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Old 05-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default Egypt's open presidential race polarizes nation

CBS News - Found 1 hour ago
"I have a personal belief that at the end of the day it doesn't really matter who's coming to office," Ghonim told CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer (Watch at left). "If they come through fair elections, I am not worried because they're gonna be held accountable." The two days of voting, which ...
Egyptians Vote for President - New York Times
Polls open for 2nd day of voting in Egypt - CNN
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Egypt's open presidential race polarizes nation
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
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Israel leary of new Egyptian leader...

Israel Reacts With Caution After Islamist Wins in Egypt
June 25, 2012 Israel fears that the victory of Islamist Mohammed Morsi in Egypt's presidential election is likely to erode the already delicate ties between the two countries, testing one of the Middle East's important strategic links.
Most Israeli officials expect the Muslim Brotherhood leader to uphold a promise to preserve the 33-year-old peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. But many analysts say they expect the "cold peace" between the countries to get chillier. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Monday that Israel respects the Egyptian vote and said he looks forward to working with the new administration. "I believe that the peace is important to Egypt," he said. "And I believe that the peace is the fundamental pillar of stability in our region." Last year, however, he warned that Egypt's revolution against longtime President Hosni Mubarak, who often worked in silent partnership with Israel on security, could empower Islamist radicals.

Israeli cabinet ministers and officials were largely silent for fear of upsetting the fragile ties. "The situation in Egypt is too unstable to say anything more," said an Israeli official. "We don't know anything about what is going on there." The two countries' defense establishments enjoy robust working ties. The peace treaty between the sides is linked to $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt. But there is concern that Mr. Morsi will adopt a more confrontational public stance toward the Jewish state while strengthening ties with Hamas, a militant offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that refuse to recognize Israel or foreswear violence. Hamas runs the Gaza Strip. There is an expectation among many Israel observers that the new Egyptian president won't push to reverse growing chaos in the Sinai Desert that has led to cross-border attacks into Israel, including an ambush last week that killed one building contractor. Israel has accused militants from Gaza of using the peninsula as a base for such operations, and has launched retaliatory attacks into the strip.

Israel is also waiting to see the outcome of the power struggle between Mr. Morsi and the generals who have served as Egypt's interim rulers, with some seeing an echo of the tension in Turkey between Islamist politicians and the army. "After Morsi's rise to power, everything is open and unclear," Alex Fishman, a defense commentator, wrote in the daily Yediot Ahronot newspaper. "Egypt has not become this morning an enemy state threatening Israel's borders, but the intelligence and military establishment in Israel should nonetheless regard the old friend as a country that has to be relearned, and should prepare accordingly."

Israel has already rushed construction over the past year on a fence about 160 miles(250 kilometers) long to seal off the frontier with Egypt, and it has also bulked up its patrols along the border. With Mr. Morsi's victory, Israel may need to adopt a new policy for using force in the Gaza Strip, experts say, given the new risks of fallout inside Egypt. "The Muslim Brotherhood in general is committed to honoring Egyptian commitments from international agreements, and they're likely to do that," said Shimon Shamir, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt. "The main question is what will happen if a crisis breaks out. In that case, the relations could be affected much more than in the era of Mubarak. It is likely that Egypt, which is ruled by Morsi, will probably react more strongly, and the relations will become more endangered."

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