Channels

Mubarak unimpressed with US approach
Photo: AP
Ben-Eliezer: Mubarak slammed US in phone call
Ousted Egyptian leader slams 'misguided' US quest for Mideast democracy in talk with Labor Knesset member

Hosni Mubarak had harsh words for the United States and what he described as its misguided quest for democracy in the Middle East in a telephone call with Labor Party Knesset Member Binyamin Ben-Eliezer a day before quitting Egypt's president.

 

Ben-Eliezer said on Israel TV Friday that he came away from the 20-minute conversation on Thursday with the feeling the 82-year-old leader realized "it was the end of the Mubarak era."

 

"He had very tough things to say about the United States," said Ben-Eliezer, who has held talks with Mubarak on numerous occasions while serving in various Israeli coalition governments.

 

"He gave me a lesson in democracy and said: 'We see the democracy the US spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that's the fate of the Middle East,'" Ben-Eliezer said.

 

"'They may be talking about democracy but they don't know what they're talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,'" he quoted Mubarak as saying.

 

'I won't run away'

Ben-Eliezer said Mubarak expanded in the telephone call on "what he expects will happen in the Middle East after his fall."

 

"He contended the snowball (of civil unrest) won't stop in Egypt and it wouldn't skip any Arab country in the Middle East and in the Gulf.

 

"He said 'I won't be surprised if in the future you see more extremism and radical Islam and more disturbances - dramatic changes and upheavals," Ben-Eliezer added.

 

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of an Iran-style Islamist revolution in Egypt should Mubarak's Muslim Brotherhood rivals eventually take over.

 

"(Mubarak) was looking for an honorable way out," Ben-Eliezer said.

 

"He repeated the sentence, 'I have been serving my country, Egypt, for 61 years. Do they want me to run away? I won't run away. Do they want to throw me out? I won't leave. If need be, I will be killed here.'"

 

 

 new comment
See all talkbacks "Ben-Eliezer: Mubarak slammed US in phone call"
Warning:
This will delete your current comment