Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What the Arab Spring has Wrought

There has been a lot of angst among those of us who pay attention to these things, about the election of Mohammed Morsi as the new President of Egypt.  And with good reason. Morsi was the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamist faction in Egypt that was outlawed under Hosni Mubarak because of its philosophy of replacing all secular government with an Islamic one guided by Sharia law. Sharia is the religious law of fundamentalist Muslims – something akin to our Halacha.

One the most important features of this movement as it applies to the Jewish people is the pledge to never recognize Israel . Its ultimate goal is the destruction of the Jewish State replacing it with an Islamist State similar to Iran - governed by Sharia law.  

To make matters worse, Morsi’s mentor is Safwat Hijazi, an Islamist that is so radical that even Egypt’s current high court banned him from running from office. I saw a video of him recently that had English subtitles. He basically declared war on Israel saying that eradicating the Jewish nation was the number one priority for all Muslims. And that his goal was to unite all Arab states with Jerusalem as its capital. (I don’t know how accurate those subtitles were, but if his actual words were anywhere near what those subtitles were saying - it’s scary.)

Morsi’s victory had Hamas dancing in the streets of Gaza. He is a kindred spirit. He has also promised to improve relations with Iran. No surprise there. They must be giddy over there - considering that virtually the entire rest of the civilized world - including even most Arab States - are not so happy with Iran right now.

This is the man we now have to deal with. So… Hooray for the ‘Arab Spring” and democracy – Arab style. I wish we had the Mubarak dictatorship back.

The move to the right is alive and well. And it isn’t only among Orthodox Jews that it is growing. Among Muslims – it seems to be growing at a very rapid pace.

If anyone thinks that this is the right time to make peace overtures to Palestinians, I’d like to know why? The thrust of Arab public opinion if gauged by the increase in fundamentalism does not favor a peace treaty – considering the fact that Islamists have vowed never to accept Israel as a State under any circumstances.

The one bright spot – if you can call it that – is that in his victory speech Morsi pledged to uphold all of Egypt’s existing peace treaties – a not so oblique reference to the peace treaty with Israel.  I would not overlook that. This is an important statement if you consider where this man is coming from and who his mentor is.

Israel needs to be more vigilant than ever. The one thing about the religious fanatics of Islam is that they never let anything get in the way of their goals. They put their lives – and the lives of others on the line for those goals. That has been shown time and again by all the suicide attacks against Israel and any other entity that gets in the way of establishing their goals. They want Sharia law in all the Arab lands including Israel after they oust the Jews.

I don’t know how all of this will eventually play out. But if Egypt would ever declare the peace treaty with Israel null and void, Israel would have every right to consider that an act of war. In my view that would also give them the right to make a pre-emptive strike against Egypt that would destroy its military capabilities – much like they did in 67. 

Of course things are more complicated now.  Egypt is stronger and probably a bit wiser now than it was then. My hope is that Israel is still smarter yet and has a contingency plan in place just in case this scenario takes place at some point in the future. Heaven help us if it does.