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Egypt could take decades to reach stability, MK says

Speaking as the last sands ran through the hourglass on the army’s ultimatum this afternoon, MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), a former deputy commander of the Shin Bet, expressed doubt that the Egyptian army would take control of the country and predicted a strong kickback from the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The flagship is in danger of sinking,” he told Army Radio, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power across large swaths of the Arab world and Egypt’s leading role in that sea change.

Hasson said that Egypt’s internal problems could not be solved within the coming years and that it would likely take “20 years” to attain true stability, if at all. Therefore, he predicted that the army will not take the reins of power into its own hands “because then they’ll be responsible.”

A protester holds an Egyptian national flag as he and others attack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013 (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A protester holds an Egyptian national flag as he and others attack the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in the Muqattam district in Cairo, Monday, July 1, 2013 (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

He said “I don’t know a single Egyptian who knows where this is going right now,” and suggested that the future held something between the Algerian model — bloodshed — and the Turkish model — a gradual and ultimately stable Islamist takeover.

The Algerian model was less likely in Egypt, he said, because the notion of the state as a common denominator remains quite strong. Nonetheless, he warned, the current conflict “could cost a whole lot of spilled blood.”

Finally, while acknowledging that the effects of further destabilization in Egypt could ripple toward Israel, he said that the country to the north was “ninth or tenth” on the Egyptians’ priority list right now “and I only say that out of politeness, because it could be 50th or 60th.”

(Mitch Ginsburg)

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