In the Aftermath of Morsi's Ouster - Avi Issacharoff (Times of Israel)
If the Muslim Brotherhood consents to Morsi's ouster, it may even win the next presidential elections with a more effective candidate.
If it refuses and orders its followers to battle the new regime, Egypt may spiral into a bloody cycle of violence.
For Hamas, the news out of Cairo was especially grim. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' parent organization, lost its power to a military establishment that is hostile to the Palestinian group's goals.
Hamas, which has clashed with Syria and Iran over the course of the last year, now finds itself nearly isolated in the Arab sphere.
A Political Blow for Hamas - Alex Fishman (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew-4July2013)
The collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt directly affects the standing of Hamas in the Arab and Palestinian contexts. Hamas has been dealt a heavy blow.
Fearing the spread of Islamist influence into the Sinai, the Egyptian army has implemented a total closure on the Gaza-Egyptian border.
Hamas' desperate situation is likely to weaken its standing against Islamic Jihad and other Salafist groups in Gaza, but also its general standing in the world.
Egypt: What Happens Now? - Ashraf Khalil (Foreign Affairs)
One of Egypt's most generous patrons, Qatar, is heavily invested in the Muslim Brotherhood project.
Will the supply of vital Qatari largesse now dry up, leaving the transitional government scrambling for emergency relief?
The Muslim Brotherhood will not simply leave, as Mubarak did. After all, it has been a mainstay in Egyptian politics for decades.
Egypt's first round of presidential elections last summer indicated that the Brotherhood's true national support is likely still around 25%.
Whoever leads the government next, therefore, will have to somehow make peace with the Brotherhood.
Israeli Embassy Staff in Cairo to Remain in Israel Due to Unrest - Barak Ravid (Ha'aretz)
Israel's Foreign Ministry is not allowing the staff of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo to return to Egypt because of the tension and unrest there.
Since the September 2011 attack on the embassy in Cairo, Israeli diplomatic activity there has been scaled back considerably.
The embassy building was abandoned after the attack and a suitable alternative structure has not been found. Israeli Ambassador Yaakov Amitai has been operating from a temporary location.
Several times over the last year, the diplomats have been held back in Israel either because of demonstrations or diplomatic tensions.
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- Army Ousts Egypt's President; Morsi Is Taken into Military Custody - David D. Kirkpatrick
Egypt's military removed the country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, on Wednesday, suspended the constitution and installed an interim government presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour.
Morsi rejected the generals' actions as a "complete military coup" and said, "The revolution is being stolen from us." Morsi was in military custody, while Egyptian security forces arrested at least 38 senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
At a televised news conference, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi was
flanked by Egypt's top Muslim and Christian clerics as well as a spectrum of political leaders including liberal icon Mohamed ElBaradei and prominent Islamist ultraconservative Galal Morra, all of whom endorsed the takeover. (New York Times)
See also Obama Urges Military to Return Egypt to Democracy
President Obama said Wednesday that Washington is "deeply concerned" by the Egyptian military's decision to remove President Mohamed Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution. He urged the military to "move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government." (Washington Post)
- Egypt Shuts Down Islamist-Run TV Channels
Egypt's military-led authorities shut down three Islamist-run TV stations on Wednesday including one operated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Hamas Military Power in Gaza Grows Stronger - Yaakov Lappin
Despite the relative quiet in the Gaza arena, much is taking place there. Hamas is entrenching itself further as the sovereign, and rearming itself with rockets. It once again has thousands of short-range rockets - around 5,000 - and possesses medium-range rockets which can strike greater Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Hamas' rocket arsenal places 70% of Israelis within range.
Gaza today has some 25,000 armed fighters, of whom 16,000 belong to Hamas.
Islamic Jihad has 5,000 fighters and more than 2,000 rockets. Smaller terror groups have over 4,000 terrorists and are armed with dozens of rockets.
