Barak: Egyptian events not like ’79 Iranian Revolution

Defense minister says he doesn't believe peace with Egypt is at risk, but warns rush to elections could benefit Muslim Brotherhood.

February 13, 2011 19:23
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

ehud barak 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Defense Minister Ehud Barak rejected comparisons between the overthrow of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, in an interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour aired on Sunday.

“I don’t believe that something similar to the Iranian events of several years ago is happening now. I think that the Egyptians have their own way. I think that their direction is something which emerges very genuinely and in a spontaneous manner.

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It was not something that was organized by extremist groups of Muslim radical origins,” Barak said.

Barak said that although he didn’t believe the peace between Israel and Egypt was at risk, a rush to elections could bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in the country.

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“The real winner of any short-term election... let’s say within 90 days, will be the Muslim Brotherhood, because they’re ready to jump,” Barak asserted.

“Usually in revolutions... there is an eruption of idealist sentiment at the first moment. Later on, the only group that is coherent and focused, that is ready to kill and be killed if necessary, takes power. That should be avoided in Egypt, because that could be a catastrophe for the whole region.”

The defense minister remained doubtful of the Muslim Brotherhood’s pronouncement that it did not intend to run for Egypt’s presidency.

“I tend not to believe radical Muslim movements. But they did not initiate [the protest], they were not behind it, but they are always ready to take advantage of it,” Barak stated.

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