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EGYPT: Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu watching unrest with 'vigilance and worry'

Israel Breaking official silence over the escalating unrest in neighboring Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he was monitoring events with "vigilance and worry" and feared radical Islamists could take advantage of any leadership vacuum.

Netanyahu told a news conference in Jerusalem that he was concerned about the fate of Israel's peace treaty with Egypt should President Hosni Mubarak be forced out of power and replaced by someone more belligerent toward Israel.

The comments made at a press event with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel were the first substantive admissions by Netanyahu of concern over potential consequences for Israel from the weeklong protests demanding Mubarak's ouster.

Netanyahu said the demonstrations paralyzing Cairo and other major Egyptian cities weren't instigated by the Muslim Brotherhood movement but that, as one of the few organized opposition groups in the Arab country, the movement could "take advantage" of the situation to enhance its power.

Mubarak's predecessor as head of state, Anwar Sadat, was assassinated in 1981 by Islamic radicals angered by the 1979 peace treaty with Israel signed at Camp David. Egypt was the first country in the region to make peace with Israel, and Mubarak, who came to power after Sadat's death, has maintained a stable relationship with Israel throughout his nearly 30-year rule.

Foreign telecommunications companies stepping in to connect protesters to Internet

Egypt's police return; foreigners try to evacuate

Photos: Unrest in Egypt

-- Carol J. Williams

Photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference in Jerusalem. Credit: Oliver Weiken / EPA.

Comments () | Archives (15)

The world should worry. Egypt and Jordan are both politically unstable and Syria has always been anti Israel, I would say the Israelis have a lot to be concerned about. So should the rest of the world. What are we doing to insure absolutely Israel will not be violated! Israel wouldn't hesitate to pop a nuke to protect their home. They all swear to remembering Masada.

I believe that what is happening in Egypt is a worrying sign for Israeli society as a whole. For well over 30 years now, Israel has not been as concerned about a potential Egyptian threat as they might have been before the 1979 Israel-Egyptian Peace Treaty was signed. The proof of this lies in the fact that there has been an influx of thousands of illegal, migrants from both Sudan and Eritrea. I can assure you that if the current unrest continues, those non-secured areas along the Egyptian-Israeli border will become a lot less porous.
Phone Ext. 101

my concer is for the peace and saftey of israel, i wish for peace for egypt and tha the rest of the world will offer hepl to quit the un rest by stepping in and america needs to give americains an idea and some sort of plan to what washington is willing to do to help and other countries are willing to do. i choose to pray for ISRAEL AND PEACE IN THE STREETS OF EGYPT TO. GOD BLESS ISRAEL FROM ALL THE CHRISTIAN AMERICANS. GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD IS WITH YOU AND SO WILL WE ALL. DAN

@montana gold.
you sound such a sad child and confused and very badly informed,go back to your teachers and tell them that instead of listening to their lessons you were stuffing your mouth with sweets,and ask them to re educate you and then ask your mum before you use her computer for posting hate.
children like you should be seen and not heard.
thank you.

@ montana gold...lmaoo...and using your skewed sense of fairness....we as americans should all pack up and move back to england and give the land back to the native indians....oh..and i guess arab countries dont commit horrendous war crimes against israelis just for their religion...wake up dude!! loll

It won't be long now. Muslim Bro'hood will take control in Egypt and open the border with Gaza. Iran will put the final touches on the nukes. Jordan and the Saudis will prove to be as brave as the french in WWII, in the face of radical islam. The zionist will be left to face the music all alone, and we should leave netanyahoo to twist in the wind, as we have done with mubarak. Democracy in the middle east, what a wonderful thing!!!

Montana Gold - Go back to Montana and get a clue.
You are simply fools gold.

At this point in their rebellion, the Egyptians seem exactly like the Iranians did a year before the Shah fled and fell. The Iranian protestors in 1978 were secular, middle class and mostly young--just like the Egyptian protestors today.

But in Iran, there was a leadership vacuum in the protests. No genuine secular leader appeared. The protestors in Iran had no unifying idea as to what they would do once the Shah fell. It created a power vacuum, especially after the Shah's largely conscript Army came apart.

I can see nothing in Egypt which is all that different. The protestors want Mubarak out. They have no leadership and no unifying platform.

But the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now supporting the secular protests, knows just what it wants. And the MB has very strong leadership.

If ordinary Egyptians are not willing to fight against the radical Islamists, it seems very likely that a year or two from now, Mubarak's regime will be gone, and the Muslim Brotherhood will be in power.

