Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.
Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West's interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime. The diplomatic measures came after statements in Western capitals implying that the United States and European Union supported Mubarak's ouster.
So the west wants him gone but its plucky little ally to the east of Egypt wants him to remain. It gets better. Netanyahu knows how embarrassing his senior colleagues can be so they have been ordered not to discuss Egypt publicly at all. I mean what can anyone in the Israeli government say that would help Mubarak?
Israeli officials are keeping a low profile on the events in Egypt, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even ordering cabinet members to avoid commenting publicly on the issue.But then true to Israeli form what they won't do openly they openly do, er, covertly:
Senior Israeli officials, however, said that on Saturday night the Foreign Ministry issued a directive to around a dozen key embassies in the United States, Canada, China, Russia and several European countries. The ambassadors were told to stress to their host countries the importance of Egypt's stability. In a special cable, they were told to get this word out as soon as possible.I should have thought that the overthrow of Mubarak would have implications for Gaza but that doesn't appear to be Israel's key concern:
"The Americans and the Europeans are being pulled along by public opinion and aren't considering their genuine interests," one senior Israeli official said. "Even if they are critical of Mubarak they have to make their friends feel that they're not alone. Jordan and Saudi Arabia see the reactions in the West, how everyone is abandoning Mubarak, and this will have very serious implications."So this is bigger than Gaza. As "the only democracy in the Middle East" denies democracy and the means of sustenance to the people in Gaza it shows that it also wants democracy denied to all people everywhere. Israelis mustn't say what they think, European and American public opinion should be ignored and the dictatorships of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia must be maintained. And why? Because "the only democracy in the Middle East" says so, that's why.