Barak and Saudi King Abdullah
Barak and Saudi King Abdullah Israel news photo montage

A strange if temporary Arab-Israel alliance has brought Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Washington to press U.S. President Barack Obama to be careful of a hasty change in the Egyptian government that could pave the wave for another Muslim country ruled by terrorists.

Barak is in Washington for a two-day visit that he initiated out of concerns that American pressure on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign might create more evidence that the Middle East – except for Israel -- is not safe for democracy.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan also are wary of Mubarak's being forced out of office too soon. The Saudi and Jordanian kings phoned President Obama last week, and UAE defense minister Mohammed bin Zayed issued a statement calling for “stability” after he called the American president Sunday.

“We have been adamant that forcing Mubarak out risks instability,” said one Arab official quoted by The New York Times.

The shadow behind the anti-Mubarak protests is the Muslim Brotherhood, a party officially outlawed in Egypt but also the country’s largest and best organized opposition faction.  It took a back seat during the beginning of last month's unprecedented protests, but it reportedly it is beginning to exercise a stronger influence at demonstrations.

Hizbullah used the same strategy in Lebanon, quietly building strength among the public and then flexing its political muscle after inciting the masses against the ruling government.

The Obama administration apparently is getting the message, with the president and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toning down their comments and implicit demands for an immediate change in Mubarak regime.

After Mubarak appointed Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his first-ever vice president last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that Egypt might face complications if Mubarak were to step down immediately. “I understand the concerns of everybody in the region,” she said Sunday.

A WikiLeaks document revealed that Israel foresaw Suleiman the future head of Egypt as far back as nearly three years ago. . “There is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect” of Mr. Suleiman as the successor, the cable from Tel Aviv reported.

However, the United States reprimanded Suleiman for saying that Egypt is not ready for democracy, a comment that the White House said was “unhelpful.”

The Egyptian president, reportedly fighting a battle against cancer as well as a massive protest movement, talked with American officials for 12 hours on the telephone in one day during the ongoing crisis in Cairo, the Times reported Tuesday.

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