It’s hardly a secret that Israel is apprehensive about the events in Egypt, which signed a concord treaty with the Jewish state in 1979 under the leadership of Hosni Mubarak’s predecessor, Anwar Sadat. More just, Egypt has cooperated with Israel on the blockade of Gaza.
By Justin Elliott at Salon
The Israelis are apprehensive about, among other things, the possibility that an Islamic movement could gain potential if the Mubarak regime were to fall. So I was attracted now to see reaction from pro-Israel groups in the United States — which were favorably disposed to the democratic aspirations of the Green movement in Iran in 2009 — to the Egyptian pro-democracy protests.
This afternoon I spoke with Alan Elsner, senior director of communications at the Israel Project, an influential D.C.-based pro-Israel group. He has an analysis that is chief the group’s website now that argues the Arab protests highlight Israel’s “stability.” But the cut does not explicitly support or oppose the Egyptian protests. I questioned Elsner if the Israel Project is compelling a spot.
“Observably, like all Americans and Israelis and others, we are watching with splendid attentiveness,” he said. “We be with you very well that this is a regime that has been here for 30 years and is an suppressive government. It hasn’t allowable free and honest elections — we be with you that. We also be with you that this is a government that made concord with Israel in 1979 and Mubarak’s predecessor compensated for that concord with his go.”
Elsner said that while it is too early to tell what a post-Mubarak government could peek like — and whether Mubarak will flush fall — here are concerns: ”He has experimental the treaty and that treaty has be converted into a bulwark of stability. Should Mubarak go, here is concern about the kind of government that would exchange him, and whether it would be inclined to keep up that treaty.”
I questioned Elsner about the Israel Project’s previous support for a “Stand for Frankness in Iran” rally in September 2009, held in the wake of the Green Movement protests, which emphasized exalted ideals of human rights and democracy. Why is the group not supporting the same ideals in Egypt?
“Here is a huge difference between the governments of Iran and of Egypt. The government of Egypt has a concord treaty with Israel and has experimental it,” Elsner said, also noting the antagonistic view of Iran headed for Israel. He said the Israel Project is not to his information plotting any programs in support of the Egyptian protests, adage it will likely ”be regarded as an internal topic for the people of Egypt.”
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, had greatly the same view when I spoke to him this afternoon.
“We’ve always supported the movement headed for democratization,” he said. “At the same time, you don’t want to see upheaval that could be exploited by extremist elements in the province. We would be very concerned that elements would occur into potential that would not sustain the involvement of Egypt in the concord process and sustain the commitments in the concord agreements.”
Hoenlein extra: ”Getting rid of Mubarak will make such disruption and potentially perilous change” — he would prefer an well-behaved process of reform to revolution.
So for now, at least, don’t peek for American pro-Israel groups to do greatly in the way of supporting the Egyptian protesters.