A top Israeli official has said the Tel Aviv regime is troubled by the perception that the United States is an "empire of the past" and wants a resurgent America to lead a decisive role in the world.
In an interview published in the Tuesday edition of The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy in the Israeli Cabinet, Dan Meridor, said, "America is tested at a pivotal moment in the history of the Middle East. The Arab world is watching the US closely. They look to America. If America does not seem to be able to contain the Iranian nuclear program, will they go with Iran?"
Meridor also expressed surprise over the Obama administration’s treatment of US longstanding ally, ousted Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak.
"Was it necessary to immediately empower the demonstrators against him and let [Hosni] Mubarak go? It’s seen by all the allies of America in the Arab world. I don’t know where the tide of history will go and I’m not sure they know," he said.
The senior member of the Likud party added, "The perception, that I hope is wrong, that America is weakening is not good, but I hope that America will find a way, and I believe they can, to restore itself as the leading country and not allow those impressions spread by the Iraq war that America is an empire of the past. All this is here on the table.”
"America has started wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Is it a success story or not? What happens in Pakistan? … It may be the use of power showed the limits of power."
The remarks come as Tel Aviv has kept a wary eye on popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.
Libyan anti-government forces, inspired by revolutions that toppled authoritarian rulers in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, are fighting to unseat Gaddafi after suffering under his despotic rule for over 41 years.
Bahraini anti-government protesters seek to break al-Khalifa dynasty’s monopoly on power, and Yemenis are trying to drive President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power after more than three decades.