With Egyptians heading to the polls in mere days, fears are beginning to run rampant regarding what will happen with relations between Israel and Egypt. A new study from the Pew Global Attitudes Project does little to temper worries, as it showcases that a majority of Egyptians want to abandon a peace treaty that was signed between the two Middle Eastern nations.
The Pew study, released earlier this month, found a startling 61 percent of Egyptians claiming that they would be in favor of abandoning the Egypt-Israeli peace treaty, with only 32 percent supporting it. This proportion is up from 54 percent in 2011. The treaty was originally negotiated at Camp David in 1978 and was signed the following year at the White House. If an Islamist president decides to scrap it, there would be broad implications in the region.
Alongside this shift, the Egyptian people are vastly unsupportive of the United States, with only 19 percent holding favorably views of America. Sixty-one percent view the billions in aid that the U.S. sends to Egypt as "mostly negative" in its impact.
Here are some of the other troubling findings that CNS News parsed from the data:
- On the role of religion in government, 61 percent chose Saudi Arabia as the preferred model. (Turkey came in at 17 percent).
- Asked whether Egypt’s laws should strictly adhere to the Qur’an, 60 percent said yes while 32 percent said it should follow the values and principles of Islam and only six percent said laws should not be influenced by the teachings of the Qur’an.
- Seventy percent of respondents viewed the Muslim Brotherhood favorably, down from 75 percent in 2011. The Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, also received the highest support rating among political parties, 56 percent.
- Priority issues in the election are the economy and a fair judiciary (81 percent each), with others including free speech (60 percent), equal rights for women (41 percent) and religious freedom (38 percent.)
Already, Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood -- which has substantial support among Egyptians -- are dominating parliament. A sympathetic or radical president could tip the scales, creating even more chaos in the unstable region. Considering the candidates and the emerging rhetoric, this is certainly concerning.
On Monday, The Blaze reported about troubling comments about jihad coming from Mohammed Mursi, a Egyptian presidential candidate being touted by the Muslim Brotherhood. Additionally, Real News explored similar themes last night surrounding whether the Egypt presidential election will spell trouble for Israelis.
As CNS notes, Aboul-Fotouh, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader and Amr Moussa, the former foreign minister, are the frontrunners. In a debate last week, they used words like "enemy" and "adversary" to describe Israel.
The election will be held May 23-24.
(H/T: CNS News)