution against being drawn into provocations and make its red lines very clear and public.
In the meantime, Israel needs to quietly prepare for any possibility — from amplifying all aspects of its military efforts to dealing with the increasingly hostile population in the Sinai — for when the day comes and the order is given.
There is no doubt that Israelis hope and wish that such a day never comes, but if it does come, God forbid, we'd better be well prepared.
FP: Where did you hear this first? Compare this with my comments in the previous post on Martin Kramer, Kramer’s post.
Walter Russel Mead: Is Anti-Zionism Morsi’s Best Shot at Relevance?
But there is one weapon Morsi can use to needle the army and apply some serious pressure: opposition to Israel. Not only is Sadat’s peace treaty widely unpopular in Egypt, but anti-Zionism also unites the passions of both nationalism and Islam, the two most powerful forces in the country’s psychology. The army, by contrast, has no intention of tearing up the treaty or otherwise provoking tension with Israel, but its immunity from popular disapproval is not absolute. This is one issue where Morsi can enflame public opinion until the generals treat the president with a little more respect.
Under Nasser, the Egyptian military republic combined nationalism with passionate anti-Zionism as, among other things, a way to reduce the support for radical Islam. After Sadat’s treaty, anti-Zionism became one of the main Islamist talking points in the country. That remains the case today.
While confirmation of Morsi's victory may spare Egypt a potentially violent faceoff between Islamists and the military, the shockwaves will be felt across the Middle East. This ranges from the wilderness of Sinai, where more-violent Islamists will push the Ikhwani leader toward confrontation with Israel; to the suburbs of Aleppo and Damascus, where the Morsi example will be a fillip to Islamists fighting Alawite rule; to the capitals of numerous Arab states, especially the monarchies, where survivalist leaders mortified by the prospect that Islamist revolutions could trump their claims of religious legitimacy will double-down on their velvet-glove/iron-fist strategies to fend off the fervor for change.
Lee Smith: What’s Next for Egypt?
Morsi has said that he is the president for all Egyptians. The question is how, particularly in the middle of an international economic meltdown, he can reconcile more than 80 million Egyptians to the Brotherhood’s rule. What has made the organization attractive for all these years is not its vision, its policies, whatever those turn out to be, but rather resistance, negation, a dynamism built on the foundations of conflict. Morsi will likely have little choice in the matter: To manage an Egypt perpetually on the verge of chaos, he will have to project internal conflict outward. In due time, Egypt will make war either on itself, or on Israel.
Detect a pattern?
Elliott Abrams: Who’s Visiting Cairo?
After President Obama’s congratulatory call to Egypt’s president-elect Morsi, it seems the administration seeks further contact in the coming days. On June 25 The Washington Post reported this:
U.S. officials hope to make a strong impression on Morsi, 60, during an upcoming visit by a senior American official to Cairo, said another senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak for the record.
“Senior official” is an elastic term, but let us hope it does not refer to Secretary of State Clinton. I am told there’s a debate under way in the administration about who should meet now with Mr. Morsi. Clinton is the wrong answer. Morsi has, as that Post story noted, “spoken vitriolically about American policy in the Middle East…and has expressed doubts that the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out by terrorists.” A quick embrace will suggest that we simply don’t care about such things, and will be noticed by American allies and enemies in the region. Moreover, the Secretary could be embarrassed–as could the United States–if such a visit were followed quickly by more such statements by Morsi. Far better to wait, and have our capable ambassador in Cairo, Anne Patterson, deliver the message that relations with Washington will depend on what he says and does as president. The victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is seen as a great risk by friends of the United States throughout the region, Arabs and Israelis alike. Actions that suggest we do not understand their views, or do not care about them, or do not care about the Brotherhood’s long record of anti-Americanism, will further weaken the American position in the region. Sending a “senior official” to Cairo can wait.
See if Kramer’s forecast for a MB strategy is already being validated by the US behavior and whether I was right in claiming that the MB will play the West like a violin using anti-Israel threats.
Should the US try to make a strong impression on Morsi, should it be the other way around? Do you think Obama or Clinton are any match for the Islamists?
