CAIRO — In November 2012, when Israel assassinated the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades' top commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, and unleashed its Operation Pillar of Defense, then-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was the first to interfere. He recalled Egypt's ambassador to Tel Aviv, ordered a full opening of the Rafah Terminal to any and all Palestinians, and sent Prime Minister Hisham Kandil to the Gaza Strip on an unprecedented official visit. In a few days, a cease-fire was brokered by Cairo.
Back then, I harshly criticized Morsi, not for his interaction with the war in neighboring Gaza, but rather for the amount of effort exerted there while his cabinet did almost nothing for the families of 53 children killed in a train crash in Upper Egypt while Israel pounded the Gaza Strip. It was clear at the time, when the Muslim Brotherhood's cabinet blamed the train crash on Hosni Mubarak's three-decade, corrupt rule, that Gaza meant more to Morsi and his ruling outfit.