As we have been commenting for the past several days, “ace” BBC correspondent Jeremy Bowen has been going out of his way to allay any fears the British public may have concerning the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood should Mubarak fall in Egypt. The question is – WHY would Bowen (and his employer) seek to convey this impression? Well, here is one suggestion..
“The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the main reasons why official Israel seems to support Mubarak so keenly. It is considered the most popular political movement in Egypt, and its position regarding the peace treaty with Israel is clear: They want it revoked immediately. “Democracy is something beautiful,” said Eli Shaked, who was Israel’s ambassador to Cairo from 2003 to 2005 “Nevertheless, it is very much in the interests of Israel, the United States and Europe that Mubarak remains in power.”
“If regime change occurs in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would take the helm, and that would have incalculable consequences for the region,” says Shaked. What Israel fears more than a — somewhat unlikely — armed conflict with Egypt is an alliance between an Islamist regime in Cairo and Hamas, which considers itself an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. An Egyptian regime that opened the border with Gaza for arms deliveries would pose a serious danger to Israel. Shaked considers the West’s demands for more openness and democracy in Egypt to be a fatal mistake. “It is an illusion to believe that the dictator Mubarak could be replaced by a democracy,” he says. “Egypt is still not capable of democracy,” he adds, pointing out that the illiteracy rate is over 20 percent, to give just one example. The Muslim Brotherhood is the only real alternative, he opines, which would have devastating consequences for the West. “They will not change their anti-Western attitude when they come to power. That has not happened (with Islamist movements) anywhere: neither in Sudan, Iran nor Afghanistan.”
Israel’s threat is Al Bowen’s opportunity? Surely not….