A Hard Time For Puppets In The Middle East
Israeli leaders are increasingly unnerved by what they see in Egypt as the beginning of the most significant regional upheaval since the 1979 Iranian revolution.
While many analysts outside the Jewish state have focused on the mass protests as an economic and political phenomenon, Israeli experts fear that fundamentalist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood will soon take command if the government collapses and the Egyptian military cannot maintain control.
While some Israelis doubt any successor to Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is likely to end the peace treaty with Israel, others say the rise of a less-friendly government in Cairo would have profound consequences. One big consequence would be the complications in a return to peace negotiations with the Palestinians, in which Mubarak has been a key intermediary, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, Iranian officials unabashedly proclaim hope that the mass anti-government protests in Egypt will lead to the emergence of a more Islamic Middle East that will stand up to its bitter enemies — Israel and the United States, according to a Reuters report.
Furthermore, the Islamic Republic of Iran, locked in a standoff with the West over its nuclear program, sees gains for its own geopolitical influence in the region if Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a key U.S. and Israeli ally, is swept aside.