The Fate of Governments

“Many designs are in man’s heart but the counsel of Hashem — only it will prevail.” (Mishlei 19:21)

When Mohammed Morsi won a narrow victory to become president of Egypt, many valid concerns were raised in the West and elsewhere about a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

It was widely feared that Morsi would, after an interim period of adjustment, seek to impose Sharia law and turn secular Egypt into an extremist religious theocracy.

Many in Israel worried about what having a Muslim Brotherhood regime on the southern border would mean. Would Morsi continue to respect the peace treaty with Israel? How would it affect Israel’s ability to respond to threats from the Hamas terrorists who rule the Gaza Strip? For all intents and purposes, Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood’s “little brother,” and there were concerns that Egypt would try to block potential defensive military actions by Israel.

The assumption made by many was that once the Muslim Brotherhood — an extremist group with ties to terrorists that had been banned for decades — was in power, they were unlikely to relinquish power for a long time.

As the months passed, it became apparent that many of these concerns — at least in the short term — didn’t materialize. Morsi was careful not to allow his personal hatred of Israel to endanger the huge sums of American aid, and with the military firmly in control of the Egyptian armed forces, close cooperation with Israel on border security continued unhindered.

On Wednesday, it became clear that whatever fears there were about Morsi’s long-term goals weren’t even relevant. After a full year of his disastrous rule, the people of Egypt had enough and took to the streets. The powerful military stepped in and, much to the quiet relief of many in the West, deposed the first democratically elected president of Egypt.

It remains to be seen whether Morsi will be replaced by a more efficient and productive regime, or whether anarchy and instability will reign. But it seems clear that Egypt’s first experiment with democracy was an unequivocal failure. Whatever the future will bring, one thing we are certain of: The fate of individuals, governments, and nations are solely in the Hand of Hashem.