Egypt’s Next Pharaoh

A change of leadership in Cairo will alter the entire Middle East, particularly Israel.

Egypt could soon experience the most significant political development in three decades.

More than likely, the catalyst for this change will be the death of President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s “Pharaoh,” as he’s not-so-affectionately known, is reported to be suffering the advance stages of stomach cancer and is expected to have less than 12 months to live.

Naturally, rumors of Mubarak’s imminent demise are raising questions about his replacement, Egypt’s future, and the future of the entire Middle East. These are important questions, not just for Egyptians, but for citizens of Israel and, ultimately, for all of us.

The Rise of Islam

Although he hasn’t announced it officially, it is widely known that Mubarak has groomed his son Gamal to replace him as president. A smooth transition, however, is unlikely. Although Gamal has strong ties with Egypt’s business community, his relationship with the military—the instrument through which his father has maintained his 30-year vice-like grip on Egypt—is tenuous.

Mubarak’s death and the political chaos that will inevitably follow it will provide his many opponents a long-awaited opportunity. Without the military to silence dissenters, Gamal will face intense and unchecked opposition from his increasingly fearless enemies.

The group best positioned to gain from Mubarak’s death and the subsequent struggle for power is the Muslim Brotherhood. Banned from government in 1954, the MB is a thriving organization of Islamic conservatives who seek strict implementation of Islamic law in Egyptian politics and society. The Brotherhood helped give rise to Hamas and al Qaeda and has strong ties with Iran.

Although persecuted, the MB’s political footprint has grown, especially since parliamentary elections in 2005 in which it ran candidates as independents and won 20 percent of the seats in Egypt’s parliament.

The organization’s political popularity is peaking at the perfect time partly thanks to an added boost from Egyptian-born Mohamed ElBaradei, the internationally recognized Nobel laureate and former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In February, after 12 years of living and working in sophisticated Europe, ElBaradei returned to Egypt. While traveling through the rundown cities and villages of his homeland, ElBaradei says he was “shaken by the backwardness of my country, deeply moved by the people’s palpable desire for change, overpowered by the sympathy and enthusiasm I was met with.”

When the Mubarak regime took note of his swelling popularity and launched a smear campaign against him, ElBaradei says he realized he had no choice but to become “politically active.” Since then, he and his National Movement for Reform, which has fanned out and spread the word in villages and cities across the country, has grown increasingly popular.

In June, ElBaradei led roughly 4,000 people in a protest against the Mubarak regime’s strong-arm tactics. He has developed a robust presence on the Internet, out of the reach of Mubarak’s censors; he has tens of thousands of permanent users on his website and more than a quarter of a million followers for each of his Facebook pages.

Tellingly, ElBaradei has also forged a relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. In a July interview with Der Spiegel, he confirmed having spoken with MB representatives about “the struggle against Mubarak.” His embrace of the anti-Israel, pro-Iran Brotherhood reveals much about his moral and political leanings.

More than that, it says a lot about the political weight and influence of the radical Islamic organization within Egyptian politics and society. ElBaradei would hardly hitch his wagon to the MB if it was political suicide to do so.

For the Brotherhood, gaining the support of an internationally recognized mainstream figure surely positions the Islamic party to make significant political gains in the event of Mubarak’s death.

Israel’s Nightmare

Keep a close eye on Egypt. The death of Hosni Mubarak and the emergence of a more radical Islamic administration in Cairo will have monumental implications for the Middle East. Most notably, it will be a tremendous victory for Iran. For Tehran, forming an axis with Cairo would do more than provide an ally: It would provide Iran and its terrorist proxies game-changing strategic and tactical advantages over the Jewish state.

Ever since the Camp David Accords in 1979, Israel’s safety—and the entire security equation of the Middle East—has hinged on Egypt’s willingness to maintain peaceful relations with Israel. As Stratfor ceo George Friedman observed, “The only thing that could threaten the survival of Israel, apart from a nuclear barrage, would be a shift in position of neighboring states. [And] the single most important neighbor Israel has is Egypt (June 19, 2007; emphasis mine).

Should Egypt sweep aside the Camp David Accords and align itself with Iran—which is certain if Islamic lawmakers in the MB gain power—Israel will face the nightmare scenario of having its southern border vulnerable to attack from Iranian-sponsored radical Islamic terrorists!

Ultimately, we must take note of the impending radical change in Egyptian politics because it will speed up the fulfillment of the biblically prophesied events to occur in the Middle East, and in Jerusalem specifically, immediately before Jesus Christ’s return. As the Trumpet’s editor in chief has written, Egypt is actually prophesied to align with Iran in this end time! Today’s events appear to be pointing in that direction in a dramatic way. To learn more about these prophecies, request our reprint article “Egypt in Prophecy” and our free booklet The King of the South.