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Hasson: When it Comes to Egypt, Israel Needs to Stay Out

MK praises Netanyahu for non-involvement in Arab struggles. ‘Israel must not have anything to do with it.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/20/2013, 10:15 PM

Egypt demonstrations
Egypt demonstrations
Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been wise in avoiding Israeli involvement in the unrest in the Arab world, and for the sake of the country, should maintain that strategy, MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima) said Tuesday.

Hasson spoke to Arutz Sheva following a report in the American media according to which a senior Israeli source said Israel plans to set up an international diplomatic lobby on behalf of Egypt’s military government, with the goal of keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of power.

Hasson expressed his hope and belief that the report is not true.

“Until today the Prime Minister has dealt with the events around us with wisdom, and I believe and very much hope that he would not make such a serious mistake,” Hasson said.

“Israel has nothing to do with what is going on in Egypt, and must not have anything to do with it,” he declared.

Hasson said he was horrified by the number of casualties in Egypt. However, he said, the Western world struggles to understand the issues behind the killing, and Western involvement has some ways made the situation worse.

“Europe bled for hundreds of years because of the mix of church and state… There cannot be a democratic state based on the values of Islamic law. They can’t go together, it’s a fundamental contradiction,” he argued.

The Western world helped to bring Islamic fundamentalists to power with its belief that democracy alone is the ideal system in every place, he said, when in fact democracy cannot function in a meaningful way when mixed to a large extent with religious law. Democracy also faces serious obstacles in a country like Egypt, he added, where – according to official Egyptian statistics – sixty percent of the population is illiterate, and the average wage is approximately one dollar per day.

“If you want to institute democracy there, you have to build it on healthy, good foundations,” he argued.

Rebuilding the Egyptian regime is likely to take decades, in which the prevailing attitudes and worldviews change, Hasson said.

The changes in Egypt are likely to echo around the Arab world, he continued. In openly waging battle on religious extremists “the Egyptians have begun moving in the other direction – and I don’t doubt that this process will spread elsewhere,” he explained.

He reiterated that Israel should not get involved. “We aren’t a part of this discussion. We can give an academic explanation of what is happening, but no more than that,” he warned.