Danny Ayalon 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post)
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon praised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on
Monday for his “good behavior” and acting responsibly during the recent crisis
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Ayalon, speaking at the Herzliya Conference, said that Mubarak
and the Egyptian government did not “lose their nerves” in dealing with the
protests or “do anything out of the ordinary,” but let the demonstrations run
their course and die down on their own.
Ayalon, speaking at a panel
entitled “All the Eggs in One Basket? America’s Place in Israel’s Foreign
Policy,” said that as a result of the turmoil, Egypt would be preoccupied with
its own internal issues, something that “will be a loss for the
He said there was no other actor on the scene in the region
right now that could fill the role Egypt had played in “projecting stability”
and keeping “the very important peaceful relationship with
Former ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev raised another issue
concerning Egypt, saying that as democratic forces emerged there and in other
countries in the Middle East, the rationale in the US for supporting Israel
because it was the only democratic country in the region would be
“We used to say that there are two main values between Israel
and the US – geopolitical strategic goals, and the values and ethos linking us
and the US. This is changing, because we see the interests of the US are
changing, and because there are more movements toward democracy in places like
Egypt and Iraq,” Shalev said.
Since Israel may soon no longer be able to
claim the title of the only democracy in the Middle East, Shalev said it must
continuously invest in the relationship with the US – one way being to move
forward aggressively on the Palestinian track.
executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations, said that the messages coming out of Washington in recent weeks
during the Egyptian crisis had been “problematic.”
said, needed to “build the confidence of allies” and gain the “respected fear of
Hoenlein said it would be interesting to see how the situation
in Egypt impacted the sale of $60 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other
countries in the region.
Former ambassador to the US Zalman Shoval said
that by putting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the top of the Mideast
agenda – instead of the region’s more pressing issues – the US wasn’t
significantly paying attention to real factors of instability in the Middle
Calling Egypt a “game changer,” Shoval said it was important now to
watch what priority the Obama administration would give the peace process.
Shoval also said the situation in Egypt showed that a peace agreement may “not
necessarily be the end of conflict” and was not necessarily a guarantee for