A prominent Egyptian told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that voters will favor candidates hostile to the US and Israel. The peace treaty is to remain – “for the time being,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
The unnamed Egyptian told the Defense Minister, “’We’re going to have a really open election….Civic parties will hire advisers from the U.S. and Europe and find immediately that what can bring them voters is hostility to America and Israel.'”
Defense Minster Barak called the uprising in the region “a historic earthquake…a movement in the right direction” but at the same time refrained from expressing any long-term optimism on Egyptian-Israeli relations.
His view is that the upheavals require Israel to ask the United States for another $20 billion in military assistance over the next generation. Defense Minister Barak, former IDF Chief of Staff, who worked as an advisor to military firms during his hiatus from politics in the beginning of the last decade, did not detail Israel’s new defense needs.
“The issue of qualitative military aid for Israel becomes more essential for us, and I believe also more essential for you,” he told the newspaper. “A strong, responsible Israel can become a stabilizer in such a turbulent region.”
While insisting that the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty will continue, he added that public pressure in Egypt could change the diplomatic recognition, which he said remains “for the time being.”
Barak said he has been in contact with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. The two men fought against each other in a tank battle in the Sinai Peninsula during the Yom Kippur War in1973.
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