Ben-Eliezer: Americans Don't Realize What They've Done
First Israeli politician to castigate Obama: Former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer says Americans still don’t realize the catastrophe into which they have pushed the Middle East.
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer - a former army general, Labor Party Chairman and Cabinet minister - praises Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whom he has known for many years, and has strong criticism for U.S. President Obama's abandonment of him.
“When I watched his speech in which he said he would step down, " Ben-Eliezer said on Wednesday about Mubarak, "it pained me to see his collapse. He stood by our side for 30 years, he was a strong leader, he kept proudly to Sadat’s commitments and followed in his path. He always emphasized the strategic importance of peace with Israel, and that this peace was the basis for stability in the Middle East.”
Asked by an IDF Army Radio interviewer if he thinks Mubarak will step down within days or will wait until the elections this coming autumn, Ben-Eliezer said, “I'm not a prophet. Look, the army is still behind him like an iron shield. The question is whether they will try to move out the masses with force… One thing is clear, that from our standpoint, it is a tremendous loss.”
Just Like in Iran and Gaza...
Ben-Eliezer does not agree that he is being too pessimistic: “We learn from history. We remember what was said when Carter proposed that the Shah of Iran give up nicely and allow Khomeini to take his place. In Gaza, too, when the Americans came in, they supervised the democratic elections [via which Hamas came into power]. If there are elections in Egypt the way the Americans want, I will be surprised if the Muslim Brotherhood does not win… This will be a new Middle East – radical, Islamic and extremist.”
“I think the Americans still don’t realize the extent of the catastrophe into which they have pushed the Middle East," Ben-Eliezer said. "It’s still too early to judge, but this is not their first mistake. Unfortunately, they are also the godfathers of the construction freeze in the territories [Judea and Samaria], something that no American administration ever did before…”
As if unaware that the leaders of the Palestinian Authority might suffer the same fate as Mubarak, Ben-Eliezer concluded by saying, “There therefore had better be a quick diplomatic process [with the Palestinian Authority] before the American boss in Washington forces a solution upon us.” Other analysts concluded quite the opposite, proposing that Israel not rush into any agreement with leaders whose futures appear endangered.