Haaretz Editorial

The Neighbor's Commitment

Israel's government would do well to show that it wants to be a partner to Egypt's success. That is what good neighbors do.

Mohammed Morsi's election as Egypt's president is the result of a revolution that, for the first time in 60 years, gave the Egyptian public the right to make a real decision. The people did not chose a state run according to religious law or the rule of Islam. Morsi, who was thrown into the presidential race, symbolizes the desire - held by secular and liberal Egyptians as well - to demolish the remnants of the old regime. For this democratic move, which was made out of respect for the law, Egypt deserves high praise.

It is understandable that people fear that a president who represents an Islamic movement will harm Egypt's ties with Israel. Morsi was part of the struggle against the "Zionist project" and on many occasions spoke out harshly against Israel and attacked agreements with it. But he in particular, and senior representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, took pains last year to stress their commitment to all international agreements Egypt has signed, particularly the Camp David Accords. This commitment stems not only from the need for American aid. It is a basic building block of the entire Egyptian regime, which wants to rehabilitate its strategic status and to take part in the resolution of international crises.

But strategic considerations are not the only foundations of the regime of the second Egyptian republic. Egypt's citizens have made clear to the Muslim Brotherhood, their supporters and everyone who fears the "Islamic threat" that the people who brought Morsi to power are divided. His victory rested on 50 percent of the votes - some of which went to him in protest against and opposition to Ahmed Shafiq, who for many Egyptians represents the old regime. No less important is the feeling people have that from now on they have the power to determine their own future, and if the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood's representatives disappoints them the masses will be waiting for them in Tahrir Square.

Egypt needs and deserves international support, massive aid and good will. Without these, the country will not be able to emerge from its enormous economic difficulties, stabilize the government and plan the prosperous future to which Egypt's 85 million citizens aspire.

Israel's government would do well to show that it wants to be a partner to Egypt's success. That is what good neighbors do.