Egypt Presidential Elections: Ahmed Shafiq Would be the Best President According to Israel

With candidates poised for this weekend’s Egyptian election, many people and countries are looking on with fear and curiosity. One question raised is, what is the outcome that Israel is hoping for?

In his article in the Christian Broadcasting Network, “Israel, Christians Fear Egyptian Election Outcome” Mark Martin writes of the May election, “there are serious concerns that if a hardline Islamist wins, peace with Israel and stability in the Middle East could be in danger.” This statement still holds true for the final run off, but what is at stake for Israel and peace in the Middle East?

Martin quotes Eli Shaked, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt saying, “If radical elements, radical new leaders in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East will replace the old regimes, peace with Israel and stability in the whole Middle East are under a great threat.” 

Despite the attention the Egyptian-Israeli relationship is receiving in Israel, in reality the issue is only a small part of the electoral campaign, according to The Jerusalem Post. 

According to Crispian Balmer, of Reuters, though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas disagree on many issues, they “almost certainly see eye to eye on the Egyptian presidential election.”

Ideally, Ahmed Shafiq, the Mubarak affiliate, not the Muslim Brotherhood guy, would be the one they'd want in power.

As Balmer says, “For Israel, a Shafiq victory would provide a modicum of reassurance after months of anxiety triggered by the ousting of Mubarak -- a period of uncertainty that has raised doubt about the viability of Israel's historic 1979 peace treaty with Egypt.”

Balmer also mentions the fact that Mubarak's Egypt served as Israel’s gas supplier, giving 40% percent of its gas to Israel. Morsi, on the other hand, was quoted as calling Israelis “vampires”. Though some think the Brotherhood will become more pragmatic once in power, this hope is doubtful at best.

In the end, for Israelis who live in Egypt they see no easy and quick solution with either presidential candidate.

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Lakshmi Sarah

Born and raised in California, Lakshmi is an educator and journalist. With roots in Kochi, Prague and San Francisco she divides her time between the places she feels at home. Over the past few years, Lakshmi has worked with newspapers and magazines from Gaborone, Botswana to Los Angeles, California. Lakshmi has several years of experience working with the National Student Leadership Conference. In 2009 and 2010 she directed the NSLC program on Journalism & Mass Communication at American University in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Pitzer College in California where she studied Global Communications and Studio Arts. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Journalism, Media and Gobalization in Aarhus, Denmark.

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