Israel’s political and military echelons are watching the situation unfolding in Egypt closely, and are analyzing the multiple scenario presented by the unrest.
A senior Israel security source who spoke to The Tower on condition of anonymity given the diplomatic and military sensitivity of the issue evaluated the chance of Egypt sliding into the “Syrian condition” – a civil war – as very slim. The source estimated, “the Egyptian army will not let it happen.”
The source was clear, however, that “we don’t wish to see Egypt sliding into a Syrian like civil war.”
Indeed The Egyptian army – which perceives itself as a guardian of the national state and of civic society – issued a statement Monday afternoon calling upon the government of President Mohammed Morsi and the opposition to find a way to work together within 48 hours. It is functionally an ultimatum threatening the political echelon that if it doesn’t put its house in order, it will face a military putsch to save the country from anarchy.
Israeli sources estimate that regardless of the results of the Egyptian unrest, relations between the two countries will not be hampered. Israel was concerned that the Muslim Brotherhood’s ascension would see Egypt either severing diplomatic relations or reducing them to the lowest level possible. Israel was also worried that Egypt would cut off all forms of security, intelligence, and military cooperation between the two countries, which had prospered for nearly 30 years under the rule of then-President Hosni Mubarak. But while Israeli-Egyptian ties were not as intimate as during Mubarak’s days, they have remained solid as Egypt sought to restrain Hamas and fight the Al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula – perhaps even more vigorously than during Mubarak’s Egypt.
The Israeli estimate is thus that if Morsi and his Muslim brotherhood survive the unrest remain in power, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel will continue, as will relations at roughly their current levels. If the secular liberal democratic forces win the day, the status quo will similarly remain unaffected. And if the military takes over, it’s a near-certainty that the peace treaty will be continue to be honored for the foreseeable future.
[Photo: STRATFORvideo / Youtube]