MIAMI (CBS4) – As the political unrest in Egypt continues to send shock waves throughout the Middle East, neighboring Israel, along with the heavy Jewish population here in South Florida, are paying very close attention.
Although Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has preserved the peace treaty between the two countries for 30 years, Jewish-Americans in South Florida fear a regime change in Egypt could put the peace agreement in danger.
“We remember what it was like when Egypt wasn’t a partner and we don’t want to go back to that,” said Rabbi Edwin Goldberg of Temple Judea in Coral Gables.
He added that Israel is monitoring the situation closely, but keeping quiet.
“If they say anything pro or against Mubarak or Egypt, people will say this is a Zionist issue now, and then it complicates everything,” Rabbi Goldberg said.
Marsha Botkin, Executive Director of Temple Judea, worries the ramifications from the turmoil in Egypt could be detrimental to Israeli-Egyptian relations.
“If things become unstable, how is it going to change and who’s going to into that government and how would their outlook be towards Israel and towards the United States,” Botkin asked.
Meanwhile, Jewish-American students at the University of Miami hope the Egyptian government doesn’t make rash decisions.
Sophomore David Podlofsky, a sophomore, doesn’t want to return to a situation of hostility between Israel, Egypt or Jordan.
“When things like this happen politicians make decisions they might not usually make,” Podlofsky said.
And although the treaty between Egypt and Israel has been called a “cold peace”, UM student Adam Berger hopes things stay the course.
“As a Jewish-American I hope that whoever transitions…would stay along the lines at how Egypt Israel now…on a cold peace…that’s what my hope would be,” Berger said.