Sisi Fever: Will the General Be the Next President of Egypt?

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah - Gen. Abd el Fattah el-Sisi, the man who led the overthrow of President Morsi on July 3, 2013, may be "called to the flag" as a savior in order to salvage Egypt from its enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood. There is a concentrated effort to picture Sisi as the political heir of the iconic President Gamal Abd el Nasser. Prior to the 43rd memorial ceremony of Nasser's death, there were posters with Sisi's picture adjacent to Nasser's. While the U.S. administration is questioning his legitimacy and presenting him as the leader of a coup and a usurper of power, this is creating an opening for a possible Russian comeback in Egypt. By deciding to cut its financial aid to Egypt and postpone the delivery of weapon systems already ordered, the U.S. has overturned the longstanding correlation between financial assistance and Egypt's honoring of the peace treaty with Israel. Moreover, the $14 billion that Saudi Arabia and the UAE transferred to Egypt immediately after Sisi's takeover, and the $40 billion promised in economic aid, are a reminder that Egypt may not be in need of conditional U.S. financial assistance. The mood of the Egyptians towards the U.S. is changing from friendship and admiration to open hostility. In fact, the crisis with the U.S. has helped Sisi build up his leadership credentials as a daring Egyptian nationalist who does not retreat before a superpower. The writer was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.

2013-10-29 00:00:00

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