Top Defense Official Warns Against Egypt 'Dictatorship'
Defense Ministry security and diplomacy chief Amos Gilad warned on Friday against the radicalization of Egypt by its Muslim Brotherhood rulers.
"A shocking dictatorship grew in Egypt out of the desire for democracy,” Gilad said in a speech in front of students in Herzliya.
He said there is a disconnect between the political leadership in Israel and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
"There is no talking between our political leadership and the Egyptians and there will not be any, in my opinion. [Morsi] will not talk to us," said Gilad.
At the same time, he stressed that Israel must preserve the peace treaty with Egypt "at any cost."
Gilad added that Israel must also maintain a dialogue with the Palestinian Authority, even though he believes it will be impossible to reach a peace agreement.
“Without the Palestinian Authority, Hamas will rise up,” he said, adding, “We must make contact with them in order to preserve the security coordination.”
The Defense Ministry later distanced itself from Gilad’s remarks, saying in a statement that they do not reflect the positions of the security establishment nor do they reflect the positions of Gilad.
Gilad was merely expressing concern over possible upheaval in the Middle East and had no intention of interfering with internal Egyptian politics, the Defense Ministry clarified.
Earlier this week, the Ma’ariv newspaper reported that Egypt had rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries.
The report indicated that Israel was interested in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fatah a-Sisi.
However, Sisi refused and did not respond to several phone calls from Barak.
Morsi has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo administrations, despite opposition from his Muslim Brotherhood backers, who have called for a jihad (holy war) to "liberate" Jerusalem.
An adviser to Morsi recently called to urgently change the peace treaty with Israel.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in August that while he is pleased to hear of Morsi’s statements regarding Egypt’s commitment to abide by all international treaties, such affirmations are not merely by abstract ideals. He called on Morsi to come to Jerusalem.
While Morsi has made no indication he would be willing to visit Israel or meet Israeli officials, he recently sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, in which he referred to the Israeli president as a "great friend."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)