Unrest in Egypt, Alarm in Israel

(National Post-Canada) Peter Goodspeed - Israelis are nervously watching Egypt's revolution reignite with protests in Tahrir Square, raising fears a decades-old military dictatorship may soon be replaced by Islamist radicals who will pose a new security threat. Maariv reported that Israel's army chief, Benny Gantz, "presented the Security Cabinet with a scenario involving the cancellation of the peace treaty" between Egypt and Israel. The peace treaty with Egypt has been a cornerstone of Israel's security doctrine for three decades, guaranteeing relative quiet along its southern border and allowing Israel's military to focus on threats elsewhere. "In light of the Jan. 25 Revolution, Israel no longer has the luxury, or the security, of dealing with a handful of Egyptian leaders," writes Mirette Mabrouk of the Brookings Institute. "Israel is still going to have to deal with a government more accountable to its people. And considering that any new government is going to struggle with the prodigious social and economic burdens left by the former regime, a populist foreign policy may be considered an easy crowd-pleaser." Moshe Arens, a former Israeli defense and foreign minister, said, "The Islamists are going to inherit the mantle of the dictators. A wave of Islamic rule, with all it entails, is sweeping across the Arab world. It will replace secular dictatorships with Islamic ones. We should have expected nothing else."

2011-11-25 00:00:00

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