Monday July 28, 2014
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28.07.2014
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Egypt launches counterterrorism offensive in Sinai; 20 said killed
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Eli Avidar

The Muslim Brotherhood is embarrassed

Egyptian television broadcasts on Monday following the attack the day before near the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Israel-Egypt border seemed like a satyr starring Egyptian comedian Adel Imam. Terrorists from the global jihad movement have killed 16 Egyptian soldiers during this month of Ramadan, the traditional Islamic month of fasting, stolen their weapons and aimed them at Israeli targets. At the same time, delusional demonstrators in front of the Israeli ambassador's house in Cairo accused the Mossad of being behind the attack and called for Egypt to cut off relations with Israel.

The demonstration was perhaps directed against Israel, but it mostly exposed the Muslim Brotherhood's helplessness and confusion in light of recent events. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who recently reiterated his support for Hamas, revealed the sober truth. Global jihad supporters proved once again that they see no difference between Israel and the Muslim government in Cairo: Anyone who does not share their beliefs is the enemy.

If Morsi is embarrassed, Hamas is in real distress. Hamas ruler in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh will try, in any way possible, to prove that he did not know about the attack ahead of time, since the Gaza government owes the Egyptians some explanations. If Israeli security officials learned of the attack in advance and warned Cairo, there is no doubt that Hamas also heard about the attack — and chose to remain silent. News about the Israeli warning has already come out in Egypt, at the center of the public debate on the attack. There are those who view the news as evidence of a Mossad conspiracy, but many pointed the finger at the government, and even more so towards Hamas.

On Monday, Haniyeh led a mass prayer in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Gaza, in solidarity with the victims of the attack. He used language that only Arabic can possibly allow, saying that "Israel is responsible for the attack, in one way or another." For both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, it is convenient to blame Israel; but the Egyptian media clearly indicates that this time people are not buying it.

Most of all, the demonstration outside the Israeli ambassador's home in Cairo sends a clear message about our geopolitical future. If anyone in Egypt thought for a moment that Jerusalem could be an ally against Islamic terror, the demonstrators and whoever sent them came to clarify that there is only one enemy, and cooperation with Israel is not an option.

The Egyptian army and its commanders are the main beneficiaries. Many in Egypt view the army as the last barrier before the chaos and before the attack supplies them with a winning argument. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi has a new card to play: Without him it would be impossible to restore order in the country. In addition, the investigation could seriously damage the status of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi. It will be enough to claim that the attackers studied at Al-Azhar University in Cairo alongside several senior members of the regime to raise a massive outcry against them. Tantawi will use this type of information to fuel his secret conflict with the Brotherhood, which has never ceased, even for a moment.

The writer is the former head of Israel's delegation to Qatar and author of "The Abyss," a book about Israeli relations with the Arab world.  

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