The victory of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in Egypt’s presidential election has caused concern in Israel with media and officials warning of a difficult and vague future for Tel Aviv.
Israeli officials fear that Morsi’s victory could bring an end to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel as well as bilateral economic and security agreements which are of vital importance to Tel Aviv. The Israeli media have described Morsi's victory as a dangerous development for Tel Aviv.
Former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told public radio on Monday that Egypt would now be led "by a man who has never hidden his hostility towards Israel. We must seek dialogue with the Islamists, and at the same time be prepared for war." Analyst Alex Fishman has also said that Morsi's victory meant "everything is open, and the future is unclear."
"Israel should be prepared for every eventuality," he wrote in Yedioth Ahronothdaily, evoking the possibility of "an Islamist intelligence minister, a re-examination of the peace accords, a collapse of the economic agreements and lack of security coordination."
"The peace treaty has been put in doubt, there is very serious concern in the political and military class in Israel," the Maariv daily wrote.
But Israel is not the only side voicing concern about Egypt's new president as its closest ally, the United States, is also worried about Morsi's policies towards Israel. Washington says it wants Morsi to continue the former regime's policies in the region.
The US has been paying Cairo over a billion dollars annually to keep its peace treaty with Tel Aviv in place. Egypt has not only had a long-standing peace accord with Israel, but it has also helped it impose a crippling siege on the neighboring Gaza Strip.