Animosity toward Israel is playing a significant role in the Egyptian presidential race, according to a report by Reuters.
One ex-air force commander, Moneim Abol Fotouh, hopes to garner votes by recalling his role in shooting down Israeli aircraft in 1973, referring to Israel as “the enemy” and the “Zionist entity” rather than “Israel”. Yet another, Hamdeen Sabahy promises his support for Palestinian militant activity against Israel, while another, preacher Safwat el-Hegazi, hopes to oversee the creation of a Palestinian state where Israel is today, with Jerusalem as its capital. All the candidates recommend reconsidering the degree to which Egypt enjoys relations with Israel.
Egypt suffered a major economic downturn during and following the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in January and February 2011.