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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid