In his article in the New York Times Mr. Thomas L. Friedman tries to find the answer to the question,
“What Does Mohamed Morsi Mean for Israel?”
I will put the question the other way:”What does the election of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt mean for the Egyptian people, who spent over one hundred years under the British, and later under King Farouk’s rules, but not one single day under democratic rules?”
We should not to forget that the Egyptian population is more educated than Mr. Thomas Friedman may be aware of. We should not forget that the Egyptians are the creators of a wealth of Arab music, of Arab literature and poetry, etc etc.
After the latest election, the Egyptians are confused as they are trapped between the army and the religion. They hoped for civil democratic rules but find themselves under theocratic rules and maybe later under shaaria law. In my view, Mr. Friedman has exaggerated by describing the near future of Morsi and his possible actions.
I don’t believe that the first concern of the Egyptian people is about Israel, but rather about their own existence. I am convinced that the Israelis are more aware of what is going on than Mr. Fiedman’s opinion. I only hope that the Israelis now will promote Jewish Egyptian people who understand the Egyptian language and mentality for any discussion with the Egyptians. This alone can facilitate the understanding between Egyptians and Israelis.
In his article Mr. Friedman wrote, “Sorry, naïveté is thinking that because it was so convenient for Israel to have peace with one dictator, Mubarak, rather than 80 million Egyptians, that this dictator — or some other general — would and could stay at the helm in Egypt forever. Talk about naïve.”
It is ridiculous to say that “it was so convenient for Israel to have peace with one dictator, Mubarak, rather than 80 million Egyptians”. Did the Israelis have a choice at that time? There was no elected leader with whom to talk or make peace.
After all it was wise to make peace and not war. I am confident that today, even the Muslim Brotherhood will come to the same conclusion and extend the peace agreement with Israel. Certainly the Muslim Brotherhood is smart enough to see that if they want to be considered as a democratic state they should not change the status quo. I don’t believe that Mr. Friedman’s advice is welcomed by the Israelis.
Necessity will dictate to the Israelis and to the Egyptians the way to go. We should keep in mind that the Jews and the Arabs have known each other and lived together for centuries. A Jewish friend of mine, who grew up in Egypt confirmed that the Egyptians never touched a synagogue.