Ben-Eliezer: Sisi is preventing Egypt from turning into Iran

Former defense minister tell The Jerusalem Post: Israel should stay out of Egypt, and instead focus on peace talks.

ben eliezer at post 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
ben eliezer at post 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel should stay out of the turmoil in Cairo and focus on peace talks, MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Monday, after an Israeli official said Jerusalem is telling governments that the key issue is not democracy but keeping Egypt from falling apart.
“Israel shouldn’t get involved in an internal Egyptian matter,” Ben-Eliezer, a former defense minister, told The Jerusalem Post.
“I really hope Israel will focus more on the peace process and increase cooperation with the Egyptian army to ensure quiet in Sinai and stop terrorists from shooting at aircraft.”
Ben-Eliezer pointed to violence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq in recent weeks, saying that “it’s not a simple issue” and that Israel should “push forward in the peace process so we aren’t blamed for almost everything.”
While the Labor MK said he does not know what the government is telling the US and Europe, he relayed a similar message to the Post.
“[Deposed Egyptian Islamist president Mohamed] Morsi is trying to lead Egypt to be something similar to Iran,” Ben-Eliezer explained. “The [2011] revolution overturned a military dictatorship, but [Egypt’s army chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi understands that Morsi wants an Islamic dictatorship – not Muslim, Islamic, which means they believe jihad [holy war] is permissible.”
Ben-Eliezer said the Muslim Brotherhood wants to turn Egypt into an Islamic Republic like Iran with revolutionary guards that support violence and terror.
According to Ben-Eliezer, Sisi learned that underground militias with weapons were being formed and realized he’s dealing with terrorist groups.
Though he was not democratically elected, “Sisi wouldn’t have made this move if he didn’t have the backing of most, about 80 percent, of the Egyptian people,” the former defense minister added.
“The West is making a mistake to some extent by saying that the nation chose Morsi and he was democratically elected. That’s true, but there have been fascist regimes that took advantage of democracies to rise to power. I don’t want to give examples, but those who know history know what I’m talking about,” Ben- Eliezer stated, in what seemed to be a thinly veiled reference to Hitler.
Ben-Eliezer added that Sisi did not have a choice but to depose Morsi, because the army’s job is to defend and protect the Egyptian nation and prevent chaos.
As for Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt, the Labor MK is confident that there is no danger.
“The Egyptian Army won’t give up [on the peace treaty]. The army is its own kingdom within Egypt, and it protects the peace treaty because it understands its joint interests with Israel,” he stated.
Ben-Eliezer said there is cooperation and coordination in intelligence and military action between Egypt and Israel.
At the same time, he expressed concern about the execution of 25 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai on Monday, saying the news is “inauspicious.”
“It just shows what I’ve been saying – these are terrorist organizations and jihad is part of their worldview,” Ben-Eliezer concluded.