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Israel media fear 'darkness in Egypt'

25 June 2012, 12:42

Jerusalem - Israeli media expressed almost unanimous concern on Monday about the victory of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in Egypt's presidential election, warning of a difficult new reality.

"Darkness in Egypt," read the headline of the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper, with commentator Smadar Peri writing inside the newspaper that Morsi's victory was a dangerous development for Israel.

"From our standpoint, when the presidential palace in Cairo is painted for the first time in Islamic colours, this is a black and dark day," she wrote.

Elsewhere in the same newspaper, analyst Alex Fishman wrote that Morsi's victory meant "everything is open, and the future is unclear".

"Israel should be prepared for every eventuality," he wrote, 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 co-ordination."

"The new Middle East. The fear has become reality, the Muslim Brotherhood are in power in Egypt," lamented the Maariv daily.

"The peace treaty has been put in doubt," the paper wrote, adding that "there is very serious concern in the political and military class in Israel because Egypt is the largest of its neighbours and has decisive influence on the Arab world".

Greater challenges

Yaakov Katz, writing in the English-language Jerusalem Post, took a more pragmatic view, offering the "good news [that] in the short term nothing is expected to change".

"Egypt's president-elect will have far greater challenges to deal with than to pick a fight with the Jewish state," Katz wrote, pointing to the Egypt's dire economic predicament in the post-uprising period.

But he said Morsi's election had altered Israel's defence realities, and could "affect the growing terror threat in Sinai," as well as "hinder Israel's operational freedom the next time there is a flare-up... in Gaza".

The left-leaning Haaretz devoted most of its front page to Morsi's victory, noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Sunday night saying the Jewish state "respects the results".

"Israel hopes to continue co-operation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty," the statement from Netanyahu's office said.



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