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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs