News / Middle East

Israelis, Palestinians React to Mubarak Resignation

Palestinians in Gaza City celebrate Hosni Mubarak's resignation, February 11, 2011
Palestinians in Gaza City celebrate Hosni Mubarak's resignation, February 11, 2011
Meredith Buel

The Israeli government is reacting cautiously to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, with officials hoping for a peaceful transfer of power.  Some Palestinians are applauding Mr. Mubarak’s decision to step down, hoping it will lead to democracy in the Arab world. 

A top Israeli government official who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation says it is a pivotal moment in Egyptian history and too early for evaluation or predictions.

The official said Israel is hoping for a transfer of power without violence that will lead to free elections and a freely elected government.

The Israeli government official said the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt must be preserved because, in his words, “it is the anchor to the stability of the whole region.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Zvi Mazel says Mr. Mubarak will be missed by many in the Jewish state.

“We are sad, very sad," said Mazel. "Mubarak governed the country for 30 years.  He kept the peace with Israel.  He was the foundation of the West, of the United States, in the Arab world.  He was leading the war against Iran, against radical Islam.  I think as of now Egypt is not anymore a regional power.”

Egypt has been a cornerstone of Israel’s regional security strategy.

While most Israelis support democracy over dictatorship, they also prefer continuity in the first Arab government to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state in the Middle East.
Raphael Israeli is a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Hebrew University.
He is concerned about Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a well established but officially banned Islamic group.

“I am afraid that these popular forces of the Muslim Brotherhood and others may reverse the situation and launch us and the United States into another state of instability in the Middle East and this nobody can predict," said Israeli.

Professor Israeli says Islamic movements are gaining strength in the region.
“If we are surrounded with this kind of Islamic - we have them already, Hezbollah has taken over practically Lebanon and we have Gaza, which was taken over by Hamas," he said. "If we have also Egypt, Israel will be practically under siege, violent siege.  This is a recipe for war and more war in the future.  So I believe the situation is very, very, very dangerous.”

For Palestinians, Mr. Mubarak has been a critical ally, both in peace negotiations with Israel and as a mediator between rival Palestinian factions such as Fatah in the West Bank and the militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Still, some Palestinians are applauding the change in Egypt and jubilation erupted in Gaza.
Bassem Eid is the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group based in East Jerusalem. 

“I believe that everybody is so happy with the resignation of Hosni Mubarak right now," said Eid.

Eid says many Palestinians hope for a free and more democratic future.

“I hope that the revolution of the Egyptian people is really going to lead the Arab world and especially the Middle East to a new Middle East," he said.

Both Israelis and Palestinians will continue to try and calculate what the momentous changes across the border in Egypt will mean to the rest of the Middle East.   

 

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More