The ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is good for Israel, according to veteran journalist Dan Margalit.
Writing on Friday in the Yisrael Hayom daily newspaper, Margalit said, “The Muslim Brotherhood deposed longtime president Hosni Mubarak, but then assumed leadership without having any kind of alternative economic or social plan. Like any other extremist religious group, they depended on God to deliver them, but God did not come down from the heavens carrying quail and manna. Mubarak failed to supply the average Egyptian with the goods. His successor, Mohammed Morsi, also failed to supply the goods, but that was compounded by an element of disappointment.
“Israel, which is wisely steering clear of any involvement in the current Egyptian turmoil, learned to deal with Morsi's government,” wrote Margalit. “Morsi himself had severed all ties with Israel, but the Egyptian security apparatus not only continued to cooperate with Israel, the cooperation only grew closer under Morsi. Under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt fought the terror organizations that kept popping up in Sinai and combated the smuggling into Gaza far better than Mubarak's regime.
“Furthermore, there was no indication that the Muslim Brotherhood was planning to initiate any kind of confrontation with Israel, of the variety that Gamal Abdel Nasser initiated in 1967, which concluded with the Six-Day War. On the contrary. When the Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza last November (which was a more successful campaign than the previous Gaza offensive, Operation Cast Lead in December 2008), and Hamas began making ceasefire overtures within three days, Israel ignored them and waited for then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to come to the region and reap the fruits.
“In those days, the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood convened in Egypt and voiced their outrage at Hamas for dragging them into a military clash with Israel,” noted Margalit. “The tail (Hamas) was wagging the dog (Egypt), they said with contempt at one of the meetings of Egypt's highest echelons. Generally speaking, they openly debated whether the Egyptian army was even equipped to fight Israel, and the answer was no. Not even now.
“Despite the complete absence of diplomatic relations between Israel and Egypt, the two neighboring governments learned to coexist relatively well. Still, Israel need not shed a tear over Morsi's ouster,” he emphasized. “True, his international maneuverability was restricted by his dependence on American aid, but he still was a key figure in the grim regional situation which threatened the moderate Arab states, and ultimately also Israel.
According to Margalit, “The ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is good for Israel and for anyone who relies on Israel in the Middle East. Not only because Egypt has now been removed from the dangerous Middle Eastern front until further notice, but also because the domino effect that had been working to bolster the extremist trend is now operating in the opposite direction.”
He predicted that “Adly Mansour will head the government. Col. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi will be the man with the power. Then elections will be held and a Morsi by another name will come along and the masses will once again flood Tahrir Square, and so on and so forth. It is not because they are good or bad people, but because any extremist regime will scare off tourists, undermine the countries natural gas revenues, and wait for God to provide food rather than devising solutions to Egypt's economic problems.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)