See also Hamas Manufacturing Rockets Capable of Reaching Central Israel - Gili Cohen
Hamas has significantly increased efforts to manufacture rockets capable of reaching the Tel Aviv region. Since the fighting in Gaza in November, Hamas has been producing M-75 rockets, a version of the Iranian Fajr-5. (Ha'aretz)
- Netanyahu: Palestinian Leaders Think Its Possible to Destroy Israel - Lahav Harkov
Speaking on the 73rd anniversary of the death of Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Wednesday:
"The obstacle to peace between us and the Palestinians is not just fundamentalist terrorist organizations, but the belief that it is possible to destroy the State of Israel." Israel's task is to strike down those who seek to destroy it in order to defend itself and to show that there is no point in continuing an armed battle against Israel, he said. "Only a strong Jewish defense force can promote the peace that we so long for." (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel Warily Watches Egypt Turmoil - Joshua Mitnick
Many experts see the demonstrations against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in the streets of Cairo as a rebuke to political Islam, with fallout spanning the Arab world.
"The mood coming out of Egypt has always had an impact on the Gaza Strip, and to a lesser extent the West Bank," said Dore Gold, a foreign-policy adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. "The branches of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, from Tunisia to Yemen, will have a much more difficult time convincing [the Arab public] that they can improve the lives of the people."
Now Israel is concerned that it could well find itself with a failed state at its doorstep.
"The instability could leak into Israel. The Israeli interest is that there is a strong viable leadership that will eventually bring economic stability and growth," said Ruth Wasserman Linde, a former Israeli deputy chief of mission in Egypt. (Wall Street Journal)
See also Egypt Turmoil a Blow to Muslim Brotherhood - Charles Levinson
(Wall Street Journal)
See also Turkey's Leadership Watches Uneasily as Egypt's Brotherhood Stumbles - Joe Parkinson
Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan has invested heavily to forge a strong alliance with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, born from shared roots in political Islam. The collapse of the Islamist government in Cairo would mark the removal of a key ally for Ankara and could further undermine Turkey's bid to become a regional model for emerging Arab democracies.
(Wall Street Journal)
- After Morsi's Ouster - Robert Satloff
No one should revel in the deposition of an elected leader by a country's military, but this is not a coup in the traditional sense and does not merit a suspension of U.S. assistance. Indeed, the army almost surely prevented a bloodbath that would have scarred Egypt for decades. The writer is executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- Downfall in Cairo - Marc Lynch
Nobody should celebrate a military coup against Egypt's first freely elected president, no matter how badly he failed or how badly they hate the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood performed atrociously in power, but the real problem was always the weakness and illegitimacy of the political institutions.
One of the many ironies of recent days is that for all the anti-American anger among Egyptian protesters, their efforts empower the military. And of course it is the military, not the Muslim Brotherhood, that remains America's closest ally in Egypt.
- Egypt's Lost Opportunity - Fareed Zakaria
The Muslim Brotherhood's biggest failing has been incompetence. Egypt is in free fall. In the year that Morsi was in power, the economy sunk, unemployment skyrocketed, public order collapsed, crime rose, and basic social services have stalled.
Egypt's military has presented this coup as a "soft" one, aimed at restoring democracy, not subverting it.
- People Power Rises Again - David Ignatius
This new wave of activism in the Middle East isn't pro- or anti-American. It's a movement of empowered citizens who don't want the old secular dictatorships of Hosni Mubarak's era, and don't want a new Islamic authoritarianism, either. This week showed there is still a popular movement for democratic change that resists dictation from anyone.
For U.S. officials, recent events are a reminder that the Middle East is still in the early stages of a long-running process of transformation. Morsi's election in 2012 offered the Muslim Brotherhood a chance to show that it could govern Egypt effectively. It has flunked the test.
Israel Cautiously Optimistic on Egypt - Ben Caspit (Al-Monitor)
- The Muslim Brotherhood had stepped back from everything to do with Israel. Once Morsi was elected president, he transferred responsibility for Israel to the army. Having recognized their limitations - the Brotherhood could never maintain direct contact with Israel because of a religious prohibition - they gave former Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, and later Gen. Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, total freedom when it came to managing affairs with Israel.
- As strange as it may sound, security relations between Israel and Egypt improved significantly during this period. Security collaboration was tightened, and the Egyptians were seen taking vigorous action in response to intelligence they received from Israel - two phenomena that didn't exist in the past. Senior defense official and Israeli envoy to Egypt Gen. Amos Gilad continued flying to Cairo, where he received considerable respect from his colleagues.
- There was a logical explanation for this. Under Mubarak, the Egyptian government was afraid of being portrayed as doing Israel's bidding, fearing harsh criticism from the Muslim Brotherhood. Suddenly, the Muslim Brotherhood was in power, so that fear dissipated and was replaced by a relationship driven by issues.
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