By Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org
Click photo to download. Caption: A protest against former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in Egypt on June 28, 2013. Tamarod, the movement that launched the movement that toppled Morsi, is calling for Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel to be reversed. Credit: Lilian Wagdy via Wikimedia Commons.
After the Muslim Brotherhood did not overturn Egypt’s 1979 peace deal
with Israel during its term in power, the liberal group that began the push to
remove the party from power has begun collecting signatures in efforts to
rescind the agreement.
The Tamarod (rebellion) movement, a grassroots effort to register
opposition to now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi and force him to call early
elections, helped launch the July 2013 protests in Egypt, which preceded the
consequent military removal of Morsi. The same group is now demanding that
Egypt sever ties with Israel as part of a wider campaign seeking to end
dependence on U.S. aid, in light of recent sanctions imposed by Washington on
the Egyptian army.
Tamarod is calling for a reversal of the 1979 peace agreement with the
“Israeli entity, which is binding the hands of Egypt’s security forces in
Sinai.” The movement’s activists wish to reformulate Egyptian security
agreements with Israel in a way that will “ensure Egypt’s right to secure its
borders.” According to the organizers of the new Tamarod petition, the petition
has so far garnered more than 300,000 signatures.
Israel is closely monitoring the initiative. According to an anonymous
official who spoke to Israel Hayom, “The
fact that there are groups in Egypt trying to promote the issue, specifically
now, and that they are calling themselves ‘liberals,’ suggests, more than
anything, that their priorities are out of order and bizarre. Even if there is
a public demand, the Egyptian leaders, regardless of their affiliation, are
well aware of the interests that would best serve the Egyptian people.” Last Friday, the Israeli cabinet convened for a briefing
on the topic.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed Israeli
ministers and top government officials not to comment on the ongoing turmoil in
Egypt, Army Radio reported Sunday. Media
outlets, however, reported over the weekend that Israel was maintaining close
ties to Egyptian Defense Minister Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who led the military’s
overthrowing of Morsi. Western diplomats quoted by the New York Times said that Israel had promised Sissi that the U.S.
would not cut off aid to his country.
“General Sissi and his circle appeared to be in heavy
communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis
were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to
worry about American threats to cut off aid,” the New York Times reported on Saturday.
Jerusalem did not issue an official response to the