Most Egyptians want an end to peace treaty with Israel
An American survey reveals some known and stark truths about Egyptians with 54 per cent saying they are opposed to the Egyptian Israeli peace treaty, while 71 per cent say democracy is their preferred political system
Ahram Online, Tuesday 26 Apr 2011
About 54 per cent of Egyptians do not want to keep the peace treaty with Israel and do not want the Israeli embassy to remain in the country, according to a US survey.
The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center and published on Tuesday. Researchers conducted personal interviews with 1,000 Egyptian adults between 24 March and 7 April.
The survey has sent shockwaves among Israelis with one Israeli official describing the results as a catastrophe for Israel.
According to the poll, many Egyptians view the peace between Egypt and Israel as one of the negative aspects of the Mubarak era for his perceived favouring of Tel Aviv in his economic, security and political policies.
The Israeli daily Haaretz responded to the results of the survey by saying that the danger of these results is that they reflect the fact that many Egyptians do not trust Israel and do not want to deepen relations between the two countries. The newspaper also pointed out that the two countries share a bloody history that Egyptians have not forgotten.
The report also revealed that most Egyptians feel that the peace treaty was pursued by both late president Anwar El Sadat and ousted president Mubarak purely for the sake of regional and international benefits.
Another Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, added that the survey is a slap in the face to Israelis and shows that strong relations between the two neighbouring countries will not resume after the revolution. The paper asked Israeli officials to prepare for a cooling off of relations.
The poll also showed changes in the Egyptian attitude towards democracy with 71 per cent describing it as the preferred form of governance, compared to 60 per cent who held the same view a year ago. Additionally, 34 per cent of Egyptians rated the economy as good, as opposed to 20 per cent last year.
Regarding the military, 88 per cent of those interviewed described its influence on the country as good. Ninety per cent rated military chief Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi favourably.
The court system and religious leaders were also viewed positively with 67 per cent and 81 per cent respectively seeing them as having a positive influence on the country.