Analysis: Challenges following the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo
Source: , Author: Kamran Bokhari
Posted: Tue September 13, 2011 9:59 am

INTERNATIONAL. Egyptian protesters storming the Israeli embassy in Cairo on September
9 has created friction between Egypt and Israel, as both sides try to manage the uneasy relationship.

This incident has domestic policy implications for Egypt as well as foreign policy implications for Israel.

Egyptian and Israeli authorities are trying to put behind the incident that took place on Friday when several protesters stormed the Israeli embassy, forcing the Israeli ambassador and his family to return to Israel.

Authorities in both countries are trying to manage the diplomatic relationship that has become tense, given the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and the uncertain political conditions in Egypt.

The tensions involving Israel are not exactly completely negative from the point of view of Egypt’s military leadership. The Egyptian military authority is interested in delaying, as much as possible, the transition toward civilian rule.

What that means is essentially postponing elections as long as possible. Given the current mood within Egypt, the military government doesn’t exactly have the leverage to be able to postpone those elections.

That said, an issue like tensions with Israel can be used by the government in Cairo to be able to pull off that kind of postponement of elections. But, nonetheless, the situation right now is very premature and it’s not really clear whether the Egyptian authorities will be able to make use of the incident with Israel to manage domestic politics.

The tensions between Egypt and Israel come at a time when Israel is facing growing problems across its regional neighborhood. Israel has to worry about what is happening in Syria, what would be the fate of the embattled al Assad regime that is facing protests of its own.

The Turkish government has announced that it is going to deploy its own naval forces in the eastern Mediterranean, which essentially is upping the anti with Israel, because Israel, thus far, has had freedom of movement in those waters.

In addition, there is the issue of the Palestinians who are trying to use the United Nations General Assembly session this year to be able to pull off a vote in favor of Palestinian statehood. Taken together, all of these issues complicate matters for Israel, and the key pillar of Israeli security is Egypt and the relationship with Egypt.

And if Egyptian relations with Israel cannot be managed, then that becomes a far bigger problem for Israel and makes it less likely for Israel to be able to manage the other issues.

Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology, therefore complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed .

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This article is republished with permission from STRATFOR.

© 2011 STRATFOR. All rights reserved


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