The Brotherhood will then spend the next 5-10 years killing off just about everyone who tried to oust Mubarak from power in these protests.

Israel wants 80 Million Egyptians to live under repression to please her? You must be kidding, right?

Dear Montana Gold, or is it your actual name Abdullah Jihad abu?

What you meant to say is that Israel, along with all other civilized nations, has been a victim of muslim acts of barbarism in an attempt to impost their 10th century way of life on the rest of the world. You were also mistaken in that it is Palestinians who should go back to their homelands in Jordan and egypt. First however, They need to compensate the rest of the world for the hundreds of billions of dollars that has been spent to prevent another act of terrorism that was committed in 1972. You remember when a dozen Israeli athletes, including an American citizen, were tortured and murdered?

Israel's interest within the context of the latest developments in Egypt is one: preservation of the peace between Egypt and Israel.

Indeed, this is a case in point that illustrates how eager, how very eager the Jewish people, within and without its nation-state of Israel, to reach an accommodation of peaceful coexistence with the Muslim-Arab world and to preserve this state of affairs for the everyone's benefit.

Let us hope that whatever the outcome of events presently taking place in Egypt, the peace between Egypt and Israel that has lasted since 1979 will remain.

Israel treats Arabs and Muslims with more respect than any other nation in the region. In Iraq, Shites and Sunnis kill each other as fast as they can.

Palestinians fire rockets into Israel on a daily basis. And when Israel finally responds to protect itself, all of a sudden Montana Gold gets upset. Israel is a small area of land and has been the home of the Jewish people for thousands of years - long before the Muslims came in. Get real.

There was probably similar wringing of sweaty hands when the same thing happened to another of Israel's great friends, the Shah of Iran.

How long before American media takes these 5 Egyptian lessons to Israel?

1. Tear gas. The crawl on CNN screen last night said that the teargas used in Egypt was manufactured in the United States. CNN also published an article to that effect.

But look: Israel has been using the same teargas to suppress and kill nonviolent demonstrators for a long time. Not a peep. So far...

2. Sanctions. In his bumbling press briefing two days ago, Robert Gibbs put the U.S. "assistance posture" toward the Egyptians on the table, warning the gov't not to crack down on the protesters or there goes our money. People are listening. Firedoglake has called for ending aid to Egypt, citing the teargas canisters we produce being used against demonstrators.

Let me remind you, the Israelis killed nearly 400 children in Gaza by dropping white phosphorus on them over 22 days of hellish attacks on a population of 1.5 million two years ago, and the U.S. said nothing. The siege of Gaza is collective punishment, a war crime. And pro-democracy demonstrations in the West Bank, where the people have no rights, are routinely suppressed by Israel. A worldwide movement has called for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Will Firedoglake and Robert Gibbs see the writing on the wall?

3. Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood. The most important statement on cable news I have seen in days came from Peter Bergen, security analyst for CNN, when he demolished an anchor's suggestion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. The MB is a "responsible" organization that has renounced terrorist tactics long ago. "Of course they are democratic," Bergen said."These groups are all around the Middle East, sometimes they become the government. We saw that with Hamas." Brilliant breakthrough, thank you Bergen. James North pointed out days ago here that MB wants nothing to do with Al Qaeda. Compare these insights to Martin Fletcher at MSNBC, the son of Holocaust survivors, who warned that an "Islamic fundamentalist" government in Egypt would make it impossible for the U.S. to support Egypt. That is simple intolerance.

I don't think these contradictions can survive this moment of incredible education for Americans.

4. Dialogue. On CNN this morning, Candy Crowley bridled at Hillary Clinton's suggestion that "dialogue" is the answer in Egypt. The verdict was in a long time ago, people want their oppressor gone; what possible process of negotiation would produce a satisfactory outcome, Crowley was saying. This lesson needs to go next door, where Palestinian anti-occupation groups have pointed out for years that dialogue has produced one result: the powerful stay in power, the victims are further oppressed and dispossessed, the occupation never ends.

The firewall of polite hypocrisy when it comes to Israel can't survive.

5. Obama's policy. Talking to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC the other day, Jane Harman scolded Mubarak for ignoring Obama's call for democracy in Cairo two years ago. You are now reaping the whirlwind, she said in effect.

Well, Obama called for an end to the settlements and an end to the humiliation of the Palestinian people in that same speech; and Netanyahu has brazenly defied him.

America, are you listening?

Israel commits horrendous war crimes to Arabs simply for their race. They steal homes, murder children. No matter your political stand, Israel needs to be given back to the Palestinians, and Israel should pay to send their people off to Germany, and Poland... their real homeland.


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