Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar says for Israel the most important issue concerning Egypt is the new Egyptian regime’s commitment to maintaining the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement.

Middle Eastern Affairs expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University recently told United With Israel, “It is nice for Israel that the Muslim Brotherhood does not control Egypt, yet all that matters is that the peace agreement is kept. I’m not expecting hugs and kisses. All we need is that the peace agreement will be kept and implemented. The rest is not our business. If Morsi kept it, we have basis to believe that the others less committed to the Islamist way of thinking will not break the rules, especially because they need foreign aid.”

Some Israeli officials believe that the next Egyptian President will be better for Israel than Morsi, whose anti-semitic statements included comparing Zionists to the descendants of apes and pigs and calling upon Egyptians to nurse their children and grandchildren on hatred for Jews. Additionally, Morsi cut off gas deals with Israel, radicalized the Egyptian media to be more anti-Israel, and actively worked to disable the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.

Kedar noted that the Egyptian secularist movement’s prospects in future Egyptian elections were improved by their unification under one candidate. He emphasized, “[I]t is better to have one candidate; it increases his chances of winning.” Kedar reflects the opinions of many Tahrir Square protesters, who blame previous secularist election failures on the proliferation of liberal candidates, which ultimately weakened secularist voting power. Kedar also noted that the military’s announcement that it will “reshape the constitution” will influence upcoming Egyptian elections.

With regard to the Muslim Brotherhood’s political role in Egypt’s future, Kedar said, “[They] won’t be silent, as their achievements were nullified. They will regroup. They definitely will try to go back to the government by elections or by demonstrations because they feel the government was taken from them without justification and they were pushed to the margins.” Kedar warned, “Some people from the Muslim Brotherhood may regroup as a terrorist organization. They might carry out terrorist attacks against those who acted against them.” Indeed, Morsi supporters have already threatened their opponents with suicide bombings, which would be detrimental to security in Egypt and the surrounding region.

Kedar also noted that current lawlessness in the Sinai adversely affects Israel and is unlikely to get better regardless of who is in charge. He suggested that the Egyptian military doesn’t need “tanks and airplanes” to take care of the problem. Instead, they merely “need commander units to go to the caves, mountains, and rocks” where radical jihadists are hiding. He emphasized, “As long as the Egyptian Army doesn’t do this, they can’t do a thing to change the situation.” At this point, the Egyptian military appears “more concerned about what is happening in Cairo and Alexandria” than lawlessness in the Sinai, which worsened under Morsi. Kedar emphasized that putting the matter of  fresh leadership aside,  “The problems of Egypt exist regardless of who is in power.”

Featured in: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/what-matters-most-is-egypt-maintain-peace-with-israel/2013/07/07/

By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel