Egyptians went to the polls on Monday in the nation’s first election since the toppling of former dictator Hosni Mubarak. Across the border in Israel, government officials and military commanders were keeping a wary eye on the situation.
While democratic freedom was purportedly what the Egyptian revolution was all about, since Mubarak’s ouster in February dangerous Islamist elements like the Muslim Brotherhood have been gaining in both power and popularity at an alarming rate.
Ahead of Monday’s vote, analysts predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood would win control of at least 40 percent of Egypt’s parliament, putting it in a commanding position in the next government. Should the party win even more seats, it could rule Egypt outright.
A Muslim Brotherhood win in the election would more likely than not spell the end of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. The group has repeatedly vowed that if it ever came to power, it would annul the Camp David Accords. Recent polls show that a majority of Egyptians are in favor of such a move, or at least in favor of demanding sweeping changes to the peace treaty that Israel would never be able to accept.
“The IDF needs to be prepared for any changes in the situation and to be prepared for the day after elections in Egypt,” said lawmaker Shaul Mofaz, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, during a tour of the Tel Hashomer IDF induction base on Monday.
Lawmaker Aryeh Eldad (National Union) speculated that if the Muslim Brotherhood wins, it could move the Egyptian army back into the Sinai Peninsula, effectively ending the Camp David Accords. “World public opinion should be prepared for the fact that this would be a casus belli,” said Eldad.
Beyond relations with Israel, an Egypt ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood would put the entire region one giant step closer to universal Sharia Law en route to the reestablishment of an Islamic caliphate - a stated goal of the Muslim Brotherhood. The December issue of Israel Today explored the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood.