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Egyptians Support Peace with Israel, Liberalization

At the Council on Foreign Relations, Elliott Abrams notices some good news from Egypt. According to a new poll from the International Peace Institute, 63 percent of Egyptians are in favor of the peace treaty with Israel, while only 14 percent oppose it. In addition, a whopping 82 percent support continued liberalization of the country and the economy, while only 10 percent have a favorable opinion of the head of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The one downside is the wide support for Amre Moussa, with 80 percent of Egyptians favoring him. But for the most part, the poll is a great sign for supporters of Egyptian democratization.

Abrams observes that “the data in this poll suggest that fears of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt may be overblown. Egyptians may be susceptible to demagogic appeals from politicians, but at least for now the poll indicates that many have a sensible view of their country’s economic and political situation.”

The poll should at least dispel fears that the pro-democracy movement was simply a small anomaly. In fact, the data show that it’s the pro-Islamist movement that is out of touch with mainstream views. But this popular sentiment doesn’t mean that the road to democratization in Egypt will be easy. As Max wrote earlier, one of the major obstacles will now be organizing liberal political parties that can compete with the Brotherhood.


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