Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s second-in-command has strictly rejected the establishment of democracy in Egypt, alleging it could have dire consequences.
Deputy Premier Silvan Shalom said attempts at promotion of democracy in Egypt could strengthen what he called radical elements in the country, said Israeli website The Marker, a subdivision of the Ha’aretz newspaper.
He asserted, “We know that, recently in the Middle East, democratic elections have caused the accession to power of radicals like Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
The resistance movements, who owe their presence in the defense and political arenas to popular consensus, have invariably defended the Palestinians and Lebanese against deadly Israeli invasions.
“Think of what would happen if the radicals become dominant over Egypt and decide to close the Suez Canal,” he said.
The comments came amid popular revolution in Egypt against the country’s three-decade-long President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
The uprising, which entered its 16th straight day on Wednesday, has been severely confronted by Egyptian security forces. More than 300 people have lost their lives since the popular movements began, reports say.
Israel has, however, supported Mubarak’s stay in power.
To prevent the revolution, Israel has also allowed Egypt to deploy troops to Sinai Peninsula despite a Tel Aviv-Cairo peace agreement, which has kept the peninsula demilitarized for decades.
US diplomatic cables, exposed by British newspaper The Telegraph on Monday, showed that Tel Aviv preferred Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman to succeed Mubarak.
Suleiman, who was appointed as VP on January 29, kept daily contact with Tel Aviv through a secret “hotline,” the cables said, and noted that he also had very good ties with Israeli figures.