Thursday, August 15, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood in Retreat

What Prompted the Egyptian Army to Act? - Ron Ben-Yishai

Egyptian Defense Minister al-Sisi had good reason to estimate that if the mass sit-ins organized by the Muslim Brotherhood persisted, the Brotherhood may regain control over the country. Moreover, there were credible reports, including from Brotherhood members, that the pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo were accumulating weapons and defensive equipment and were also building barricades, meaning that it would become harder to remove them by force and the number of casualties would have been greater.

The protest encampments were not evacuated sooner due to the Egyptian army's fear of global public opinion. Until it was utterly clear that the Muslim Brotherhood refused to make peace with the new reality, General al-Sisi was under pressure to refrain from moving against the mass sit-ins. In addition, the army did not want to act during the Ramadan period, which just ended. 
(Ynet News)

Why Does the Muslim Brotherhood Attack Churches? - Jonathan S. Tobin

In response to the Egyptian military's crackdown in Cairo, supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi have attacked Coptic Christian churches in numerous cities.

Why is the Brotherhood attacking churches? The attacks are an inextricable part of the Brotherhood's worldview as they seek to transform Egypt in their own Islamist image. In the Muslim Brotherhood's Egypt, there is no room for Christians or even secular Muslims.

Though the military is an unattractive ally, the only alternative to it is the party that is currently burning churches.

The True Nature of a Coup Revealed - Fouad Ajami

In truth, there was no avoiding the bloodshed in Egypt. It was willful to assume that the Brotherhood would go gently into the night - that a political party that had pined for power for eight decades, that had won outright parliamentary and presidential elections and secured the passage of a constitution of its own making, would bow to a military writ.
(Wall Street Journal)

The Egyptian Army Has More Support than Brotherhood
- Ariel Ben Solomon 

  • Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, said the army gave the protesters a number of weeks to end their protests or agree to mediation and a negotiated solution. Because the Brotherhood refused to be flexible in its demands, it became obvious that a crackdown was coming.
  • Mazel noted that the new Egyptian government was pro-West and will have decent relations with Israel. "What is better than that?" he asked.
  • He emphasized that the West must understand that the army was in a fight with radical Islam. "The Brotherhood was building an Islamic dictatorship," and it was the army that moved in to prevent that. He added that the killings were bad, but compared to the situation in countries like Iraq or Pakistan, the Egyptian crackdown was less severe.  
  • The army has more support from the people and is more organized than the Brotherhood, Mazel asserted, predicting that there would not be a lengthy civil war and that the army would calm the situation and try to get Egypt back on its feet.
(Jerusalem Post)


El-Sissi Will Not Be Deterred - Avi Issacharoff

The Egyptian military claims that armed Muslim Brotherhood supporters opened fire on its soldiers, killing close to 50 and injuring dozens more.

The war for Egypt's future has returned to international headlines and the Muslim Brotherhood is now demanding that Defense Minister Gen. el-Sissi be removed from power in order to restore peace. It is highly unlikely, though, that this will happen anytime soon. There also is little chance of the Muslim Brotherhood ending their protests anytime soon.

But as further confrontation looms, the Muslim Brotherhood is at a disadvantage. It has the support of less than half of the Egyptian population. The Brotherhood will be able to continue to disrupt, but there is currently no third revolution or coup on the horizon.

It would be best for Israel if el-Sissi's army was able to maintain order in Egypt without more violent clashes that may undermine its authority. Jerusalem sees el-Sissi as an ally, which is why it is so difficult for Israel to swallow the Americans' onslaught against the Egyptian army, their decision to cancel joint military maneuvers, and their threats to halt foreign aid to Egypt.
(Times of Israel)

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