mofaz puffy face 298.175.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, departed from the chairman’s usual role of being briefed on strategic affairs and instead briefed the press on Monday on his interpretation of recent events in Egypt and surrounding the appointment of Chief of General Staff-designate Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant.
“Maintaining the stability that has lasted in Egypt for the past 30 years is a goal of highest importance for Israel on the regional level,” Mofaz said. “The Egyptian army, which is faithful to [President Hosni] Mubarak, is an anchor and thus the army’s leaders bear the responsibility for continued stability.”
Mofaz added that “the recent events in Egypt present a number of question marks regarding possible scenarios.”
In what the former chief of General Staff described as the best scenario for Israel, “Mubarak will succeed in overcoming the protests, because, among other reasons, the protesters lack an organized leadership. In that case, Mubarak will try to hold elections in September as required by the constitution.”
He also described an “extreme possibility” that Egypt “will enter a period of chaos and the army will lose its will to confront the protests. In that case, the army could decide to take control,” as well as a third possibility that Mubarak would voluntarily resign.
“The last option,” he said, “is that the Muslim Brotherhood takes over. We already are observing the developing connection between [opposition figure Mohamed] ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership.
“The events in Egypt and Tunisia are a strategic warning for Israel,” Mofaz cautioned.
“2011 is likely to be a turning point. In addition to the events in
those two countries, we must also consider the recent developments in
Lebanon following the removal of [Saad] Hariri from the premiership and
Hizbullah’s seizure of key points of power. All of these events have a
direct impact upon Israel.”
Iran, he said, is “watching the events in Egypt with enjoyment. As far
as Iran is concerned, there is now the option for another country where
it can take control. Iran understands the potential for change in Egypt
and thus supports the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Israel should not become involved in the events in Egypt, Mofaz said.