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By Rhonda Spivak, July 4, 2013




The answer to this question based on my review of the Hebrew newspapers over breakfast at the London Café in the centre of Netanya is a resounding “yes.” Here’s a few reasons why in bite size form :



1.       The ouster  of the Moslem Brotherhood  shows that the Islamists failed to find real solutions to providing food and jobs and a brighter future which is what the average Egyptian wants.  While Israel will not weigh in on what is an internal Egyptian matter, Morsi’s downfall is not being mourned in Jerusalem. This is the first real setback for Islamists since the beginning of the Arab spring. It may be the beginning of a long period of instability for Egypt but the Moslem Brotherhood’s ideology and antisemitism  was and is toxic for Israel. ( Remember the footage on Egyptian state TV where Morsi was shown in  fervent prayer as an Islamic cleric declared, "Oh allah, destroy the Jews and thier supporters.")


2.       Egypt will need real economic reform and development and Israel can only hope that the United States will find forces of moderation and modernization in Egypt to lead it towards economic stability and democratic reform. So far, as columnist Dan Margalit from Israel Hayom noted Obama in his Cairo speech elevated the Moslem Brotherhood and may well have misplayed his hand, but it will be up to him to find a way to re-orient Egypt back to a more pro-American complexion. Can Obama do it?   We’ll see.


3.       The sudden downfall  of Morsi has left Hamas stunned and  a weakened Hamas in Gaza, which is a partner with Morsi’s Moslem Brotherhood  is a very good thing for Israel and the  region. Hamas will have to assess whether it has really delivered a better life to its people. Were there an election in Gaza, most analysts I heard at the Shimon Peres Presidential Conference in Jerusalem June 18-20 think Hamas would lose, which is why there won’t be elections. Will Tahrir Square make its way to Gaza? Who knows. Let’s hope so . (Since Morsi’s ouster, Fatah has already called on Gazan’s to rise up and overthrow Hamas.)   


4.       Morsi’s downfall is very good news for King Abdullah of Jordan who wants his monarchy to last and  who has been worried about the opposition Moslem brotherhood in his country overthrowing him.  Israel wants the Hashemite Kingdom to survive –all chaos on Israel’s eastern front could break out if Hussein were to be overthrown. At the   Peres  conference  Jordanian journalist Saemeh Nematt was unequivocal that  Jordanian ‘s are realizing that a Moslem Brotherhood does not have answers to improving the economy and quality of life and if anything will create uncertainty as Western and American capital flee and tourism dries up. Morsi’s downfall has provided a life line to King Hussein, and that is a big deal.


5.       The Ayatollah’s in Iran can’t be happy with Morsi’s downfall. (He had begun a thawing of relations rapprochement with Iran. Remember that after the downfall of Mubarak an Iranian ship passed through the Suez Canal for the first time in decades).


6.       Turkey’s Erdogan will be watching Egypt closely. Dr Sonar Cagaptway, a Turkish  journalist at the Peres conference explained that the demonstrations against  Erdogan in turkey were initiated by those in the middle class. While Erdogan has been successful in quelling the protests, the lesson of  Egypt shows that there is always potentially another round.


7.       Bashir Assad is celebrating Morsi’s downfall as Morsi had aligned himself with the opposition forces. As it is Assad has hung in longer than most analysts I heard at  last year’s Peres Conference in June 2012 predicted.




8.        Israel compared to its neighbors is an island of democracy and stability—and also it has found oodles of offshore gas that it is going to export. Even the Jordanians want to find a way, if not through the front door , then the back door, to get Israel’s gas.  With Morsi’s ouster, Israel wants to make sure that the Sinai doesn’t become a ground for breeding terror during the chaos in Egypt. Two explosions were heard in Eilat since Morsi’s downfall but it’s unclear what they were. No rockets have been found.





9.       Final point: It’s impossible to make predictions in the Middle East. Not one of the very respected Israeli ,Turkish, Jordanian, or Arab journalists I heard speak at the Peres conference predicted such a dramatic turn of events in Egypt. The roller coaster (or camle) ride continues.





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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.