Israel sees Egypt problem clearly, even if “democracy”-distracted U.S. doesn’t

Along the lines of Barry Rubin’s important article in the Jerusalem Post, Israel understands that if the 58 year old Egyptian regime falls, it will very likely be replaced by a radical Islamic regime. Therefore Israel, while remaining publicly quiet about the events in Egypt, is privately urging Western governments to buck up Mubarak. This is the exact opposite of the feckless behavior of U.S. leaders, who keep publicly indulging in ambivalent statements about Egypt which undermine and demoralize the regime.

The Telegraph reports:

Egypt crisis: Israel rallies to support of Egyptian regime

Israel has rallied to the support of President Hosni Mubarak by allowing Egyptian troops into the Sinai peninsula for the first time since a peace deal was signed in 1979.

The concession came as it emerged that Israel had privately urged Western governments to end their criticism of Mr Mubarak as he struggles to quell a popular uprising against him.

The United States and its allies were initially supportive of the Egyptian leader, but have signalled a shift in allegiance to his critics as the protests have gathered pace.

Israel, however, has shown fewer qualms about backing Egypt’s president of 30 years, fearing his overthrow could presage the rise of an Islamist regime and the end of one of the Jewish state’s most important strategic alliances.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has instructed ministers to make no public comment on events in Egypt. But his ambassadors abroad were instructed to plead with the governments of major powers to be more supportive of Mr Mubarak. Mr Netanyahu on Monday said he was following events in Egypt with “vigilance and worry” and that he feared the country could be led by a radical Islamic regime like that in Iran.

The decision to allow two Egyptian battalions to deploy against protesters in Sinai, which has been demilitarised since Israel’s withdrawal from the territory after the Camp David accords of 1978, is a reflection of Mr Netanyahu’s mounting concern.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 01, 2011 07:34 AM | Send

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