Egyptians Don't Like America and They Hate Israel

Egypt Protest

Photo: 3arabaway, CC

To borrow Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass’s phrase, we’re in the “second inning” of the Egyptian “transition” from the Mubarak regime to whatever comes next.  Ron Brownstein of The National Journal has been analysing the polling data and reports that both the US and Israel may soon pine for the good old Mubarak days….Egyptian public opinion is overwhelmingly hostile toward both countries. In Pew’s 2010 global survey, just 17 per cent of Egyptians expressed a favourable view of the United States; that tied with Pakistan and Turkey for the lowest rating the U.S. received in any of the 21 countries tested. Nearly three-fourths of Egyptians said they opposed U.S. antiterrorism efforts, and four-fifths wanted the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Egyptian attitudes toward Israel are even chillier, despite the landmark 1979 peace treaty. In a 2007 Pew survey, a stunning 80 per cent of Egyptians said that the needs of the Palestinian people could never be met as long as Israel exists; just 18 per cent said that the two societies could coexist fairly. That was far more pessimistic than the results in Turkey and Lebanon—and essentially no different than the attitude among the Palestinians themselves. “Of all the countries in the Middle East,” Walker says, “the population of Egypt is the most hostile to Israel.”

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