The US move to abandon Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak has alarmed Israeli leaders of a similar shift in Washington’s policy on its other old allies, including Tel Aviv.
"One gets the impression that Washington was pretty anxious to throw Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak overboard" once he became a cumbersome ally, AFP quoted a senior Israeli figure on Monday as saying on condition of anonymity.
"Even if the American position has become more nuanced in the last few days, it doesn’t make it any less of a desertion. That’s what is most worrying," he went on to say.
He described loyalty as “priceless,” especially in the Middle East and warned that the decision by Washington to suddenly withdraw support for the Egyptian president could question the credibility of the US foreign policy.
He also criticized the "confusion and incoherence of the American positions," referring to the move by the Obama administration to hastily distance itself from a declaration of support by an influential retired diplomat at the weekend.
Israel has been apparently concerned at the likely ouster Mubarak and losing a 30-year-old ally with a possible rise of Islamic-oriented, anti-Western power in Cairo.
The worries over Washington’s reluctance to back Mubarak are also echoed in Israeli media, which have warned the same fate would be awaiting Tel Aviv.
"Everyone understands that Mubarak has to go, but we would expect the US administration to give him backing and not dissociate itself from him," the Israeli Yediot Aharonot daily said.
"For decades he was the mainstay of the West…And when the US does this to the Egyptian president, what should any other ally of the US think?"
Analysts, however, indicate that the influence of powerful Zionist lobbies in the US immunes Israel from a change in Washington’s foreign policy.