The Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt-Israel Peace

By August 1, 2013

Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 102

This study examines the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s attitude towards Israel and the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. From the role of main opposition to the Mubarak regime – in which it advocated continuously against Israel and the treaty – the Brotherhood rose to power in Egypt in the aftermath of the 2011 revolt against the regime of President Husni Mubarak, and held power until the military coup of July 2013.

The timeframe during which the Brotherhood occupied positions of power in Egypt, from early 2012 to the summer of 2013, provides a rare perspective into the movement’s ideology and the way it acted in shaping Egypt’s policy, particularly regarding its relations with Israel.

Chapter one of this study explores the struggle between Islam and the West, and the Brotherhood’s hatred of the US, Israel’s main supporter. Chapter two surveys the regional context which shapes the Brotherhood’s views on Israel, including the role of Hamas, which is the Brotherhood’s sister movement in Gaza and the West Bank. The third chapter analyzes the Brotherhood’s religious motivations which intensify the struggle against Israel, specifically its rhetoric on the importance of Jerusalem to Islam. Chapter four looks at the Brotherhood’s apprehension regarding normalization with Israel and the implementation of the peace treaty, which threatens the Brotherhood and polarizes Egyptian society. Chapter five reviews the policy of the Brotherhood government in 2012-2013 towards Israel, specifically during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. The Brotherhood’s confidence allowed it to set conditions that could have brought about the cancellation of the peace treaty. However, in light of the July 2013 military coup that removed the Brotherhood from power, its influence on Egypt’s future remains to be seen.

 

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia)

Dr. Liad Porat
Dr. Liad Porat

Dr. Liad Porat, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is a lecturer of Middle East history at Ariel University.