Shoshana Bryen: The Incredible Shrinking US-Israel Security Cooperation
In light of increased sensitivity to intelligence leaks, it seemed innocuous – or even admirable – when the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) asked the Senate to remove a few words from the US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act: the "sense of the Senate" part of the bill included the sentence, "Expand already close intelligence cooperation, including satellite intelligence, with the Government of Israel;" ODNI wanted the words "including satellite intelligence" to go.
An ODNI spokesman said it was "simply a matter of clarifying the intelligence aspects of the bill and being sensitive to the level of specificity of the language…nothing nefarious here, just more clear language."
This is just the latest example of the Obama Administration making clear that it does not want to be seen as Israel's partner in regional affairs – several of them predicated on Turkish desires. Despite Israel's status as a Major Non-NATO ally, a NATO "partner" country, and a member of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue, Turkey is increasingly insistent that Israel be isolated and cut out. This surrender to Turkey -- which Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for years been aggressively making ever more fundamentalist -- coincides nicely with the Administration's increasingly open courtship of Turkey's Islamist-leaning and virulently anti-Israel Prime Minister and what appears to be the desire of the Administration to enhance security relations in the Arab-Muslim world as it dials back visible cooperation with Israel.
FP: This is precisely as I predicted: the US is trying to appease the Islamists in order to temperate violence against the US and to realign with them as allies by signaling abandonment of Israel.
Here’s another example:
Israel Matzav: A Hamas win at the 'human rights council'
Thanks to the Obama administration, Hamas managed to hold a meeting at the United Nations 'human rights council' on Friday to promote the destruction of the State of Israel.
Here is some of what Habeeb had to say while speaking in a UN room, at a UN-provided microphone, at a UN-advertised event associated with the UN’s top human rights body: “In 1947, 1948 and 1949 the Palestinian refugees were ethnically cleansed by the Israeli gangs.... Some Arab armies came to Palestine to fight the Zionist project, which came from all over Europe to take over Palestine and to make it as a national home for the Jews, although it was always the national home for the Palestinians for thousands and thousands of years.”
Habeeb, a well-known radical and “one state solution” campaigner, didn’t come alone. Various publications of his Palestinian Return Center were made readily available on UN premises.
There was the pamphlet with this bigoted diatribe: “a racist ideology is inherent in political Zionism and... is being implemented as a political project by the state of Israel.
Political Zionism idealizes and advances a racist and chauvinistic... religion and nationalism.”
And there was the map with the word “Palestine” splashed across the entirety of what is now Israel. Advocating the elimination of a UN member state, the most elementary violation of the UN Charter, is evidently acceptable literature in the belly of the UN human rights beast.
See what I mean?
Adam Kredo: Hamas: Israelis ‘must prepare to leave’
As Gaza militants renew violent rocket attacks on Israeli cities, a Hamas national security minister told a delegation of graduating police officers in the Gaza Strip that they should help liberate Israeli cities, such as Jerusalem, from Jewish control, according to a recently released translation of his remarks.
“None of you should give up playing with all the tools of force and equipment, which will bring us closer to our aspirations: Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Haifa, Akko, and Jaffa,” Hamas Minister Fathi Hammad declared during a Gaza police academy commencement ceremony on June 13, about a week before militants began firing hundreds of rockets into Southern Israel.
“The officers of the class graduating today will become the police chief of Jaffa, the police chief of Haifa, the police chief of Akko, the police chief of Lod, the police chief of Ramle, and of all other places,” said Hammad, an interior and national security minister said, according to a translation of his remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“Therefore, from this place, we declare to all those who usurped our lands that they must prepare to leave, because we have prepared for jihad,” said the Hamas official, which remains officially committed to the destruction of Israel. “You are going to leave, while we are summoned to battle. We are the owners of this land.”
FP: The consequences of Islamist takeovers.
Daniel Greenfield: It's Hard Out There for an Outsider
Bret Stephens: Who Lost Egypt?
David Goldman: What do you do when the people are the problem?
Elliott Abrams:Who Lost Egypt?
Yossi Klein Halevi: No more illusions about Egypt after Mubarak