The Arab Spring Factor

Nov 16 2012 @ 2:39pm

Egypt_Hamas

Marc Lynch worries that further escalation between Gaza and Israel will have unpredictable results in Arab Spring nations. On Egypt:

Morsi has demonstrated his preference to pursue a pragmatic foreign policy here, offering some sympathetic rhetoric and a visit from his relatively anonymous Prime Minister but thus far avoiding dramatic gestures such as opening the border with Gaza or throwing Camp David on the table. But as much as Morsi values solidifying relations with the U.S. and the international community, and is constrained by the status quo orientation of the Egyptian military and foreign policy apparatus, he may also see real opportunities to gain domestic popularity and assert Egyptian regional leadership.  Morsi's conversations with Erdogan may be implictly focused as much on coordinating to avoid a bidding war over Gaza which pushes both countries towards overly risky moves.  But it is not clear that such a stance can be maintained if the tempo of protests and the human toll of the war escalates.  

(Photo: Egyptians shout anti-Israeli slogans during a demonstration in front of Al-Azhar mosque after the weekly Friday prayer in Cairo on November 16, 2012. Several thousand people demonstrated outside the Al-Azhar mosque to protest against the Israeli campaign.  Arabic writing on placard reads 'Hamas is the symbol of heroism'. By AFP/Getty Images)