Israel Is Worried
And it is right to be.
Mohammed ElBaradei says that Israel signed a treaty with Mubarak, not Egypt.
Not one of the parties or movements which could potentially form part of a new Egyptian government is friendly, or even neutral, towards Israel and the West.
Said Abdel-Khalek, former editor in chief of the Wafd Party’s Al-Wafd, said that the conflict with the Jewish state will be renewed because “there isn’t a house in Egypt that doesn’t have a martyr, killed in one of our wars with Israel. There are too many open wounds. I was an officer in the 1973 war and I can’t put my hand in an Israeli’s. And the vast majority of the people share this feeling.”
Let’s be clear: The 1973 Yom Kippur War was an unprovoked attack on Israel by three much larger countries, a war which those countries lost, and an officer for one of the aggressor nations says this was such an offence against the Arab people that it can never be forgiven.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Arab national leaders, and leaders of popular movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, have said with absolute consistency that the existence of Israel is an offence that cannot and must not be tolerated.
This means that any attempt by Israel to defend its people or borders is perceived by the Arab world as an unforgiveable act of violence – Israel has no right to exist, so it has no right to defend itself.
Iranian influence is growing in the North, fueled by Amadinejad’s relentless and continuing calls for the destruction of Israel.
In the South, Bahrain’s monarchy is weak, detested by the 70% of the population who are Shi’ite, many of whom will look to Iran for leadership.
After the US abandonment of long time ally Mubarak, the Saudis know that they cannot rely on America for support if the going gets tough. They cannot afford to be isolated. Of necessity, they will now value the US alliance less than the friendship of their neighbours.
Israel too, must now doubt the support it can expect from the US or the UK in the event of any conflict.
From the US, because the US seems to lack the political will to get out of bed in the morning, let alone come to the aid of a friend.
From the UK, because any assistance from the UK in an Arab/Israel conflict would cause a wave of hostility and violence to be stirred up by the UK’s powerful and radical imams.
So Israel is now surrounded by unstable regimes looking for a diversion from their problems, or by states which openly declare their intention to destroy Israel as soon as possible, while its two strongest allies look like they are ducking for cover.
And then there is this – a million Egyptians shouting, ‘To Jeruslaem we go, to be martyrs for the millions.’
Israel is right to be worried.