As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s government teetered amid a week of mass demonstrations, Israelis were nervously casting their eyes at neighboring Jordan, with speculation of a regional domino effect that could weaken the Jewish state’s strategic alliance with the Hashemite monarchy and boost an Islamist opposition.
But even as King Abdullah dismissed his government on Tuesday, Israeli analysts predicted that it was unlikely that the Egyptian uprising could be replicated on the eastern bank of the Jordan River.
Policies were diverging before Egyptian president’s announcement that he won’t run again.
James D. Besser
The street protests that have apparently ended the 30-year reign of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and threaten to spill across the Arab world pose a dangerous new wild card for the Obama administration — and point to another potential source of friction with Israel.
German papers know that cheers can turn to chills.
The Jewish people weren’t born in Egypt, but our insecurity was. The first Jewish quote in the Bible was Abraham fearing he’d be murdered there. It was in Egypt that Joseph was framed on a rape charge and forgotten by a pharaoh. Jews were slaves and abused for 12 years under the Nazis, but were slaves and abused for 210 years in Egypt, only to be chased by chariots after being freed.
It is understandable that Israeli leaders and citizens alike are watching the fast-moving events in Egypt — and possible reverberations in Jordan — with great trepidation.
Peace with Egypt, formalized in 1979, has been anything but warm, but it has been real and enduring, and it has allowed Israel to focus its defenses on other threats, including Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism and the terrifying prospect of a nuclear Iran.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Transition in Egypt "must begin now," President Obama said.
Obama spoke Tuesday about two hours after after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would not run in presidential elections scheduled for September, and would prepare for a peaceful handing over of power to his successor.
It was not clear from Obama's statement whether this was sufficient, or if he wanted Mubarak to step down sooner. Opposition groups have said that Mubarak must step down now.
I've read a lot of ominous words about the chaos in Egypt and the anti-Mubarak demonstrations that now look like they will end the 30-year reign of this democrat-in-name-only. But nothing comes close in grimness to Richard Cohen's column in today's Washington Post.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- For Israel, the popular uprising against the Mubarak regime raises the specter of its worst strategic nightmare: collapse of the peace treaty with Egypt, the cornerstone of its regional policy for the past three decades.