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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid