Monday, January 31, 2011

US 'abandonment' of Mubarak slammed by Israeli politicians, pundits and former security officials

Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness.

"We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak," President Shimon Peres said on Monday. "I don't say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for: he kept the peace in the Middle East."

One comment by Aviad Pohoryles in the daily Maariv was entitled "A Bullet in the Back from Uncle Sam." It accused Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of pursuing a naive, smug, and insular diplomacy heedless of the risks.
"Who is advising them, he asked, to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt and to demand the head of the person who five minutes ago was the bold ally of the president ... an almost lone voice of sanity in a Middle East?"
"The politically correct diplomacy of American presidents throughout the generations ... is painfully naive."
Former Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold wrote in his site Jerusalem Center:
"Whatever the motivation was in Washington, the rough handling of Mubarak will have long-term implications. Egypt is a critical country. The Suez Canal, that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, runs through its territory. With Egypt in hostile hands, how will the U.S. reinforce the Persian Gulf from Europe? Intercontinental air routes fly over Egyptian territory, as well. But the real problem will be the reaction of other American allies in the Middle East. What kind of signal did Gibbs’ threat about cutting aid send to King Abdullah of Jordan or to President Saleh of Yemen, as well as to other allies in the Persian Gulf? Did it mean that as soon as an Arab leader gets into trouble, he starts to get disowned? Egypt had its problems, but the approach taken towards this old U.S. ally will have implications across the Arab world in the months ahead..."
Writing in Haaretz, Ari Shavit said Obama had betrayed "a moderate Egyptian president who remained loyal to the United States, promoted stability and encouraged moderation."
"Throughout Asia, Africa and South America, leaders are now looking at what is going on between Washington and Cairo. Everyone grasps the message: "America's word is worthless ... America has lost it."
Yediot Ahronot columnist Eitan Haber, who was a top aid to Yitzhak Rabin, wrote in a column that appeared Monday, that this sends a dreadful message to Israel.
"Obama threw Mubarak to the dogs.....America, which waves the banner of 'citizens rights,' 'democracy,' and 'freedom of information,' turned its back in a day on one of its most important allies in the Middle East. Obama sold Mubarak for the pot of lentils of popularity among the Egyptian masses".

"Our conclusion in Israel needs to be that the man sitting in the White House is liable to 'sell' us over night. The thought that the US might not stand by our side in the day of need causes chills. God help us."
Former Mossad head Danny Yatom on Kol Yisrael slammed President Obama for Abandoning Mubarak:

[For sound recording ]

"I think that the Americans are making a mistake. if I may point this out to the Americans....They made a different mistake when they didn’t support the demonstrators from the opposition in Iran. They should have supported them with much broader support. Much more massive support. Because the relationship between Iran and the United States is like the relationship between two enemies. Certainly not two lovers.
There is an important strategic relationship between Egypt and the United States. Egypt holds an important role in American policy. And the way that President Obama and Hillary Clinton both abandoned Mubarak is very very problematic and hints, in my opinion, with regard to other allies. For example Israel. Those such things could take place under harsh conditions also for us and also for others.

They erred. Because they should have talked about a transition process.They should have demanded reforms from Mubarak. They should have demanded from Mubarak a change of the government but they didn’t need to say “Mubarak – you are finished. And now hand over, in an organized way, the regime to those who come after you.” They should have supported Mubarak but demanded from him a much sharper demand and I think that he would have responded and carried out all the reforms he needed to carry out."
Deputy minister for Galilee and Negev development Ayoub Kara told visiting former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a likely Republican US Presidential candidate, that Obama needed to understand that "supporting the masses carrying out a revolution in Egypt is like support for the Moslem Brotherhood which is likely to take Mubarak's place."

Kara told Huckabee he was "disappointed by Obama's turning his back" on Mubarak
"It needs to be understood that if the Egyptian government will fall, the Muslim Brotherhood will take its place, and that will cause even worse problems not only for the Middle East, but for the whole world."

"While it was clear Obama wanted to see democracy established in the Middle East, "anyone with eyes in his head sees that there is no worthy alternative now to Mubarak, and those pushing the masses toward revolution are the Muslim Brotherhood."