A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
April 1, 2012- Muslim Brotherhood Announce Candidate for Presidency of Egypt
The Muslim Brotherhood made a surprising and disturbing announcement today. They announced their candidate for President of Egypt, despite the fact they explicitly promised not to run a candidate for President. Their candidate was immediately considered to be the front runner. It now looks most likely that the Muslim Brotherhood will sooon control both the Presidency and the parliament of Egypt. This will allow them to reach their dream of an Egypt controlled my Islam, and possibly Islamic law, much sooner than anyone thought. Their candidate, Khairat al-Shater, is a successful businessman, who has been the Brotherhood's main financier in recent years. Of course, being a successful businessman does not qualify one to be President. The Brotherhood's move is expected to further radicalize Egyptian politics. An Egypt totally controlled by the Brotherhood is most likely to continue its rapid economic spiral downward. In speaking to Smadar Perry, one of Israel's best experts on Egypt, a few weeks ago, Perry voiced her concern that the greatest danger facing Israel from Egypt was the possibility that Egypt would spiral down economically and million starving Egyptian refugees would try to get into Israel. Today, that possibility might have become more likely.
Last night the price of gas in Israel was supposed to go up, as a reflection of increasing world-wide oil prices, primarily caused by increased sanctions on Iran. As the price hike neared, there were more and more voices of protest, saying that gas prices were just too high (Gas prices in Israel are indeed twice US prices. However, they are in line with gasoline prices in Europe). Some of The opponents of the increase organized a small rally last night, blocking major streets in Tel Aviv. In the end, at the last moment, Prime Minister Netanyhu announced that the government would forgo some tax revenue on gas, in order to limit the increase. Netanyahu came under heavy criticism today for this decision, not so much for the decision itself, but for the way it was made-unilaterally at the last moment, responding to pressure. That a raise in the cost of gasoline was coming was known for days. Though, instead of holding an in-depth review of the government policy, Netanyahu decided to hold the line on the gas increase, at the last moment, by "cutting unspecified government jobs" to pay for it.
Protest in Tel Aviv March 31, 2012