The Israeli enemy expects the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will survive democracy protests that have shaken the country over the past three days, government officials and analysts said.
Israeli officials and analysts said they did not foresee the downfall of the Egyptian regime, and were confident that even regime change would not result in the breakdown of ties with Cairo.
“We have an earthquake in the Middle East… but we believe the Egyptian regime is strong enough and that Egypt is going to overcome the current wave of demonstrations,” an Israeli government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told journalists on Thursday. “Mubarak is not Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. There is a huge difference. The Egyptian regime is well rooted, including the defense establishment. Their regime is strong enough to overcome the situation,” he said.
A second government Israeli official echoed that view. “The regime may be shaken by the troubles, and anything is possible, but it doesn’t have a serious air to it,” he told AFP, adding that Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt was not in danger. “It is in the fundamental interests of Egypt to maintain its privileged ties with the West, and maintaining peace with Israel is part of that,” he added.
“We are closely following the situation with great interest,” Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP in turn.
On Wednesday, Israeli vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom expressed hope that the Egyptian authorities would “give their citizens freedom and rights while continuing on the good path of good relations with Israel established over 30 years ago.”
Israeli analysts also said they thought it unlikely the regime in Cairo would fall, and said that even a regime change would not necessarily jeopardize the peace treaty Israel signed with Egypt in 1979. “Even if the Muslim Brotherhood, who have criticized ‘illegal ties with Israel,’ came to power, the army and the Egyptian security services would oppose it with all their might,” claimed Yoram Meital, a researcher at Beersheva University in southern Israel. “Even if the opposition is very hostile to Israel, if they refuse any form of normalization (with Israel), it is not ready to renounce the ‘cold peace’ between the two countries and take the risk of a new war,” Meital, a Middle East specialist, said.
Ref: Al jazeera