A senior Israeli politician has strongly defended out-of-favor Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, describing a revolution in Israel’s southern neighbor as a loss for Tel Aviv.

Praising Mubarak for standing by Israel during his three-decade long rule, labor lawmaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said on Thursday that Mubarak’s possible collapse would be painful for Israel.

Ben-Eliezer, who has held several ministerial posts, including Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister, also criticized Washington’s policy toward Egypt, saying by withdrawing its support from Mubarak’s regime, the US has pushed the Middle East toward a catastrophe.

The Israeli lawmaker also predicted that if elections are held in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s Islamist opposition party, would win.

Tel Aviv is anxiously monitoring political developments in its powerful southern neighbor Egypt. Israeli officials have repeatedly warned that the implications of a regime change in Egypt, the country’s only ally in the Arab world, would be enormous in Israel.

Mubarak..the “lackey of the Zionist regime of Israel”

– Ben-Eliezer

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 following days of secret negotiations at Camp David, US. Many Egyptians, however, believe that the treaty did not end Israeli occupation and therefore are opposed to it.

Tel Aviv fears that the ongoing popular uprising against the Egyptian president could jeopardize its 31-year-old peace treaty with Egypt.

“Peace with Israel under its present terms can only be enforced by a dictator like Mubarak. Democracy will give the people a voice and their voice clearly demands that the peace accord be broken,” Ray Hanania, an Israeli journalist, wrote in the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Egypt is one of the main suppliers of Israel’s natural gas.

Israel also shares a long border with Egypt and both have a frontier with the Gaza Strip. For years, with the help of Cairo, Israel has managed to impose a crippling blockade on the Palestinian territory. Tel Aviv fears that a regime change in Egypt would spell the end of the Gaza siege.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Friday that the recent developments in North Africa are the result of the “Islamic awakening, which followed the great [Islamic] Revolution of the Iranian nation.”

The Leader also described Mubarak as the “lackey of the Zionist regime [of Israel].”

HM/HGH/MMNSource: Press TV

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